How Stencils Can Step Up Your Quilting Game


Usually, the word ‘stencil’ brings to mind lettering stencils and scrapbooking but that is not its only application. In the realm of quilting, a stencil can be used to trace a design on a quilting material before quilting. These stencils have grooves forming patterns that show where the fabric must be sewn. While freestyle quilting is simple, stenciled designs are more elaborate an serve as a great way to easily take quilting to the next level. Stencils can be used to fill negative space, create a complex border, add focal pieces or even cover the entire quilt with design. After the patterns are traced, they are stitched to form depressions by hand or using the quilting needle in a sewing machine.

To use a stencil, the basic supplies of quilting are needed along with the stencil and a non-permanent marking tool.. Once the top of the quilt has been finished, the top of the quilt, batting, and backing should be basted together. The stencil is placed at the center of the quilt and traced. Try to use a design that compliments the theme of the quilt and is not overly large or too small. If more than one design is being used, the stencil is repositioned and marked again. Use marking tools that will fade away eventually and that stand out clearly against the fabric of the quilt. Remember, it is better to take time to position the stencil initially than to realize a mistake at the very end.

The quilter can also use carbon paper, tailor’s chalk or even cellophane to transfer the design from the stencil to the pieced top. By using a stencil, not only will the quilter get consistently equal designs throughout the quilt, but it will be easier to reproduce the design on other quilts and will lend the finished quilt a more professional finishing.

Read also – The Best Quilting Patterns Are The Ones You Make

Picking the Best Design For Your New Quilt

new design

There is a plethora of information available online about quilting and the tools an skills required. A quilt is usually a scrappy fusion, made from sewing hundreds and thousands of fabrics and colors to form a single complex picture. To bring more depth to the fabric, patterns are stitched over the top piece of the quilt. These patterns can range from a single central design to a meandering, repetitive design that covers the entire quilt or even several different designs. This helps the quilt retain its shape and withstand laundering over time. While creating a design is rarely costly, it does gives great savings in terms of use and longevity. A simple and dense design is best because of a highly patterned top will not allow a viewer to appreciate the quilting design fully.

The choice of quilting depends entire on the expression a quilter may want to convey with the piece. They should be a statement of personal aesthetic taste. There is no wrong design in quilting; however, it bears keeping in mind that some designs are more appropriately suited to some quilts more than others. There are a couple of guidelines on how to quilt a stenciled design on to a pieced top. While it may take time to find the perfect design, many free and premium images are available in stores an online for the vid quilter to use.

A quilter shouldn’t feel limited by the readymade stencils available in the market. Custom stencils can always be created by giving the pattern to a professional stencil maker and at home. Be innovative and permit individual imagination to take the reins. Experiment with different design concepts. Looking through quilting pages can serve as an inspiration to what the finished quilt could potentially look like. These ideas will culminate into a quilt that people will admire for years to come.

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