Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tombstone Label Tutorial - Ink jet Printing on Fabric

I like to get creative with my quilt labels and try to make something that ties in with the theme of my quilt.  In this case I thought it would be fun to make my label like a tombstone.  Usually I would just use a Pigma pen to write my information on the fabric that I am appliquing but in this case I wanted the writing to look carved with this faded, aged look.  I've also tried the iron-on transfer paper but I hate trying to applique through the stiffness it adds and I don't like the glossy look it gives the label.  Of course you could buy photo transfer fabric to print on but I didn't want just a plain white, I wanted something that would work a little better with my quilt.  So here it is, a quick tutorial on how I used an ink jet printer to create this label.

Here are my supplies:  a sheet of Quilter's freezer paper and a charm square of Sugar Cookie grunge from the Fruitcake collection by basic grey.

I started by using Microsoft Word to create the label. The tombstone shape is one of the provided Flowchart auto-shapes and I created my text with the free font Northwood High. Once I got the sizing and spacing just the way I wanted it I printed it out on regular paper so I'd have a guide.

Then I took my fabric and starched it until it was crisp.  Using my paper template to properly place my fabric in the printing area, I pressed it to the sheet of freezer paper.  Once I knew it was stuck on really well I just popped it in the printer and printed my word document.  I pressed it again with a really hot iron to heat set the ink and then peeled it off the freezer paper and appliqued it to my quilt.

I do have some concerns about how this will wash.  I probably wouldn't use this technique for a baby quilt or something that will get a lot of washing but for a seasonal wall hanging like this it should be fine.


  1. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I print my labels and so far they've held up really well through washings and all. I just tape my fabric to a piece of cardstock (that I reuse each time)and run it through the printer that way. If you tape down all of the edges it doesn't get stuck in the printer.

  3. Great tutorial - including the link to exactly which font you used. How have I not found your blog before today?! So glad I did.

  4. Hi Alice! I love your idea to match the label to your theme! And that Ghastlies quilt is genius!