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Tagging and Caring for your Quilts - Beginner's Quilting Series

This post is part of the Beginner's Quilting Tutorial Series. We are going through an in depth series which will teach you everything you need to know to establish a solid quilting foundation. Click here to see all of the posts and learn more about the series. We have come to the end of our Beginner Quilting Series and I have enjoyed going through the basics of quilting with you all. My hope is this series has given you a good quilting foundation to grow upon. Today we are going to wrap up our series and talk about how to tag your quilts. Again as with all the other steps there are many different ways to tag a quilt.

Examples of Quilt Tags

1. quilt tag, 2. Memory Quilt Tag, 3. Tag, 4. DQS 11 quilt tag

In the example above you can see a few different ideas for tagging your quilt. You could hand embroider, print on photo transfer paper, have your tags professionally printed on twill, or professional printed on a woven tag.

Mini Quilt Tag Tutorial

Tags I have made for quilts

The technique that I most often use for tagging my quilts, is a Mini Quilt Tag. In the above picture you can see some of the tags I have created for my quilts. For this tutorial we will be creating a custom designed tag, that will be printed. You will then add a mini binding to the tag and hand stitch the tag to your quilt. Let's begin.


  • Leftover Binding or Fabric Scraps from Quilt
  • Fabric Scrap for the Background Color of Tag
  • Editing Software (Photoshop, Paint, Word, etc)
  • Avery Light Fabric Transfers (3271) or Spoonflower Printed Tag
  • Needle, Thread

Designing Your Tag

The first step to creating your quilt tag will be to design it. Being a Graphic Designer, I design most of my tags in Photoshop or Illustrator, but you can use any program you are comfortable with. You can do a text only tag, or even add an illustration or image. Whatever your heart desires! You will also need to decide what size you would like your tag and design it to fit that size.

Printing Your Tag

Printing your tags on a home printer…

Tag for Daughters Quilt

For most of my tags I use Avery Light Fabric Transfers. This is an Iron On clear transfer. I am not incredibly in love with this product, but it does the job. I find that it tends to get wrinkly over time. So feel free to research other methods of printing on your fabric. And whichever method you choose be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Most often you will have to "reverse" the design you have created so that when it is ironed on it is facing the correct direction. You will also want to make sure you are printing at 100%, no scaling. Printing your tags at Spoonflower…

Tag for do.Good Stitches

Another alternative to printing on your own is having your tags printed professionally. This is a wonderful option if you want to use the same tag over and over. Such as a blog name, or business name tag. In the photo above there is a tag for the do.Good Stitches. The tag was designed by the do.GoodStitches founder Rachel Hauser, and then printed at Spoonflower, so that all do.GoodStitches quilts can be tagged with the same tag. I have also had some Pile O' Fabric tags printed at Spoonflower. If you go this route be sure to check your tag for bleeding before sewing it onto your quilt. The do.GoodStitches tag had alot of blue in it, so I soaked it in water first before creating my tag.

Assembling your Tag

Tutorial: How to Tag a Quilt

  • Step 1: Cut around your tag leaving a 1/2" border. Measure the Length and Width of your tag. To determine how much tag binding you will need add the length and width, multiple by 2 and at 2" for so play room. Ex. Tag Size 2" by 3" 3"+2"=5", 5"x 2=10", then add 2" for play room, we would need 12" strip for the binding.
  • Step 2: Cut a strip 2.25" to 3" wide (the width is just a personal preference) in the length you need
  • Step 3: Fold the ends of your strip 1/4" inward so there are not raw edges and press. Lay your binding face down half way down the right side of your tag. Begin sewing the binding on with 1/2" seam allowance. When you approach a corner stop 1/2" from the the bottom edge, and backstitch.
  • Step 4 & 5: Fold the binding in a perfect 90 degree angle from the edge just sewn. Holding the crease you just created with one hand, fold the binding back down with the other hand until the fold is aligned with the right edge of the tag. Pin the binding into place if you need to at this point. Rotate the tag and begin sewing down the next side, stoping 1/2" before and sewing each mitered corner in the same manner.
  • Step 6 & 7: Once you are done sewing the binding to the tag you will flip the binding out. Then fold it to the back of the tag. Make sure to fix your mitered corners.
  • Step 8: Press you tag once the binding is folded nicely on the back.
  • Step 9: Pin the tag to your quilt. Using a hand sewing thread and a needle. Slip stitch the tag to your quilt, be sure to only sew through the backing fabric and batting. You do not want your tag stitches visible from the front of the quilt.

Caring for your Quilt

Once you have added your tag, and taken photos of your accomplishment it is time to wash and care for your quilt. If you did not pre-wash your fabrics this step is very important to do before giving a quilt as a gift. Here’s how: Fill the washer with lukewarm water, adding your chosen detergent. I personally use Method Detergent, but I have also heard wonderful things about Soak which is made to preserve and protect your fabric. Throw in 2-3 sheets of Shout Color Catchers per the directions on the box. Put your quilt in and set your setting for a gentle cycle. Once it is done washing take it out and be sure you have not had any bleeding before you move it to the dryer. Either hang dry or dry on a light air fluff setting.

Questions? Comments?

If there is one thing that I wan't you to take from this series it is this…There are a TON of different styles, methods, and techniques in the Quilting world, but very few of those methods or techniques are right or wrong, black or white. There isn’t a lot of strict rules in quilting. Sometimes and very rarely there is only one way to do something and if you don’t do it that way your doing it wrong. But, the majority of quilting techniques are not like that. There isn’t one set way to do things. When I began I was lost trying to figure out who was right, one person said to bind a quilt this way and another that way, I was so confused. But, what I encourage beginner’s to do is to try a few different methods and find what fits them the best. So I hope you were presented with helpful methods in this series you can take and make your own! I have had a few people ask for a PDF version of this series, so I am currently working on an e-book. I would truly love your feedback so that I can improve the e-book. Were there any steps or techniques I didn't cover or you had questions about? Were the picture tutorials clear and easy to follow? I appreciate your support throughout the series, and do hope that if you are new to quilting you have fallen in love with it and if you are a seasoned quilter that you have fallen even more in love! Thanks for joining me for the ride!

    Post Comments

  • lilith says...

    I have a question: what thread color do you use to quilt? I believe you dont swap threads everytime you start quilting over a new piece of fabric (meaning a new color), so what’s the best choice? Go all white if your quilt is mainly white/pastels, and black, if you use darker colors?
    Sorry, i know it’s a noob question, but i wouldn’t like to do a silly mistake
    Great tutorial by the way, i’ve been looking for one for a while now, and i’ll follow yours, very well described and explained. Thank you!

    On August 20, 2014

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Alyssa Lichner from Pile O' Fabric

Welcome to the Pile O’ Fabric blog, my name is Alyssa Lichner, I live in sunny Gilbert, AZ. I am a freelance web and graphic designer turned avid sewist. I write modern quilting tutorials and share techniques and inspiration here at Pile O’ Fabric… Read More

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