Christmas is a time for gift giving, and for quilters, that gift is often a hand-made quilt. Along with the gift of a quilt you may tell the recipient the story of how and why you made the quilt, and how to care for it. But in a year, or five or ten, will the recipient of that quilt remember all the details you mentioned when you gifted it?
That’s where quilt labels come in. A label can include some very important information about the maker, about the recipient, and about the care needed. Here’s what should be included on every label on every quilt you give this holiday season.
The Recipient’s Name
Like a personal greeting card, a quilt label can express any sentiment you desire – “To My Wonderful Daughter, Lily Anderson” or “To Andrew, the Greatest Sailor in the World”.
The Maker’s Name
You will want to include your own name, of course – “Made With Love by Aunt Deliah” – but you should also include any other names that contributed to the making of the quilt – “Pieced by Deliah Cornish and Quilted by Brenda Day”.
The Name of the Quilt
Include the pattern name, if the quilt is from a published pattern. If you designed the quilt yourself, you will often have given the quilt a name. Be sure to include a brief explanation of why you named the quilt what you did – “Santa’s Crumbs – A crumb block quilt made from Gramma’s never-ending holiday fabric scrap stash”.
If this is an heirloom quilt that will be passed down from generation to generation, make sure to include the date the quilt was made. It can be just the year, or you can have a little fun – “Started in earnest in 2001 and finally finished in 2016”.
Many people who receive a gift of a quilt are not quilters themselves, so they don’t really know how to care for a quilt. It’s important to provide that information. Even a simple table runner you give as a hostess gift should include at the minimum some care instructions.
You may wish to write out specific instructions, such as “Wash in cold water & tumble dry on low heat”. Or, you can download free laundry symbol images at
to use on your label – print the image onto paper and trace onto fabric with a fabric pen, or print the images directly onto your fabric label using your inkjet printer.
With all this information to include, I’m sure you’re thinking the quilt label will be the size of the entire quilt back. Not so. You can be succinct and still get all the information you need on a 3” x 5” label. Here’s an example of a label that will print at 4” x 4”:
If you are planning on giving a quilt to someone special at Christmas this year, put yourself in their shoes – will they know how to care for it? In twenty years, when they are telling their children the story of the quilt, will they remember exactly when it was made? Include a label with all the information, so they won’t have to guess!