Quilting - Marking Quilting Patterns


  • Press quilt top and change any correctable irregularities. Choose a marking tool which makes a thin accurate line, and pre-test removability on quilt fabric scraps.
  • Reduce or enlarge the designs, using a copy machine, to fit any size border or block.
  • Trace designs onto light colored fabric using a light box or glass top table with light source. If lines on the paper are difficult to see, darken the lines using a permanent pen.
  • Marking tool options include: water-soluble and air-erasable markers, Sewline marking pencils, white dressmaker's pencil, chalk pencils, chalk rolling markers, and slivers of hardened soap. Try silver and yellow Berol® pencils on dark fabrics and a No. 2 pencil sparingly on light fabric. The same project may need several types of markers.
  • Punch holes along the design outlines. Lay paper on top of dark fabric and sprinkle powdered chalk or cornstarch on the paper. Carefully lift the paper. Connect the dots using a marking pencil of your choice.
  • Make plastic stencils using stencil making tools of your choice. These include: freezer-paper cutouts, stencils, templates, household items such as cookie cutters, and acrylic rulers.
  • After marking quilting designs of choice, do not press quilt top; markings could be set permanently.
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Using quilt marking tools
Frances - you can use the appropriate marking tool to place the design you wish on your quilt top. You may use a template (i.e. stencil) to insure that the design is regular, or you may free-hand a design. Essentially, you are "writing" on the quilt top where you want to sew. You are simply using water soluble or other markers that are easily removed from fabric to transfer the design to the fabric. If you are unsure if the marking tool will come off the fabric after sewing, try it on a sample piece of fabric before using it on your quilt top.


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