A bit of background.
I had made over 100 quilts with no labels. (don’t kill me) I just did not see the point. Every book, pattern, magazine told me to do it, but I didn’t. Then Sue held a demo at the shop and showed all kinds of Quilts with different labels. Simple, complex, fused, pieces and so on. It was the first time I really got the point of a label. The quilt that sold me on needing to make them was one that Sue had acquired at an estate or church sale of some kind. It had no label… no info at all. It is very old and has immaculate hand quilting of hands and feet throughout the border. They are all sizes and probably the family of the quilt maker, but nobody will ever know. I’m sure the person that made it just wasn’t thinking about what would happen 100 years from when they made it…. I started to think about my quilts in 100 years and realized I need to make labels!
Since Sue’s workshop I have made 2 labels by hand but I wanted a simpler method that would have all of my info and be easy to read. I’ve got a plan about going back and labeling all my quilts..even if they are not in my house anymore!!
So then came spoonflower….
If you haven’t played around with Spoonflower yet you are missing out. They rock.
They will print a yard of fabric for $18 with your art on it…(42" x 36").....They can print more or less as well.
Depending on your label size you can get 60 or more on one yard of fabric which means each label costs 30cents!
Here is how you do it.
1. Decide what size label you want to make and what information you would want on it. I designed two.
my personal labels are 6.00in x 4.00in
so on a yard you can get a 9x7 = 63 labels
(i printed these horizontal to maximize space)
my blog labels are 5.83in x 3.62in
so on a yard you can get 10x7 = 70 labels
(42" x 36") = printable area on a yard of fabric...
4”x4” = 10x9 = 90
5”x5” = 8x7 = 56
5” x 4” = 8x9 = 72
6” x 3” = 7x12 = 84
The possibilities are endless!
2. Decide what you want on your label.
This was where I realized I'd end up making two.
- Above is one that has my block header, name, e-mail and blog address. I put a small box in the bottom right for details that will relate to the specific quilt the label is going on.
- Below is a logo of my initials that I designed while in college. It has my name, e-mail, and city. This one will be used on projects made before my blog, or ones that are more personal.
3. Make your file. Spoonflower prints at 150dpi which is dots per inch. That means a 6”x4” label would be 900 pixels by 600 pixels. You can use Photoshop or any graphic software you have to do this. Add text, graphical elements or even a picture. Pictures will not always print well but I’m happy with how mine turned out. You can order a swatch to test your colors first if you want.
Spoonflower has a lot of info on their faq page
of their blog about resolution, color, and more. One thing I found handy was the ability to download a color palate for Photoshop. (you can see it on the right in the screen shot below)
I wanted the ability to be able to fuse these to a project or piece them into the backing fabric. Because of that I added seam allowances with cut lines around my artwork. For fusing I cut right inside the line and I’m good to go. For piecing I cut in the middle of my guide lines and since they are about an 1/8” from where I cut they will be hidden in the seam allowance.
To do this make sure you design your art with extra space around it. Once you are done designing draw lines 1/8" in from each side. See below.
4. Once you are happy with your images upload it to Spoonflower. If you are new you will have to make an account but it only takes a minute. As I mentioned earlier you can order a swatch. They cost $5 and are worth it if you are worried about your colors or will be printing a large qty. You can just go ahead and order a yard which is what I did for this project. Place your order and wait for it to come. Considering the product has to be printed for you their turnaround time is pretty fast.
screen shot of a yard of fabric
screen shot of a FQ of fabric
another screen shot of a yard of fabric... you can see here that i decided to print this label in 4 colors... so after designing it i made the file twice as wide and twice as tall and the file i uploaded to Spoonflower had 4 labels on it... because the print count was odd (7x9) i have more of some colors than others but that is fine with me!
5. Once they arrive ohh and ahh for a while. Then get to work!
apply fusible to the back and cut out a label...
use a permanent pen to write info specific to that quilt... i used a pigma micron 08 in black..
place on quilt... and iron... i suggest stitching it down by hand as well.. i just didn't get to do that yet!
a quilt that is no longer without a label!!
Questions?? Leave them in the comments section or e-mail me. I'm sure I may have left something out, so just let me know. I'm here to help!!
want to link to this tutorial?
other useful label tutorials...