Wouldn't it be great if we knew more about the women who made some of the antique quilts we love so much? And wouldn't it be nice if we were also remembered through our quilts? You don't often see labels on old quilts. And, even when you do, they don't always offer much information. It's more common to see signatures.
Labeling my quilts is always an afterthought and something I know I need to do more often. Do all of you make labels for your quilts? I know some of you take the time to create wonderful labels. I labeled many of my early quilts very simply, usually because I was in a rush to meet a deadline for a book and felt lucky to get them finished at all, much less have time to make a fancy label. I don't do it too often now and I'm embarrassed to say that my favorite method involves slapping a piece of fabric onto some Steam-A-Seam, cutting it out and writing my name and date on it with a permanent ink pen and then ironing it onto the back of a quilt. Well, I figure it's better than nothing. The thought of making pretty or fancy labels for almost two hundred small quilts now is a little overwhelming so if I ever do label the rest of them this may be the way I do it - simply.
Primitive, yes, but at least it's something. Some of these were made for trunk show quilts I sent to shops across the country and Canada. They needed something on the backs in case they got misplaced or lost. This will sound crazy but, after making the original quilts for a book, and after a book was published, I would go on to make 3-4 copies of several of them to send to quilt shops so they could display them with my books. That's 16-20 additional quilts I had to make when I was promoting a book. Sheesh. Sometimes I had a little help. So pretty labels were not necessarily a priority when making quilt samples for shops. But it helped to have even a primitive label when I needed the quilts returned to me. With the exception of one, I got all the quilts back intact that I sent out. It's never fun to lose a quilt you put so much time and thought into creating, even if it was a small quilt I could easily create again. Thankfully, I had labels.
I'm really impressed by those of you who take the time to make pretty labels for the backs of your quilts and would love to see the really special ones that many of you put so much time into designing and creating. If you have any that you're willing to show me, send me a photo and I may do a Show and Tell here. I'm sure this is something many of us struggle with when we make things. I would love to be inspired so show me your labels! I vow to do better with mine in the future.
I could always just sign some of this ribbon tape . . . .
Here's an article I found that you may find interesting - it gives tips and encourages quilters to make labels for their quilts. We all want [our quilts] to be remembered.