How To Gift A Quilt

You've spent hours planning a design, shopping for pretty fabrics, piecing, pressing, seam ripping, piecing again, more pressing, basting, quilting and binding, and now it's finally time to gift your quilt to its lucky recipient - you're such a generous soul, you know that right.

Will they know how to care for their new quilt properly? Will they use it, or will they store it in a cupboard for safe keeping? Will they appreciate the hours, love and care that went into making their new quilt?

Today I have some ideas for How To Gift A Quilt and 5 Important Things To Include With Your Quilt:

Gifting a quilt is not only generous but it's a gift that keeps on giving. Quilts we make today will be handed down from generation to generation - in essence, today you're sewing the next wave of antique quilts. Pretty cool huh?

Madeline has been around quilts all her life, so when I gift the wedding quilt I'm working on, I know it's in good hands. She knows how to care for a quilt, how to wash/spot clean and air a quilt and she won't be scared to use it, every single day - Michael might need a crash course though ;)

It's important to give your recipient as much information as you can about their new quilt, so it lives a long and happy life creating warmth and comfort as it was intended.

Here's 5 Important Things You Should Include With Your Quilt:

Add A Quilt Label:

Adding a label to your quilt personalises your gift and in years to come it will tell your quilts story to other generations. Make sure you include who the quilt was gifted to, the date it was gifted and don't forget to add the maker (that would be you, clever quilter). You can also add other details like what the quilt was gifted for example wedding, birth, anniversary etc., plus the pattern name or maybe the fabric line.

Your label can be as detailed or as simple as you like and there are lots of ways to add a label:

  • Embroider a label by hand or use the embroidery stitches on your sewing machine. Some machines have alphabet stitches and they make pretty labels that are quick and easy. I used my Brother VQ3000 for the label above and each line isn't perfectly centred, but it's pretty good.
  • Check out your local quilt shop or look online for readymade labels that you can write on with a permanent marker. You can find some really pretty ones and even yardage of quilt labels.
  • Print a label using your home computer - it's easier than you think. Simply bond a stabiliser to the back of your fabric (heat and bond or freezer paper) and cut to your printing size (A4), place in the printer tray so it prints on the fabric side, and press print. I set my printer to high resolution for fabric printing to obtain clear crisp printing. You can also purchase some inkjet fabric sheets if you're not confident in making your own.
  • Sew one of your practice blocks into the quilt backing to act as a quilt label - you can stitch or write on the block with a permanent marker. Also have a look at signature blocks, they are quick to sew, and they include a space for you to write in. 
  • Look for some custom-made woven labels online or on Etsy. You can design your very own unique labels which you can add to all your quilting projects. 
  • Add your details to the quilt binding. There's a great tutorial HERE which tells you how to do it and it looks fantastic!.
  • And lastly, use the good old permanent marker if time is short. I add corner hangers to my mini quilts, and I write the quilt name and date on these. Its quick, its easy and its done! A scrap of fabric sewn into a corner works just as well if you're not adding hangers.

It really doesn't matter how you label it, but it's important that you do label your quilt. It's a personal touch that records the details of your quilt for future generations.

Quilt Explanation Card:

If you give the lucky recipient all the information regarding their new quilt, they'll be more inclined to use it rather than store if for safe keeping. A simple "I knew these fabrics would match your master bedroom perfectly..." will have them throwing it on their bed and snuggling under it on a cold winter's night.

Let them know why you chose the fabrics or the pattern for them, where you imagined they would use the quilt and give them permission to use it - let them know that their newborn can dribble all over it, its washable after all.

Also include details such as when you started and finished the quilt, details on the batting or any special fabrics you may have included plus how it was quilted - people like these details!

To make it easy for you I have a free Quilt Explanation Card for you to download and fill in to include with your quilt. Simply click on the photo to download and print:

Arm your recipient with all the information so they understand their new quilts unique qualities and appreciate the amount of work that went into sewing this gorgeous creation.

Quilt Care Card:

Quilts do need the occasional wash or spot clean and its best if your recipient is prepared for the process, so the quilt remains in pristine condition for many years to come.

A Quilt Care Card can give the recipient all the information for washing, drying, storing and using their new quilt. You can also add details for airing and spot cleaning the quilt between washes, and it's a good idea to include tips on folding especially if they are displaying it on a quilt ladder or leaving it folded at the end of their bed.

If you prefer a particular brand of soap powder then include a sample in a zip lock bag with the brand name written on, so they are ready for the quilts first few washes.

To make it easy for you I have a basic Quilt Care Card for you to download, complete and include with the quilt. Simply click on the photo to download and print:

If you want to give them more information about Quilt Care then email them a link to this blogpost from Quilt Dom which gives you lots of information for the perfect wash.

Colour Catchers:

I always include a box of colour catchers with every quilt I gift. Quilters know how amazing these catchers are, but non quilters may not be aware of their existence and they need to include these when washing their quilts to avoid any dye bleeds - even if the fabrics have been prewashed.

By including a box with the quilt they're prepared for the quilts first wash and they also know what to look for at the supermarket - they can be difficult to source sometimes. Make sure you include the number of catchers you prefer to use when you wash a quilt, on the Quilt Care Card.

Repair Kit:

I like to include a quilt repair kit when I gift a quilt in case of emergencies. These quilts are intended to be used and loved well, so there will be wear and tear and a few accidents along the way. 

In a zip lock bag include 2" or 3" squares of the fabric scraps from the quilt. This is useful for repairs but it's also helpful for them when shopping for cushions or other décor items to co-ordinate with their new quilt. 

Also include a small square of lightweight fusible interfacing which can be used to repair small tears quickly and easily. 

If you've embellished your quilt with buttons, lace, ric rac or ribbon, it's a good idea to include extras of these in the repair kit as well in case replacements are needed. 

I also like to include a length of the quilting thread I used - loose threads happen and if the quilting unravels it can be repaired easily using the same thread.

You can also email them the link to this blogpost from Darcy Quilts which has lots of tips and tricks for all sorts of quilt repairs. 

So that's my suggestions on How to Gift A Quilt. I hope this information helps your recipient love, use, wash and appreciate what a special gift you have carefully crafted just for them, and may your quilts story live on for many generations to come.

Happy quilting :)
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  1. I've gifted quilts for 40+ years & its the first time I've seen all these helpful tips on the best way to gift a quilt to someone. I especially love the idea of including all the quilt label details on the binding (with four sides, lots of details can be included). Thanks so much for taking the time to put all this together! Deb E / CA

    1. Oh same Deb! I saw that post on labelling the binding and loved it, especially now I've practiced using the lettering stitches on my machine - it's such a clever way to personalise a quilt :)

  2. I really enjoyed and appreciate each of the 5 things to included with a gift quilt. Your list is comprehensive and well beyond what I have thought of previously. Be assured, I am including dye catchers with the quilt I am now finishing for a niece. Thank you for compiling your ideas and sharing!

    1. Thank you Camille, I'm so glad you found the post useful. Of course you can pick and choose what to include with your gift, but I think colour catchers are a must even if the fabrics have been prewashed! I hope your niece enjoys her new quilt :)

  3. Thank you for all this information, I never thought of adding details like the "Quilt care card", I find it very useful. This is really in time for me, I just finished a quilt which I am going to gift this weekend to a wedding and I am going to add the care instructions. All the best, Sanda :)

    1. Perfect timing Sanda, I hope they find the Quilt Care Card useful :) I hope the happy couple have a wonderful day and enjoy their new quilt for many years. :)

  4. this was a great blog which so many helpful hints. I have always included colour catchers but I never thought of a label nor a history of the making of the quilt.

    1. I'm so glad the blog post was helpful :) I'm terrible at adding labels but I'm forcing myself to do it. It's the little things that make it special, right? :)

  5. I've been merrily making quilts and tossing them at the recipients with an airy, "Don't worry, it's meant to be used and washed, it's a baby quilt." But these ideas add so much!

    I've never liked the look of quilt labels, they just rub me up the wrong way for some reason, so I use an indelible pen on the back. But the quilt I'm currently finishing for my partner has black backing and sashing, so I'll have to embroider the details anyway, and the embroidered binding idea really grabbed me. I hand sew, so I reckon it'll be easier to embroider it after the binding is on the quilt. I wish I'd heard of this before labelling my wheelchair quilt, as the pen on flannel looks a bit iffy, but I may end up covering that bit with velcro to attach it to the wheelchair.

    Also I am now seeing the point of cards with info, and I'll put it on a proper greetings card so they're less likely to lose it. A box of colour catchers and a selection of scraps and a bit of thread will also go with.

    1. I'm so glad the tips are helpful. I really like the embroidery on the bindings as well - it's neat and such a clever idea. :)

  6. This post is so helpful! I made a quilt label, but I wanted to include a little more info with my gift including my hopes that it will be used and not tucked away. The quilt explanation card is a tactful way to say what I wanted to say. Thank you!

    1. I'm thrilled they are useful for you. The last thing we want is for them not to be used! I hope they appreciate you're lovely gift :)

  7. This post is so helpful! I made a quilt label, but I was looking for a tactful way to say I hoped my quilt would be used and not tucked away for later. Thank you for such a great idea!


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