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My Quilt Tagging Odyssey

My Quilt Tagging Odyssey

Let's start with a couple of things that I hate (always a great way to start out a blog post, huh?!?!)

  • Quilts that don't have a tag.
  • Hand sewing anything but binding.

Actually, that's it, that and dirty spoon rests, those are the things that I hate... ;)  Thanks, good post!  JUST KIDDING!

As some of you know, I have been quilting for about 17 years, about the last 10 of which I have been quilting seriously (wow, has it really been that long).  At the beginning, I didn't label my quilts.  Luckily, most of those quilts fell apart very quickly, so

  1. I didn't really want to be associated with them as the maker.
  2. They didn't last long enough for no one to remember where they came from.
  3. I wasn't going to pour time into creating a label for something that wouldn't be around long.

After I got better at quilting, and I realized how important labeling quilts really was, I floundered around for a while looking for a good way to do it, here are a few of the things that I tried and the reasons why I stoped.

  • Made tags by handwriting on white muslin with fabric pens:  These faded quickly and I HATED hand sewing them onto the back of the quilt.
  • Embroidered little pictures on white muslin and used fabric pens:  See above (and yes the embroidery floss faded quickly as well!
  • Printed on printer fabric and fused to the back of quilts:  These fell off a LOT, and were easy to remove if they didn't fall off on their own.
  • Quilting over a fused tag: Could never get those suckers on straight if I was going onto backing blindly and I don't really like the look of the tags under quilting.
  • Custom made Embroidered tags purchased off of the internet:  Good option, I used it for a long time, however, they are also easy to remove (snip!) and can't contain very much specific information, just my name.
  • Corner tags sewn onto the back with the binding:  Didn't like the added thickness and SO OFTEN forgot to put them in.  Also, fading, because information had to be handwritten.

Yeah, I've tried a lot of things, and hated pretty much all of them.  I was on the verge of giving up, when I had an idea.  I found some Dark T-Shirt Transfer Paper at Target of all places (not an affiliate link, btw, I just like these), and I thought this might work.  I had, in the past customized some sweatshirts for my dog with this stuff, and I had no issues with either fading or coming off.  I was thinking, I could design the tag in any way I wanted and it could be any size (or shape) AND hold whatever information that I wanted.  An idea was born.

Like any good idea, however, iteration breeds innovation.  So I made a few of these, cute designs, lots of words...  I have been using products from a company called Sticker It! for a long time, and I thought...  Why not add a QR code (that can be scanned by any smart phone) and that can hold ANY INFORMATION THAT I WANT!  So, I tried it.  I loved it.  I kept doing it.

The first one of these was about 2 years ago, I gave the quilt to my niece for her birthday.  To me, it doesn't matter at all if the code has ever been scanned!  It is there and it will always be there!  If the quilt is lost, I can put information on the QR code to get it back.  When I'm gone, the information will be there.

Each of my quilts now tells its own story, and I love that.  The problem is that sometimes I'm in a rush and the story isn't told right away.  That was the case this week, I was woefully behind in writing the documents that went with the quilts when you scanned the codes, so I have been spending a little time every day catching up.  I am now only two behind.  And actually, one of those two quilts hasn't even been quilted yet, so I'm really only one behind!  It feels good considering I started with an entire Post-it note with quilts that I needed to catch up on!  I think this method is going to stay around with me for a while, at least until I can't find those darn T-shirt transfers anymore! :)

What about you?  How do you label your quilts?  Do you?

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