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How to Make a Quilt Label Using Terial Magic and Your Silhouette

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I’m a pretty decent seamstress and have made a few quilts in my time, but my mom is the REAL quilter in the family. Her beautiful creations may appear complete once the binding is in place, but the true finishing touch is the label. Labeling a quilt is an often-overlooked step, yet it’s the best way to ensure that future generations will know the quilt’s history. With the help of Terial Magic and your Silhouette, making a quilt label can be a quick and easy process and today I’ll show you five different ways to do so!

If you’re not already familiar with Terial Magic, it is a liquid fabric stabilizer that contains all natural ingredients. Yet unlike starch, it does not include sugar or other food products that can attract bugs (most notably silverfish) when projects are stored for a lengthy period of time. When stabilized with Terial Magic, fabric becomes almost paper-like and therefore suitable not only for cutting on your Silhouette, but also for embroidery, applique, quilt-piecing, etc.

 

Stabilizing fabric with Terial Magic is very easy:

  1. Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the desired finished size.
  2. Place fabric in a bowl (I use a casserole dish) or inside a zipper-seal bag.
  3. Spray both sides of the fabric with Terial Magic until saturated, but not dripping. Make sure there are no dry spots.
  4. Squeeze the fabric to work Terial Magic throughout all the fibers.
  5. Hang to dry until just damp. Depending on the size of the fabric and the ambient temperature/humidity, this could take anywhere from 15-45 minutes.
  6. Iron dry. (If the fabric has already dried, spritz with water before ironing.) Your fabric should now be nice and crisp but will return to it’s original hand after laundering.

 

 

Now let’s make some labels!

A quilt label can be very simple, quite elaborate, or anywhere in between.  At a minimum, it should include the name of the person who made the quilt along with when and where it was completed. Other details may be added, such as whom it was made for/given to, the occasion it commemorates (wedding, birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc), the pattern used, care instructions, etc.

Quilt labels may be handwritten, embroidered, printed, or even stamped. Here are a few helpful tips for creating a handwritten, printed, or stamped label:

  • There is a lot of variation among permanent pens as well as printer inks. The same can be said for different fabrics, even ones that are 100% cotton (which is what I recommend). Be sure to test both the fabric AND the ink you plan to use before you put the time and effort into making your quilt label.
  • Pre-washing the fabric may improve colorfastness. (See the examples below.)
  • Allow the ink to dry for 12-24 hours (longer if possible) so that it fully penetrates the fabric, then heat-set using your home iron or heat press. To heat-set, set your iron to the hottest setting with NO STEAM. Place the label, design side DOWN, onto a piece of aluminum foil and iron for 2 minutes. If using a heat press, set the temperature to 350 degrees and press for 30-60 seconds, being careful not to scorch the fabric.
  • If your quilt will be laundered, consider using a fixative such as Bubble Jet Set 2000 & Bubble Jet Rinse prior to treating the fabric with Terial Magic and be sure to test the label for fading and/or bleeding before attaching to your quilt. (Here is a link to more information on using Bubble Jet.) Wait as long as possible before laundering.

 

Quilt Label 1: Handwritten

For this method, you will need a permanent marking pen suitable for fabrics. There are a variety of these pens available on the market, but I prefer either the Sharpie or Micron brand. When using the Sharpie brand, be sure to look for the ones that specifically say they will not bleed through paper.

  1. Treat fabric with Terial Magic.
  2. Add details using a permanent pen.
  3. Allow the ink to dry thoroughly and then heat-set the design using your home iron or heat press.
  4. Trim to size and attach to quilt.

 

Quilt Label 2: Embroidered

  1. Treat fabric with Terial Magic.
  2. Add details using hand- or machine-embroidery. If embroidering by machine, simply hoop the treated fabric and embroider the design. No additional stabilizers are needed. (My ‘test stitcher’, a/k/a my mom, loves using Terial Magic for her machine embroidery projects!)
  3. Trim to size and attach to quilt.

 

Quilt Label 3: Printed

  1. Cut a piece of fabric that measures approximately 10” x 12” and treat with Terial Magic.
  2. Trim treated fabric to 8.5” x 11” (standard size for US printers).
  3. Using a computer program such as Microsoft Word, Silhouette Studio, or Photoshop Elements, design your label using clipart and fonts. (Print & Cut designs from the Silhouette Design Store can be used in Silhouette Studio.)
  4. Load the treated fabric into your printer and print just as you would on cardstock, using normal ink settings.
  5. Allow the ink to dry thoroughly. Heat-set the design with your home iron or heat press.
  6. Trim to size and attach to quilt.

 

Quilt Label 4: Sketched

  1. Treat fabric with Terial Magic.
  2. Design your label in Silhouette Studio, using sketch fonts and designs.
  3. Insert pen in place of a blade in the Tool Holder. If not using a Silhouette Sketch Pen*, you will need a pen holder like this one or this one. On either the Cameo 3 or the Curio, two pens may be loaded simultaneously if desired.
  4. Sketch the design using your Cameo, Portrait, or Curio.
  5. Allow the ink to dry thoroughly. Heat-set the design with your home iron or heat press.
  6. Trim to size and attach to quilt.

(*I loved the effect of the Silhouette Sketch Pens on fabric, so I was very disappointed to find that the ink washed out of the fabric when I tested for colorfastness. The Sharpie markers did not wash out however.)

 

Quilt Label 5: Stamped

I recommend that you pre-wash your fabric to reduce bleed from the ink but do NOT pre-treat with Terial Magic when stamping. The stabilizer interferes with the absorption of the ink.

  1. Create a custom stamp in Mint Studio. For details on using the Mint, see the video mentioned here.
  2. Apply ink to the stamp and wait 5-10 minutes to allow the ink to fully soak in. Stamp the excess ink off onto a scrap piece of fabric or paper.
  3. Stamp image onto fabric.
  4. Allow the ink to dry thoroughly. Heat-set the design with your home iron or heat press.
  5. Trim to size and attach to quilt.

And there you have it – five different ways to make a quilt label using Terial Magic and your Silhouette machine and each one of them is so much fun to do! Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve tried Terial Magic and what you think of it. And if you make any quilt labels, I’d love to see them too!

Until next time,

 

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. I love it when two crafts come together to make something useful. The information you shared here will be very helpful when I finally need a quilt label. (I quilt very slowly ☺️) Thank you very much.

    1. You’re welcome! (If it makes you feel any better, I’m a very slow quilter too and have a few UFOs that I wonder if I’ll ever finish!)

      1. Me too! It was only today that I discovered your blog while searching for something Silhouette related and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. There’s always something new to learn. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great information!! I will never dread making my labels again!!! Thank you for your kind words and for letting me help!! ❤️

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