Finishing a Quilt: Quilt Label Ideas

When finishing a quilt, most quilters add some sort of binding and–if the quilt will be displayed on a wall–a hanging sleeve. But many forgo a label.


Often the answer is “not enough time” or “it’s not necessary,” or even “I always forget.” But there are good reasons to attach quilt labels to your artwork.

From a practical standpoint, putting a label on a quilt is essential if you are going to submit it to a show or publication, for identification. Paperwork might get lost, but a secure quilt label stays with the artwork.

quilt labels can be any shape
Kristine Lundblad’s quilt label names the quilt challenge and credits the other
quilters involved, plus her name and the date completed. She chose the coffee cup
shape to echo a motif on the front of the quilt.

Even if your quilt never leaves your home, years down the road, someone will want to know who made the quilt, when, and for what purpose, and you may not be there to provide the information.

Quilt labels also act as the signature on your work of art. You put in a lot of hard work-you should get the credit!

There are many ways to make quilt labels. Here are some tips and quilt label ideas for you to consider.

  • One of the simplest ways to make a quilt label is to write the information with a fine-point, permanent pen onto a rectangle of fabric and fuse or hand stitch the label onto the back of the quilt.
  • You can type up the information into a Word doc using a font you like and use an inkjet printer to print the label onto fabric sheets prepared for this purpose. (To avoid wasting the fabric, fill the sheet with some generic labels with “Made by [your name]” and a place to write in the date.)

    one of diane harris inkjet printed quilt labels
    Diane Harris combined an inkjet-printed quilt label with a pieced border
    using novelty fabric, for this quilt she gave to her grandson.
  • You can also buy pre-printed fabric labels and fill in the information.
  • At minimum, include your name, the date, and the title of the quilt, if it has one. Some people like to include their website or a phone number. If the quilt was made for a specific person or purpose, you could add that, too.
  • Some quilters like to make the label in a shape that reflects the theme or motif of the quilt. A simple daisy shape for a floral quilt, for example.

    quilt labels that tell a story jennings homestead
    The Jennings Homestead Slice Quilt made by the 27 members of the Milwaukee Art Quilters
    has two stories: one for the Homestead revival and another for the quilt. This is just a portion
    of the unusual label made for this distinctive quilt.
    See a larger view of the entire label in our Online Extras gallery.
  • If the quilt has a special story attached to it, literally attach the story in a large label and consider including an image, too. The inkjet-printer method works best for this type of quilt label.

The point is, quilt labels can be plain or fancy–just don’t forget them so no one forgets you!

Learn more about finishing a quilt, including how to bind a quilt, in Susan Brubaker Knapp’s Quilting Arts Workshop Fabulous Finishes: Seven Techniques for Binding, Facing, Framing, and Hanging a Quilt.

P.S. Do you label your quilts? Share your quilt label ideas in the space below.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Binding & Finishing, Quilting Daily Blog

6 thoughts on “Finishing a Quilt: Quilt Label Ideas

  1. Not all quilts are labeled the same. I like to use machine embroidery for some, for others permanent ink, and I have used a commercial service to print a very large label that included an appraisal. For almost all of my labels, I piece them into the backing. They are not sewn on top of the lining where they can easily be removed. When pieced into the backing, they are quilted right along with the rest of the quilt. That protects, as much as possible (without chipping) both the person who owns the quilt and me. It is not only difficult to remove the label, it is very noticeable if removed!

  2. StoryPatches are an exciting way to enhance your quilt label. You can use them to connect an audio or video message to your quilt through the special codes printed on the patches. They enable you to tell the story of your quilt in your own voice – and leave a personal message for the quilt recipient as well! Check them out at

  3. I make a point of putting a label on every quilt I make. For group quilts made by coworkers, usually to celebrate a new baby or a life event, I often use an ink jet printer and treated fabric to print a picture of the quilt and put the block makers name on each block. As suggested in the article, I always include the name of the quilt, the date, who it was for, and the city and state. I also include everyone who contributed in anyway (financial backers, designers, long-armer, etc.). Using Bubble JetSet to treat my own fabric, I sometimes use a light fabric from the quilt for the label. When ironed onto 8.8 X 11 freezer paper, it goes through the printer nicely. Finally, I usually reprint the label or a picture of the quilt and its title and information on a blank post-card, to give everyone who helped, as a personal memento.

  4. I recently taught a class on quilt labels and found people were very receptive. The general consensus was they didn’t know how to go about it.
    It’s simple, you don’t need anything but your imagination. For inspiration look at the theme of your quilt and go from there. Whether it’s an elaborate machine embroidery design or a hand written message, it truly is that simple. So what are you waiting for give it a try and let your legacy live on.

  5. So important! I inherited a number of very old quilts, one made especially for me and kept by my mother during my college years and after. All were made by great-grandmothers. I heard which one made each of them when I was very young, but can’t remember now and it is heartbreaking. They are all so different, totally done by hand, and each is so beautiful. I wish I knew their stories.

  6. I always put a label on my quilt. I put squares of the fabrics under the label so that a quilt can be repaired if it gets damaged. The fabric washes with the quilt and is the same colour and age. Remember to tell the recipient that there is spare fabric under the label.