Earlier I blogged about how to make a flat label to sew onto your quilts or other sewn items. But today I wanted to make some folded labels to insert into the binding of my quilts for sale (see below).
I found a great tutorial by “Easy Sewing for Beginners” (HERE) and I decided to use my Inkjet “TransferMagic” heat transfer paper. (It has an Oops proof guarantee after all!). Following the instructions, I created a document on MSWord, reversed the images/words, and printed it onto the heat transfer paper—being careful to put the paper into the printer the right way.
I cut the labels out carefully and placed each face down onto two different surfaces—a wide twill tape and a 5/8” Offray ribbon–and pressed with a hot iron using the package instructions.
After they cooled, I peeled back the backing paper very slowly and carefully and it worked…
HOWEVER, I didn’t like the shininess and the patchy look.
The tutorial mentioned using wax paper and a hot iron to “melt” the transfer into the ribbon to solve that problem. I tried it, being sure to cover the wax paper with parchment so it wouldn’t hurt my iron)…
and UGH, …this is what happened…see below.
Instead of melting it into the ribbon, it lifted up parts of the words and images. It didn’t matter if I pulled back the wax paper before or after it cooled–it still happened.
I thought—maybe she meant “freezer paper” instead of wax paper. …Nope—that didn’t work either. The same thing happened. Finally I tried parchment paper alone…same unfortunate result.
Her tutorial used a “glossy” transfer paper & mine wasn’t glossy. I think that might be the reason…my heat transfer paper might not have been the same as hers. But I’m not going out shopping today to spend time searching or spend more $$ to find out if another brand might work at this point.
Without ironing the labels, they actually DO work,
…but the shininess bothered me. They just didn’t look as nice as I wanted. And I wondered what might happen if they were exposed to heat later–for example, what if someone accidentally ironed them later? …and I wonder if any other heat source (like a hot dryer) might damage them?
So ON TO PLAN B!!!
Just as I did in my tutorial for making flat quilt labels, I prepared some tightly woven cotton fabric by ironing a sheet of freezer paper to the back and cutting it to 8-1/2 x 11 inches with my rotary cutter & ruler (see the tutorial here for more information).
I created a document on MSWord (just like before), but used the “insert line” feature to give me some nice dashed guidelines as cutting guides. This time I did not need to reverse the images/words…
After printing them directly onto the prepared cotton fabric through my inkjet printer, I cut them out, giving myself about a 1/4 inch beyond the dashed guidelines on each side of the labels.
After peeling off the freezer paper backing, it was a snap to fold in the sides of each label along the dashed lines and iron them down.
I used matching thread and a straight stitch to top stitch along the side of each label. Doing one after another (chain piecing) makes it go fast…
After a good press, and folding them in half…THEY’RE DONE! AND LOOKING GREAT!
Now I really like these. They’re not stiff, there’s no blotchy shine or patchiness, and they’re heat set and should wear for a long time.
I’ll keep them in a jar ready for me to sew into my future quilts…like this one.
UPDATE: I was curious how well these labels would wear after washing, so I attached 2 of them to a small improvised scrap quilt/binding & ran it (with my wash) through 2 machine washing & drying cycles and this is the result (see below)…
The label on the left is brand new…the 2 labels on the right were run through the regular washer/dryer cycle with regular detergent twice. Not bad!
And here (afew weeks later) are the three labels side-by-side after the third (on the right) was machine washed & dryed 5 times. Not bad at all!
I hope this tutorial was helpful, and that it’s given you a few good ideas. Give it a try and make some labels for your quilts.
Whether you sell your quilts, give them to those you love, or keep them for yourself, it’s always important to label your work.
Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!
Mulberry Patch Quilts