I frequently get asked questions about printing photos on fabric and how to put pictures on a quilt. I’m also frequently asked about making personalized quilt labels. So I’m thrilled today to have Alexa from The Wannabe Grandma here as a guest writer sharing really useful and helpful information on both: How to Make a Personalized Quilt Label with a picture.
I’m Alexa, a craft blogger at The Wannabe Grandma. I recently released my first quilt pattern, and I also offer a course on using your Cricut for quilters. I love sharing crafting ideas that you can use to show the special people in your life how much you care, and I’m so thrilled to be here today to share this tutorial with you on Diary of a Quilter.
To me, gifting a quilt is like gifting an on-demand hug. No matter how tough a day my loved one is having, they can snuggle up in my quilt and be reminded that someone cares for them. For an extra dash of sentimentality, I like to label my quilts with a special photo of me and the recipient. I’m sharing how you can make your very own photo quilt label using your inkjet printer. I’ve also made 10 FREE design templates you can customize for your loved one.
I’ll take you through each step of the process: designing, printing, prepping, and attaching your label.
FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
DESIGNING YOUR PERSONALIZED QUILT LABEL
I like to design my photo quilt labels using Canva, an online user-friendly graphic design program. I know using a new program can be anxiety-inducing, but Canva is very intuitive. With my templates, all you need to do is drag and drop your photo and edit the text. You can find links to all the templates and an in-depth design video tutorial in my FREE PDF HERE. The PDF will be emailed to you instantly.
The PDF includes 10 templates to choose from and a blank template if you’d prefer to create your own design.
Canva has both a free and a paid version, but I only used elements that are available in the free version for the templates. If you sign up using this link, you can get a free premium element of your choice.
Canva allows you to easily customize the quilt label templates including: upload your own photo and easily place it into the frame, edit the text, and change the design colors to match your quilt.
For example, you can easily take my template and transform it from this:
I show you every step needed to fully personalize your label design in the video linked in the PDF File.
(Troubleshooting: If you have any issues with this file, please email Alexa directly at firstname.lastname@example.org)
PRINTING YOUR PHOTO QUILT LABEL
Once you’ve designed your label, it’s time to print! The video tutorial in the PDF shows you how to save your design onto your computer and format it for printing.
I use June Tailor Sew-In Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers to print my labels. To make sure your printer is an inkjet printer, be check the manual (you can usually find it online by searching for the model name if your printer). Before printing on the printable fabric sheet, test print on copy paper to make sure you are satisfied with your design. Each sheet of printable fabric has a fabric side and a carrier sheet, which is marked.
Load one fabric sheet into your printer so that your label will print on the fabric side. With my printer, I get best results when I load the fabric sheet in the rear tray. Make sure you are printing at normal quality (high quality will use too much ink, which can bleed) and using the plain paper setting.
Print your label. Allow your label to dry for at least 1 hour but overnight is preferable.
PREPPING YOUR LABEL
Remove the paper carrier sheet from the back of the fabric sheet.
Heat your iron to its highest (cotton) setting and be sure to TURN OFF STEAM. Iron your label for 2-5 minutes to set ink. Be sure to not use too much pressure or your image will be distorted.
Fill a shallow dish about half way with cool water. Place your fabric sheet into the water and gently agitate it with your hands for 30 seconds to remove excess ink. (Mini Oliso Craft irons available here.)
Remove your fabric sheet from the water and place it onto a few paper towels. Place another paper towel on top and gently dab (NOT rub) to dry. Press your fabric sheet to finish drying. If you noticed a lot of ink on the paper towels after you removed it from the water, I recommend repeating the rinsing and drying process.
ATTACHING YOUR PERSONALIZED QUILT LABEL
Align the ¼-inch mark on your ruler to the edge of the label design and trim.
Repeat on each side so that your label is cut out with a ¼-inch border.
Cut a piece of lightweight or midweight fusible interfacing to the size of your label. Pin the interfacing to your label with the right side of your label facing the fusible (bumpy) side of the interfacing. I recommend only pinning in the ¼-inch border around the label so you don’t poke any holes in your image. (P.S. You can find my tutorial on how to make easy DIY magnetic pin holders from vintage butter pats here.)
Stitch all the way around your label using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Do not leave a gap for turning.
Gently use your fabric shears to poke a hole in the interfacing.
Cut a small slit in the interfacing.
Use the slit to gently turn your label so that the right side is out. It’s okay if the interfacing rips a little bit in this process. Use your fingers to gently wiggle and crease the seams.
Turn out the corners using a point turner. Be gentle, but again, it’s okay if you poke a hole in the interfacing.
Flip your label so that the interfacing side is up. Lay the interfacing flat so that it is not doubled up anywhere from where you may have ripped it.
Carefully place your label on your quilt. I attach my labels to the bottom right corner of the back of the quilt. I use my rulers to help me place the label ¾-inch from the bottom and ¾-inch from the binding.
Press your label so that the interfacing fuses to the quilt. This will hold it in place when you attach it.
Hand stitch your label to the back of your quilt. I like to use a ladder stitch (AKA an invisible stitch).
And there you have it!
Washing your Quilt Label:
Your quilt with your label is machine washable. June Tailor recommends washing it with cold water on the gentle cycle and using fabric softener instead of regular detergent.
If you’re interested in learning how I use the blanket stitch to attach the binding to the back of my quilts, check out Quilters Candy Membership. I designed exclusive printable stickers for the membership to help make your stitches evenly sized and spaced. Members can access my PDF guide as well as 3 video tutorials on blanket stitch binding.
MORE QUILT LABEL INSPIRATION
You can add some hand embroidery over the text and a border around the label for extra interest.
I always struggle coming up with designs for the men in my life. The Polaroid-inspired template is both vintage and gender neutral!
Amy has a FREE pattern to make a buffalo check quilt like the one above. And did you see the sticker I used to mark my stitches on this quilt? You can find my Modern Hand-Tied Quilting Stickers in my Etsy shop.