Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LHQ - Attaching Quilt Labels

LEFT-HANDED QUILTING - Attaching Quilt Labels

Note - these instructions are written in LEFTISH.  If you are right-handed - just reverse the directions. (I love saying that!!)

My last post was all about "How to Make a Quilt Label".


I also talked about "Where to Attach a Quilt Label".

When the labels are all done - I attach them to the lower back of the quilt.

The question is then - which "side" of the back - lower left side or lower right side?

As I look at the back of the quilt - my natural tendency is to want to attach the label to the lower right side.  It just seems more visually pleasing to my eye.

However - my long-arm quilter/friend disagreed - and won!!  She said it should be attached to the lower left side.  Her reasoning was that - if the quilt were ever entered in a Quilt Show - the "white-glove ladies" usually stand at the right side of the quilt (as you face the quilt) - all ready to flip the quilt over to show you the label - if you ask.  In order to do that - the label has to be on that side - which is the left side as you look at the back of the quilt!!

Is this a right-handed world or what?!


Then - Heather (A Passionate Quilter) asked me how I apply the label to the quilt.

Great Question!!

I told her that it depends.

I know that sounds like a crappy answer - but there are tons of ways to attach a label to a quilt - and I use a couple of different ones - depending on the effect I want - and depending on whether I want to sew the label on by hand or by machine.

Method #1 - Machine sew the label - topstitch about 1/4" in from the edge

If I don't care if the label stitching shows on the front of the quilt - or if I think I can disguise the stitching well enough to where it is virtually invisible -

I just topstitch the label down - about 1/4" in from the edge

This is a Miniature Watercolor Quilt I made a while back.
The front -

the back -

and the label (kinda crooked - but - hey - it's ON!)

And - as you can see - the label stitching barely shows on the front.

Or this label that I  made "log-cabin" style

and as seen from the front

Method #2 - Machine sew the label - using a decorative stitch

If I think the stitching won't show on the front of the quilt -

I sometimes stitch the label down - using a decorative stitch.

Here I used a "blanket" stitch

And from the front - you can barely see the stitching.

Method #3 - Hand-stitch the label - using an "invisible applique" stitch

If I don't want the stitching to show on the front of the quilt - at all -

I will hand-stitch the label down - using an "invisible applique" stitch -

making sure that the stitching goes through the backing - catching a bit of the batting - but not all the way through to the front of the quilt.

(I'll tell you all about that stitch when I post my progress on my Stage 7 - Floral Applique UFO.)

In general - I prefer to hand-stitch my labels down.  I just think that they look better and more professional that way.  (And it is a MUST if you enter a quilt in a quilt show.  I do believe that the Quilt Police frown on machine-sewn labels!)

But - when I make a quilt for my grandkids - I will machine-sew the label - for durability.  (And I'm pretty good at making sure the stitching doesn't show much on the front of the quilt!)

The bottom line - how you apply your label to your quilt is personal preference.

Oh, and by the way - I'm making another rule -

Rule #4 - Don't be Afraid to Annoy the Quilt Police!

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -

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