Making Quilt Labels
Quilt labels are a beautiful way to
add special meaning to a quilt or
tell its story to future
generations. Stitched onto the back
of a quilt or incorporated into a
block, these finishing touches offer
a personal, heartfelt dimension.
Here's some information you might
include on a quilt label:
quilt was finished
the quilt was made
story behind the quilt, or occasion
for which it was made
meaningful message or inscription
blocks or pattern used
number and address
else you like!
are lots ways to write on a quilt
label - machine embroidery, hand
embroidery, permanent fabric
markers, and computer-printed
fabric, to name a few. This guide
will show you how to combine
quilt label designs and
alphabets to create your own
on alphabets vs. fonts: In a machine
embroidery alphabet, each
letter is a separate embroidery
design. You need to assemble the
letters into words.
Embroidery Library's alphabets
fall into this category. Fonts
(like the ones you use on your
computer) can be turned into
embroidery designs using software
Embird's Font Engine. Each kind
of lettering has its pros and cons.
Fonts are faster to work with and
offer more size variety. Since the
program auto-digitizes the letters,
you can embroider any font on your
computer. Alphabets come in only a
few set sizes, but since each is an
individually made embroidery design,
the digitizing quality will be
better. This guide uses alphabets to
show you how to merge files.
start, choose a quilt label design
that goes with your project. This
demonstration uses the
Northwoods Quilt Label - Lg. You
can find many more choices in the
Labels department. You'll also
want to choose an alphabet. This
label uses the
1/2 inch high Schoolbook Alphabet;
more can be found in the
Alphabets category. Make sure
the sizes of your designs will
provide room for all the text you
want to include.
embroidery software with the ability
to merge designs can make a quilt
label. We're using Embird. Your
steps might be slightly different
than what's below, based on what
software program or version you're
using, but the overall idea is the
label design in Embird. Click "Editor"
at the top of the screen to go into
editor mode. The colors in the design
may look strange - don't worry about
design formats, the label design may
come up sideways. If this happens,
you'll want to rotate it. To do this
in Embird, go to the "Edit" menu,
then to "Rotate," and then
select "Rotate Left." The embroidery
field in the background won't line
up with the design -- that's OK,
because we're going to rotate it
label comes up horizontally in the
first place, you don't need to do
It's time to
add letters to your label. Click the
"File" menu at the top of the screen,
then "Merge." Select the letter you want
to insert. (Make sure the "Preview" box
is checked so that you can see which
letter you're choosing.) Click OK to
open the letter design.
opened the letter design, drag it to
approximately where you want it to be -
you can fine-tune the placement later.
process to get all the letters you want.
letter design into place. You can use
the grid lines on the screen to help you
line up the letters evenly. It may help
to zoom in so the label is bigger on
satisfied with the arrangement, click
File --> Save As and save your newly
created label with a filename that
"Manager" at the top to go into Manager
mode, then click "Editor" to go back
into Editor mode. You're now looking at
your quilt label as one combined design.
If needed, rotate the design back to its
original orientation. Center the design
on both axes, then save.
more step: putting all the letters on
the same color stop.
squares each represent one color stop on
the design, and since each letter was
originally a separate embroidery design,
each has its own color stop. We're going
to put them all together so your machine
doesn't stop between each letter.
which square represents the first letter
(it's probably the first of many squares
that are the same color). Right-click on
the first letter square, then click
"Split Before Color" from the menu that
pops up. You should now see something
like the picture at right.
on the tiny image of the lettering
layer, and click "Reduce Colors." In the
menu that appears, set it to reduce
colors to 1, and click OK.
design. It's done!
your design (make sure to use cutaway
stabilizer), and incorporate it into
your quilt or other crafty creations!
Kenny is a
master digitizer and Vice President of
Production at Embroidery Library, Inc.
Ask Kenny! Send your questions to
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