Monday, 20 January 2014

Labelling tips

So, labelling quilts is not my favourite pastime, and if I can get away with it, I have often been known to write directly onto the backing using a fabric marker. However, there are times that this simply will not do.

Usually I will fold the raw edges of the label under, and baste them down with a simple running stitch. Then I will pin it to the back of the quilt, and attach it with small stitches. I have also used narrow ribbons of fusible, both to secure the raw edges and to baste it to the back of the quilt.

When I was making labels for some pieces yesterday, I decided to try a different approach. I had just picked up a new fabric glue stick at the fabric store, the Sewline Fabric Glue Pen. Have you tried it?

It was a time saver indeed, so I thought I would share how I did it.

I made my labels in Excel and printed them onto ink jet printer fabric sheets. They are really pricy here in Norway, so I make the most out of them. You can see my Excel label layout here. This will work just as well with handmade labels. Iron a piece of freezer paper to the back of your fabric, and write the information with a thin fabric marker. Press with a hot iron to fixate the ink.

Cut the label(s) out leaving at least a ½” edge around.

I prefer to fold the edges under and press them before I remove the paper. It is easier to get straight edges this way. This will not work with plastic lined fabric sheets.

Gently separate the fabric from the paper along one of the short sides, and tear them gently apart. If you start tearing in a corner, you may distort the shape of the label.

Protect your surface with a piece of paper just in case. Run the glue pen along one side of the label. I do not apply the glue on the folded edge. The glue is blue which makes it easy to see where it is applied. Brilliant. It does dry clear, so don’t worry about the colour.

Finger press the edges in place, and glue down the next edge.

Position the label on the back of the quilt, and glue it in place with a few lines of the glue pen. This even worked on the mysterious polyester background fabric from this post.

I let mine sit for a little while to dry before I stitched them in place. I always keep checking that my stitches don’t go through to the front; it has happened quite a few times over the years.

Two of my pieces will be juried, so I had to cover those meticulously made labels right up again. I used a piece of printed fabric where the writing would not show through, and cut it just a little smaller than the label. I attached it to the label only with running stitches. Worked like a charm; no stitches going through and easy to remove.

Am I happy with my new glue pen? Yes, indeed I am. It came with a refill container, but I think I might just pick up a few more on my next visit to the fabric store. It was on sale (at Stoff og Stil), and if I am in luck, it still is.)

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Thanks for the information. What a good idea to use the glue! And the cover up label is genius. I would never have thought of that. Love your quilting, too. My kind of color!

  2. I love Sewline glue pen, I have no idea how many refills I have gone through! Could not be without it!

  3. I love my sewline glue pen, but never thought of using it for a label! Great idea!