I have been meaning to write up a post about how I make my labels, so here it is. I have tried a couple different methods, and I’ve finally settled on a process and finished product that I am proud of. Hooray! Here is how I did it.
First, my sister and I designed my Witty Stitches logo. We created two different versions: square and rectangular. The square version (my favorite) gets stitched directly onto a project (usually on the front) and the rectangle version can either be stitched directly onto a small project or folded over and placed in a seam.
Once I had the logos and sizes figured out, I tried making labels myself by printing directly onto fabric with my inkjet printer. You have to iron freezer paper onto the back of the fabric first and then cut the fabric to letter size so it will fit into your printer’s paper tray. I found this method to be a lot of work and not always successful. Sometimes the fabric/paper edges would catch a little in the printer and ink would smear in a few spots as the paper fed through the printer. Also, the color didn’t hold up in the wash, despite trying to set it with a hot dry iron or cold water or various other tricks. The black would stay but the red would wash away.
I finally stumbled upon this tutorial by Jaybird Quilts about custom quilt labels from Spoonflower. Thank you, Jaybird Quilts. This was just what I needed! I decided to give Spoonflower a try since I had had it with the freezer paper method. I uploaded my graphics to the Spoonflower.com website and ordered a fat quarter of each of my three label versions. They arrived in the mail a couple of weeks later. You can see them here:
You can choose what style of repeat to use (for example, I only uploaded the one square logo with the black border around it, and Spoonflower automatically repeated the design all over the body of the fabric) and what type of fabric. I selected the most basic white cotton fabric and ordered a fat quarter of each design.
To use the square labels, I cut out a square just inside the black border (usually I do a whole row at a time and cut them with my rotary cutter), press a square of Wonder Under to the backside of the label with an iron, peel the paper off the back of the Wonder Under, press the label onto the project, and stitch all the way around the label as close to the edge as possible. I also usually put Fray Check (a liquid sealant) on the edges to keep them from raveling, but that step is totally optional. Sometimes it looks kind of cool to have a little fraying on the edges, and the stitching limits it so only so much can fray anyway. The Fray Check also give the edges a hardness that you might not want on a blanket or quilt.
For the fold-over in-seam labels, I cut them out, fold over the side edges a small amount (about 1/8-1/4″), press, then stitch along each folded side as close to the edge as possible. Then, I fold the labels in half and press again. They look like this when they’re done:
If you flip one over, it looks the same on the other side because of the second, upside-down logo on the label design.
I love my new labels! I just ordered some more fabric from Spoonflower to make more labels, but this time I selected the Kona premium quilting cotton. (I am hoping it will be just a bit thicker so less shows through the label when it is stitched onto a dark patterned fabric.) Someday I might design one for use on blankets or quilts that has more blank space next to the logo for writing the date and who the piece is for with a Sharpie marker.