Membership drawing deadline is now January 7!

Did you know that Alliance members who are current with their dues are eligible to win some fabulous prizes if they renew or join by Monday, January 7? We’ve extended the deadline by a week to be sure everyone has a chance to participate.

Prizes include:


The AURIfil Suitcase contains 216 colors of fabulous Italian-made AURIfil cotton threads in 50wt. Compliments of Alliance board member Alex Veronelli of AURifil.


— “Look, I’m in the Book!”–Alliance board member Marie Bostwick is going to name a character after you in an upcoming novel in her bestselling Cobbled Court series


Tell Your Personal Quilt Story on the Radio: join the ever-amusing and inspiring Mark Lipinski, also an Alliance board member, as a guest on his weekly radio show, Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski.

To be eligible for these drawings, renew your membership or join for the first time by Monday, January 7 at midnight Eastern. Join or renew online here or phone or email Debby Josephs, Alliance Office Manager at 828-251-7073 or to arrange for payment by phone.

Winners will be notified by Tuesday, January 8 and announced here. Thanks for being a member of the Alliance. And if you’re not a member yet, please join today. The drawing is a sweet incentive, but the real benefit is knowing that you are helping to ensure the documentation and preservation of the history of quilts and their makers for future generations.

All About Quilt Labels

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Creating Quilt Labels

You are FINALLY finished with that wonderful quilt! It
has been pain-stakingly pieced, quilted, and bound. If
destined for a show, it has a hanging sleeve proudly
attached to the top. All set to pack it up and send it to
the new owner or the show venue? Not. So. Fast.

What about the label?

Quilts, like paintings or other art forms, tell a story.
They are love-offerings, dimensional forms of artistic
expression that have told countless tales of friendship,
political activism, and even loss. Quilt historians can
offer information about the era in which a quilt has
been created based on the textiles used. Still, what
every historian, what every descendant who discovers
a wonderful quilt in an attic trunk, even the bidder on an
eBay auction, wishes for is a label on the quilt.

Quilt labels add value to every single quilt. Labels
can tell a story that adds so much to the artistry of the
piece. Labels can offer as little as the maker’s name,
date of completion, and the city where the quilt was
constructed. They can offer information about the
occasion for which the quilt was created: wedding,
birth, anniversary, and more. Every piece of information
the quilt artist includes adds meaning to, not only the
original recipient, but everyone who encounters the quilt
in the future.

I am a great “rescuer” of abandoned quilts: those
forlorn pieces that are found on eBay, finished and
unfinished. I always want to know more than the quilt
has to “tell” me. I have a mid-1800s signature quilt that
I want to know more about: was it given to a friend
who was moving away? Did the quilt commemorate
a milestone in the recipient’s life? If only I knew! I
wonder what I might find out if only the quilt had the
maker’s name, a city, a date, and even more on the label.

Making labels is as simple as writing directly on the quilt
back with a permanent textile marker or pen, to a more
elaborate printed label that has been stitched onto the

Labeling certainly does not have to be labor-intensive.
I’ve come to the conclusion that creating a unique label
is the equivalent to an “artist signature” on a painting:
an opportunity to express my own creative mark on a
finished creation.

I’ll show you a couple of very simple methods of
labeling a quilt as well as a few images of some of my
more “interesting” labels.

Labels may be hand or printer-generated. I use both
equally. Often, I will create the label and fuse it to the
quilt back prior to the quilting. When finished, the label
is securely embedded onto the back surface. When

adding the label to a finished quilt I fuse, then hand-
stitch, the label. Fusing is a means to stabilize the label,
but I always add stitching to assure that it will remain in
place in spite of use and probable washing (in the case
of a bed quilt).

Online sources for additional information about

Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for creative
label ideas, and includes links to more tutorials on label-
making. Here are a few:

Here is my general Etsy search for quilt labels, which
turned up 617 items!


Image2 A label will be created using another square
from the “Multidot & Delight” charmpack, by French Bull

Image3 These die-cut, printer paper-sized sheets of
freezer paper provide simple method for printing label
information onto cloth. A traditional roll of freezer paper
can be cut to size for this purpose. I prefer these as
they lay flat!

Image4 Fabric is positioned at the leading-edge of the
paper, and, in this case, centered.

One can heat-set a larger piece of cloth, then cut the
edges to the paper size.

Image5I use a section of kitchen parchment paper to
protect the surface of my iron when heat-setting the
fabric to the shiny surface of the freezer paper.

Image6Parchment is placed over freezer paper

Image7 Dry iron, at medium-setting, moves over the
surface to temporarily “set” the fabric onto the freezer

Image8Freezer paper clings to the shiny surface of the

Image9Run a line of tape across the leading edge of
the paper and fabric, which prevents the fabric from
getting lifted from the paper surface by the printer

Image10Position the tape with a very thin edge of the
tape on the cloth surface to prevent excessive fraying
during removal. Fold remainder over to the back of the
freezer paper.

Image11Tape edge.

Image12Computer screen shows the contents of the
quilt label, aligned in the center,

on a Word document.

Image13Selecting “Print” from my file.

Image14The fabric after passing through the printer.
Be sure to position the freezer paper so the fabric will be
on the proper side as it passes through the print rollers!

Image15After printing, the fabric is easily peeled from
the freezer paper surface.

Image16Gently remove the leading edge of the fabric
from the tape.

Image17Now the label is ready to be sized using a
ruler and rotary cutter.

Image18Creating a symmetrical size for the label.

Image19Using another piece of freezer paper that has
been cut approximately 1/8 inch smaller on each edge of
the label, the paper is pressed, shiny side down, to the
RIGHT SIDE of the label in preparation for appliquéing
the label to the quilt back (needle-turned appliqué).

Image20Using a coordinating thread color, the label
remains stabilized by the freezer paper, which provides
a nice edge to support the needle-turned appliqué.

Image21Working around the corner of the label.

Image22The needle “sweeps” the fabric edge under
the surface as the stitching secures the finished edge.

Image23Once the entire label is stitched into place the
freezer paper is easily peeled off the surface.

Image24The result? A fun, colorful label that adds so
much to the quilt (no matter what the size or occasion!).

Image25Another option: The hand-written label. I
love these Pentel Gel Roller Fabric Markers. These are

permanent and are really easy to use on most any type
of cloth.

Image26Writing on the label.

Image27One distinct advantage of the hand-written
label is the ability to add special design elements to it!

I am including 5 examples of labels I have created for
quilts using a wide variety of ideas.

There is no end to the creative possibilities for quilt

labelexample1This label graces the back of a quilt created
for one of my daughters using a note she wrote to me as
well as old photos transferred to fabric.

labelexample2This label has several thermofax images
printed onto the quilt back prior to quilting, as well as
hand-written information.

labelexample3This label incorporates some stitched
imagery that reflects a component of the quilt surface.

labelexample4Another example using screen-printing. The
label was created on a fabric “plaque” which was added
after the quilting was finished.

labelexample5This label uses some “leftovers” from the
quilt surface which were fused & stitched in place after
the quilting.

Finally, I would like to add that, in cases of quilts that
have sleeves and are destined for exhibitions, I add yet
another label that includes contact information: name,

address, contact number, email address, and website.
This may be removed at a later time, but while the quilt
is traveling it assures yet another layer of information.

Leslie Tucker Jenison is a quilt maker & mixed-media artist.

Since moving to San Antonio, Texas, she has incorporated
hand-dyed cloth and personal imagery into her work.

Leslie’s award-winning quilts have been juried into national
and international venues, including a first-place award in the
digital category in Quilts: A World of Beauty, 2012. She
has also participated in creating award-winning group quilts.

She serves on the board of the Quilt Alliance, is a
professional member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates,
Surface Design Association, Art Cloth Network, Texas
Federation of Fiber Artists. Leslie is one-half of Dinner
At Eight Artists, curating exhibitions and workshops with
partner-in-crime Jamie Fingal.

Leslie loves hanging out with her husband and three
daughters, and is also an avid reader, gardener, cook, and a
pilot. Life is good!

Leslie may be contacted at, or visit
her at 


Quilt Alliance Donations Matched Dollar-for-Dollar Until Year’s End!

Did you know that there are more than 30 million quilters across the globe?  It’s true!

Every day, in small towns and big cities, using tools as simple and time-honored as a needle and thread or as complex as latest computerized sewing machine, quilters all over the world are sewing quilts for the joy of the process and with the hope that the patchwork they create today might someday be numbered among the treasured antique quilts of tomorrow.  As quiltmakers, we realize that while future generations may remember us only faintly, if at all, our quilts will powerfully tell our stories.

We at the Quilt Alliance take the hopes and dreams of quiltmakers very seriously, making it our mission to document, preserve, and share the heritage of quilting by collecting the rich stories of quilts and their makers from every era.

To that end, the Quilt Alliance has some very exciting news for quilters and those interested in the art, history, creation, collection, and documentation of quilts!  Thanks to the generosity of an extraordinary anonymous foundation, all contributions made to the nonprofit Quilt Alliance between now and the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2013, will be matched up to $10,000.

That’s right, ALL donations made to Quilt Alliance from now until year-end will be matched dollar-for-dollar until we reach this $10,000 goal.

Here’s the best news for contributors like you: as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, all of the donated financial support to the Quilt Alliance is tax deductible!  That means that anything you donate during the last few weeks of 2012 can be deducted as a charity contribution when you file your taxes during the next few months!

Of course, we would love for quilters and  quilt lovers to donate a small fortune to help us reach our $10,000 goal but we’re aware that even our most enthusiastic supporters may not be able to make big donations.  That’s why this is such a special opportunity! Between now and year’s end, every donation of every size, does double-duty, going twice as far so that the Quilt Alliance may continue its very important work, linking the worlds of patchwork, scholarship, and public interest.

Please consider helping us in any way you can within the next couple of weeks — $5.00, $15.00, $25.00 or more!  As we head toward our target, anything you contribute will be doubly appreciated and every gesture of generosity will go twice as in helping the Quilt Alliance celebrate the history of quilting and insuring that quilts past, present, and future will be documented and preserved for the generations of tomorrow.

You can support Quilt Alliance using online forms or by printing and mailing our downloadable forms that are available by


Time is running out for you to essentially double your contribution and help to support the Quilt Alliance with a matching donation from our anonymous donor.  Please log into our website and help us continue our important work, today!

Money Photo Credit:

Quilt Alliance Kicks Off Our New Blog!


Welcome to the launch of the Quilt Alliance blog!!

Whether you make quilts or collect them, sleep under or study them, or just want to learn more about quilts, you have come to the right place.

Founded in 1993 by four women who cared passionately about giving quilts a voice, the Quilt Alliance documents, preserves and shares the stories of quilts and their makers.  Originally, the nonprofit was called the Alliance for American Quilts, but the name was changed this year, as the Alliance’s projects go global.


Feel free to drop in anytime to the Alliance’s unparalleled “virtual quilt museum” at You can browse more than 53,000 quilts from four centuries at the Quilt Index, an amazing archive run in partnership with Michigan State University Museum and MSU’s MATRIX.  Some of the quilts come from major museum collections, but many were photographed and analyzed by state documentation projects, hidden treasures rarely seen. Or go read one of the 1,000-plus interviews at the oral history project, Quilter’s S.O.S. – Save Our Stories, which are also archived at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center.


The reason for this blog is that the Quilt Alliance is so much more than these outstanding online resources. This blog will be a place for quilt-lovers to find out about new projects, live events, volunteer opportunities, quilt contests, and more. As well as a place to connect with other quilt nerds.

And about the website. You might think you know it pretty well, but I can tell you, there are some hidden gems lurking there. I know, because I hid some myself. When I joined the board of the Alliance in 2005, I created a virtual honoring quilt on the website as a personal tribute to my late mother, Jo Cox, who taught me to quilt. You can see it by CLICKING HERE

The thing that makes me truly proud: there is a second, simpler honoring quilt, and someone bought a block on it for me. My husband’s ex-wife gave it to me as a Christmas gift, and I did cry.

You can be a part of a virtual online quiltmaking memory quilt and help support Quilt Alliance in the process.  The Memory Quilt is a place for individuals and groups to honor the special people who have touched their lives and taught them to love quilts. Many beloved people die without their accomplishments and generosity being celebrated as they deserve to be. Here’s your chance to honor that special person in your life!  CLICK HERE for more information on how you can get involved in the  “Star Memory Quilt” or the “Chinese Coin Memory Quilt.”

Welcome!! Come back often. Bring friends. And tell us what you think.

Image  Meg Cox, President, Quilt Alliance