I am fastidious about putting labels on my quilts. Partly because most of my quilts are original designs, and I want folks to know the name I gave them. I also know that a written record of the offering of a precious quilt is a great memory for the recipient.
Some of my past labels have been designed by myself or a friend and are found at QuiltTags.com. I have been known, while in a rush to get a quilt out to the post office, to just use a fabric marker on the back of a quilt. More recently, I have found a couple of friends with embroidery machines and they make my labels for me – especially those that the recipients are so very special to me.
Quilt experts say it’s essential to label a quilt. Here are a couple of articles that deal with such:
Unfortunately, a quilt label doesn’t always tell the whole story behind a quilt. For instance, I made and gave my sista/cousin’s first daughter a quilt based around a heart. For her subsequent two more children, both quilts retained the heart theme. And now, she has a fourth child – and I have designed a heart-based quilt for her, too (just waiting on color choices). My choice of hearts was purely sentimental – her family had taken me in when I was a 15-year-old foster child with no home and the love I have for them is because of their selfless act.
Another instance of making a quilt and having a story behind it was this quilt, made for a friend’s son:
This young man not only graduated from high school, he also received his Eagle Boy Scout award. Hence, the raw edge appliqued words and date are made from official Boy Scouts of America fabric. HE knows the story of the quilt because I shared it with him and his family, but those types of things aren’t written on a tag – they’re great memories to share, but not written down anywhere for future reference or future generations.
I try very hard to explain a quilt in my correspondence with people I gift the quilt to….because behind every one of those loving stitches is a story – a reason for the pattern and fabrics chosen. Hopefully, the thought and subsequent design is remembered and passed down to others, even without them being written on the quilt label. The point is, each and every quilt I make is designed and pieced for a reason, for the intended recipient. Make your quilt legacy count – both with a quilt tag/label and with written documentation of why or how the quilt came about. The new quilt owner will be thankful and future generations will enjoy the lore of the love of a quilt.