I have to confess that while I am a “quilt namer,” I am not a “quilt labeler.” The only time I put labels on my quilts is when they are going out of my home (most likely to a quilt show.)
I don’t know why I don’t label my quilts. It may just be that I don’t feel I need to “for posterity.” I have no kids and my quilts are utilitarian, so they will probably end up with someone who just enjoys the patterns and/or colors and really doesn’t know who I am (or care.)
Maybe it’s a rebellious streak, though. After years of people telling me “but you HAVE to label your quilts,” I just don’t. So there.
It’s silly, I know, but up until a couple of years ago, I just felt that labels were something I just added on at the end. It really didn’t strike me as an opportunity to add to the design.
And then I had to take a bunch of my quilts to my Guild for a “Member Spotlight,” and I knew that I was going to get grief for not having labeled my quilts.
So, I decided to improvise and make some “fancy” quilt labels.
Googling “free quilt labels” got me the same old, same old. Some were nice, but none were inspirational.
So, I combed free clip art sites and noticed that the designs that attracted me were bookplates.
The big problem with using images off of the web is you have to make sure that you are using royalty-free, and not someone’s artwork.
If you do find a piece of art you’d like to adapt to a quilt label, just email the artist and explain what you want to do. They might say “no” but they “yes,” or that you have to put a copyright info next to the artwork on the label itself.
I like vintage art, so most of the designs I choose are in the public domain, but a scan of the actual image may not be, so that requires a little more research if I fall in love with an image.
After I find the image (and get the necessary permission, if I have to), I create the label. I use Photoshop Elements, but any application that allows you to layer text over images (or move it around along side the image, or whatever) will do.
Then, I print my labels on muslin using something like Bubble Jet Set, stitch them on to the quilt, and, voila! It’s not as painful as stitching down a binding by hand, so I don’t really have an excuse when I’ve made it that far.