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I’m picky when it comes to my quilt labels. I spend so much time on the quilt that the finishing touch of a label needs to be perfect.
While there are many ways to make quilt labels, I like to avoid cutting them by hand or using my horrible handwriting.
Making personalized fabric labels with the Cricut Maker using an image I create with my computer is thus one of my favorite ways to create a quilt label, and the time required is minimal!
Interested in making your own quilt labels? Here’s how to make fabric labels with a Cricut cutting machine!
Heat Transfer Vinyl vs. Printed Fabric Labels
There are two types of fabric quilt labels I make with my Cricut Maker:
1. Heat transfer vinyl (iron-on vinyl) labels made by cutting HTV with a Cricut and then ironing it onto a piece of cotton fabric. I then attach the cotton fabric by sewing (applique over the folded edges) or using fusible web on the back (ex: HeatnBond Lite.)
2. Printable fabric labels made by printing on fabric. I then use my Cricut to cut the shape of the printed label. While you can also trim by hand, a Cricut is especially useful for irregularly-shaped labels that would be difficult to cut perfectly yourself.
Overall, this is my favorite method because making a printable fabric label is quicker than weeding vinyl!
Iron-On Fabric for Cricut Quilt Labels
The most important part of making quilt labels with a Cricut is purchasing a good-quality, printable fabric sheet. The two types I frequently use are June Tailor fusible fabric sheets and Avery printable fabric sheets.
You can choose a sew-in fabric sheet if you want to sew in the label, or you can be like me and use an iron-on fabric sheet.
Also, fabric labels require an inkjet printer rather than a laser printer, so verify you have the correct type before proceeding!
How to Cut Quilt Labels with the Cricut Maker
Yes, I know I can easily cut a square fabric label by hand, but I’m using this simple shape to explain the process below. (Plus, this is the quilt I just finished for my grandmother’s 90th birthday, and I wanted a square label for it. Grab my free jigsaw puzzle quilt pattern, too, while you’re here!)
However, as I mentioned earlier, the Cricut makes itself invaluable for cutting quilt labels when the shape has many intricate or rounded edges that aren’t done justice by hand cutting.
Now, with that said, let’s start the tutorial!
1. Create a Quilt Label Image
The beauty of printing from your computer is that most shapes and sizes of quilt labels can be used as long as you can import the design file (.svg, .jpg, .png, etc.) into Cricut Design Space.
You can use your favorite graphics program (Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Canva, etc.) to create the label or make it within Cricut Design Space using simple shapes and text. Of course, you can search for quilt label designs online as well.
For inspiration, you can check June Tailor’s free quilt label designs. As these labels are .pdf files, though, they are trickier to export to Cricut Design Space without editing the image in a graphics program.
I created my quilt label for this tutorial using an Electric Quilt 8 software label template. (This is the quilting design software I use, and I LOVE it.) If you have EQ8, you can follow this helpful tutorial to learn how to customize their built-in labels. Just make sure to export the JPEG file instead of directly printing the label on fabric paper if you want to load it into Cricut Design Space.
2. Create a Print Then Cut Image in Cricut Design Space
After you’ve created your quilt label image, load it into Cricut Design Space.
You do this by choosing the “Upload” image on the left side of the canvas workspace. Then, click “Upload Image.” (Clicking on the screenshots should make them larger on small devices.)
Select “Browse” and locate the image on your computer, or drag and drop the file. Click “Continue” on the bottom right.
Next, select the image type that best describes your uploaded label, and click “Continue.” Don’t worry about background remover in the next screen; just click “Apply and Continue.”
Then, select “Print Then Cut Image” or else your design won’t work out. After doing so, click “Upload.”
Your quilt label will then show as Uploaded, and you can insert it into your canvas.
Once inside the canvas, resize the quilt label to the desired size. This label I made was 3.5″x3.5.”
Next, click “Make It.”
3. Print on Fusible Fabric Paper
There are two sides of printable, fusible fabric: one that feels like fabric, and the other that has a smooth plastic-feeling coating on it. The slippery side is the fusible side.
Thus, load your paper so the printer prints the label on the fabric-feeling side of the paper. Use the settings for normal quality ink usage and plain paper.
Now, as you’ve already clicked “Make It,” you should see the image as it will be printed and a black box around it. This box will not be a part of your finished label but is instead a way to help the Cricut know where to cut.
Click “Continue” if things look good. Then, “Send to Printer.”
If you are new to the Print and Cut process with a Cricut Maker, consider printing on a sheet of copy paper and practicing cutting with this before using the more expensive fusible paper.
Finally, click “Print” once you’ve verified the correct printer, and watch your fabric label print! Let the paper dry first before removing it from the printer.
Look at that cute quilt label!
4. Cut the Printable Fabric with the Cricut
Now, for the fun part: cutting the quilt label.
First, select the fabric type as “Fusible Fabric.”
Make sure to use the rotary blade and the pink fabric cutting mat.
Smooth the fabric paper onto the pink cutting mat. Use a brayer or the equivalent to smooth out any bubbles.
Load the fabric mat into the Cricut.
Then, press the Cricut start button, and watch the machine trim the label.
Finally, gently remove the label from the mat. Save the rest of the fabric paper for another use!
5. Iron On The Label
Next, place your quilt label where you want it. I like mine in the bottom corner on the backing (not the quilt top).
Make sure to orient the printed side facing up and the slippery, fusible side on the quilt.
Now, follow the exact directions for your specific printable fabric for the best results when pressing it onto the quilt.
In the case of my current June Tailor quilt label fabric sheets, this means using my iron on the medium-high cotton setting with NO steam. I also like using a pressing cloth because I’m a scaredy-cat.
When pressing, make sure to press rather than move the iron around over the label. About 15 seconds of pressure does the trick for me!
Let the label cool, check that the edges are secured, and admire your creation!
Making Quilt Labels with Other Cutting Machines
As a note, I also have a Brother ScanNCut, and you can make quilt labels with a ScanNCut using the same fabric sheets and printing. Instead of Design Space, though, use the ScanNCut interface itself or Canvas Workspace to direct your machine to cut the label out.
In general, this method of making Cricut quilt labels should work with most digital, smart fabric cutting machines.
While I’ve tried sublimation ink for fabric labels, this isn’t my favorite route as sublimation requires polyester fabric for ink bonding, and I like the look of 100% cotton quilt labels.
That’s just one of the reasons why I love using a Cricut Maker to cut quilt labels. Now, you, too, can fuse your personal touch on every quilt you’ve made!
Want to learn more quilting features of a Cricut? Check out how to make a quilt with the Cricut Maker!