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

Quick And Easy Quilting Tips And Tricks

Practice makes perfect is the age-old adage. But what if you didn’t have the time to practice? If you are looking for ways to take your quilting game to the next level, why not try some of these simple tricks that not only save time but will also help you improve your accuracy and finishing.

The primary rule of quick quilting is to have all your pieces cut ahead of time. If a project calls for a more intricate piece, that can be cut at the beginning of the project an kept separately. Generally speaking, fabric can be cut into more accommodating shapes like squares that can later be trimmed. They can also be stacked according to size, shape or color to make it easier to pick out the pieces you need for the quilt.

A quilter is only as good as their machines, so remember to take good care of the sewing machine by servicing it regularly. This can be as simple as running the machine with a few drops of oil or as complex as taking it apart and giving it a deep clean, though it is recommended that the machine is sent to the company for servicing yearly rather than taking it apart at home.

One of the easiest ways to save time is to prewind your bobbins with neutral color thread. If you are working exclusively on a single colour, then this step just got easier. Not only does this save time winding bobbins before each quilting session, it is especially helpful when you are attending a class or taking your quilt along with you on a journey.

Lastly, when stitching, make sure that to leave a seam allowance. This prevents the cloth from ripping when pulled. You can also opt to stitch the pieces together using a chain piecing method (feeding fabric pieces for stitching without a break) as this saves thread and the time taken to stop and start each time.

Read also – Picking the Best Design For Your New Quilt

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