Monday, November 3, 2014

Writing on Your Quilt Or Quilt Label

For those of you following my Dear Jane story, you know I have recently finished my quilt.  This quilt deserves a label that is special!  This is what I ended up with....

One of the fabrics that I constantly look for are fabrics that suggest quilt label motifs... I tend to buy a repeat whenever I find them, so over the years I have come up with quite a collection.  I try and label my pieces after I finish them and even if I don't add a separate label to the back I will at least write on the back my information.  I personally think it is a great thing to do for your family and those that come behind you....people forget over time, they just do.  Your label tells a story and is a tangible piece of you.

These are the pens I use the most.....Sakura Micron Pigma size .05 in black and brown.  I also have other sizes and colors, but these are the ones I try first.  You can get them at Michael's, JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby too.

I open a new Word document or whatever word processing program you use.  I measure the inner part of the label so I know how much space I have.  I have my rulers turned on in Word so I can see the spacing.  I usually write up what I want to say and I also like to have my words centered, but you can change that if you is your label.  There are no right ways.  Once I have it written up, I highlight my text and start changing the fonts to find one that has the look I am going for.  I really like those that have a calligraphy look to them....but that is just me.  I collect fonts!  Ha!  Another collection.....shocking!  Here are some Script Fonts to get you started in your own font collection! 

 Once I have the font picked, then I highlight the text and start changing the font size.  Now this was a big label, so it took the whole sheet a paper for me to audition one size at a time.  I also mess with the bold text button, sometimes I use it and sometimes I don't.  This time I thought it looked better to choose bold.

If you are doing a normal size label, I would do one font size, then copy and paste my text again and alter the font size, I may do it a couple times, as I have found what I would pick on my computer screen isn't always the proper size after I print it I always just print out several on one sheet and usually one of them is them is the perfect size.  
This is what I chose to do for my label after printing.  I use paint tape and fasten to my light box.  If you don't have access to one, use a window.  I did that for years.

Before I start tracing my label, I iron a piece of freezer paper on the back side of my fabric label.  This is freezer paper from the grocery story and you iron the shiny side to the back side of your label.  This give you a nice stable surface to write on. 

  Below I am showing you how I peel it off  "after I am done writing."

Then I tape the label fabric to my light box or to your window. Making sure you center the lettering to the frame of the label. 
 Just to note this label is huge and I don't normally do one this big, but I am going to make a pocket out of it when I add it to the back of my quilt. When I was going through my label fabrics, I came across this and decided to just use it, as I didn't know what else I would do with it.  Makes for an impressive label for a special quilt!!!!

What you are going to do is take your pigma pen, and trace the lettering right onto your label one letter at a time.  If you hand gets tired, stop and come back to it later....there is no hurry!  Now I don't fill in the fat parts of the letters as I trace.  I just trace the writing with one stroke and do all of that first.

Then I shut my tracing light off and take out the word document so I can look at each letter and I go back and go over the parts of each letter one at a time.... that need to be thickened up to give that hand lettered look.  I just find that easier to do and you can see the results below.....

This is what I ended it up with after shading each letter.....looks so professional.  And it is so easy, just take your time, use your computer to do all the centering and sizing, etc. and trace it!

I am making this label into a pocket for the back of my quilt.  Layer your label fabric right sides together with a light sew-in interfacing or you can use muslin.  Then I sewed around the wreath design in a free form following the print edge leave a small opening in the bottom of the design for turning.  

Then trim away the excess fabric leaving a 1/4" seam allowance and I also clipped the inner can barely see that below.

 Then I turned it right side out and pressed the edge nicely.  I also press over the lettering that I have traced really well.  I don't think you really need to do this, because the ink is permanent, but I feel better to set it with heat!

Then I pinned it to the back of my quilt leaving part of the top edge open so I could keep some papers and records to go with the quilt inside.  I didn't sewing the opening close, but did it as I attached the pocket label with a small blind stitch to the back of your quilt.

I hope this gives you courage to try this.  It really is easy and looks way more difficult than it is.


Kurt Schindler said...



Kathleen Tracy said...

Sheri - Your label is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial. I know I will be trying this someday.

Anonymous said...

Sheri, your label is beautiful! what a great tutorial, thanks for sharing :)) cheers... Marian

Cindy P said...

This is a great tutorial and I'm bookmarking and sharing it!

I would just add one thing. If I do any kind of tracing, I spray the FRONT of the paper with 505 temporary adhesive. Then I stick it to the BACK of the fabric. Makes it a lot easier to trace.