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January 21, 2015
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Signing your work

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Do you label or sign your quilts when you finish them? I generally do except for table runners and toppers. I’m finding more and more when I change the “quilts” for the seasons or holidays that I like to look on the back to check when I made the piece. I’m often surprised-sometimes by how old the piece is and sometimes the reverse, by how recently I made it. I’m just checking for dates.

I do hope that all of my pieces will find good homes after I’m gone. What would those owners want to know when enjoying my quilted art works? Maybe I should be including more information. Isn’t it fun when examining an antique quilt to find the quilters name and date somewhere-even more fun if it tells where and why it was made? We should be adding those little surprises to our own quilts for their future owners down the road. I recently saw a tip for those of us with somewhat fancier machines which have the capability of stitching the alphabet–not necessarily an embroidery machine. Many higher end sewing machines can be programmed to stitch out words and phrases. The hint I read suggested stitching at least your name and date onto the binding near the fold before applying the binding to the quilt. She suggested you could then position the binding so that information ends up on the back sometimes, other times on the front. She also suggested stitching messages to the recipients-sometimes with a thread that is nearly, but not quite, invisible against the binding color and other times with a highly contrasting thread so the message stands out. That reminds me of a quilt I made for my softball playing niece when she went off to college. Each square’s quilting was a phrase I would hear when watching her games and practices. “Batter, batter, batter!” “Good eye!” “Go, Kara!” and many other of those “sporty” encouragements. Jjust one square had the message-“call your Auntie!” Kara is now 27, working in Washington DC and still has that quilt on her bed.

Generally when I sign my quilts I use a permanent pen and just write my name and date completed somewhere on the back along a line of quilting. I think I’m going to try this binding idea out on my next one. Here’s a link to some other ideas for labelling quilts. Click here.

How do you label your quilts?


  1. Loretta Cadwallader says:

    I have stitched the info in the binding before for one of my grandsons. I told him to search for it. It took a while as he wasn’t expecting to find it there.

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