My favorite quilt marking method

You all have seen plenty of my quilting.  I love to free hand, fmq. 

Speaking of, I’m going to link you to the blog …and sew on where she has a link to a really good video about the three things quilters should stop doing.  Okay, y’all.  Some of them are my big beliefs as well, like not focusing on the four square inches that are under the needle, and instead focusing on the whole quilt.

I think you’ll like the video by Angela Walters.  I’ve recently bought her book and really enjoy it and use it to help pick free hand patterns.  After you’ve watched the video, be sure to come back and see my marking technique for those quilts where free hand just won’t do.

I’m quilting my Civil War stars quilt. 


And, I’m out to the border.  Incidentally, if you missed Barbara Brackman’s post on Foulard prints, this is a foulard print.  I wanted to quilt Baptist Fans in the border, but I worried that I would not be exact enough to make me happy.  I wanted to mark the fans, but I didn’t want to take the time to mark them on the quilt.  So, I went to my favorite marking method for repeating patterns.  It’s much quicker than tracing a lot of repeats. 

I cut a strip of plain white paper that is as wide as the border, not including the seam allowance for the binding, and three feet long.  I used my compass to draw the outer arcs for the Baptist Fans. 


I reduced the distance of the compass by one inch for each repeat, and repeated the arcs to fill them in.


I cut regular gift wrap sheets of tissue paper into strips the width of the border, and stacked them up neatly (more neatly than this picture would imply) and pinned all the layers together to prevent shifting.  Then, with no thread in the machine, I “sewed” along all the lines letting the machine’s needle perforate all the layers of paper.  That gave me lots of “copies” of the pattern on paper that is easy to tear, but sturdy enough to stand up to me manhandling it under the sewing machine needle. 


I pinned the strip of tissue to the quilt, using straight pins…I’m not bothered if I get stuck, but if it’s a concern for you, you can use your basting safety pins.  And, I sew along all the dotted lines.  You don’t want to pin paper over the whole quilt.  It won’t stand up to that.  If you’re using full sheets of paper, I can successfully quilt that much space before the paper starts to disintegrate from all the twisting and turning.


Peel off the tissue paper and you have perfect Baptist Fans.


Okay, so you probably noticed that there was no measuring along the length of the quilt, and no estimate of the number of repeats along the border.  I am a true slacker.  To avoid that extra work, I started at both ends, and let the repeats end where they would in the middle.  On the long sides, they touch.  On the shorter sides, I’ll fill in.


I do believe in taking the easy route.

I pinned in the full length of one side of the border, working out where the patterns meet-up using the paper copies and cutting away any extra tissue so I got a good view of what I was quilting.  You don’t want your paper stacked up because you will invariably follow the line you don’t want to follow.  I started at one end and worked my way to the other.  You could stop in the middle, where the direction changes, if that directional change is challenging, and then start again at the other end.  I pinned a whole side down, quilted it, pulled the paper, then pinned down another side.

Don’t wait to pull your paper, unless you’re willing to pick it up off the floor.  As you continue to add pieces of paper, that original piece will shred, if left attached to the quilt, and the little bits will drop to the floor.  So, I quilt through whatever size sheet of tissue I’m using as a pattern, pull the tissue off, and then attach the next sheet of tissue.

Ask me how I learned that one.

Sydney had to be at school this morning at 7am, in a black evening dress.

Y’all, it’s like some kind of a movie.  Who goes around at 7am in an evening dress?

Choirs do.  And, they really all looked so nice, in the partial dark, ladies in gowns, gentlemen in tuxes. 

Too bad they’re all high school students in real life.

Have a great Tuesday.  Lane


Lakegaldonna said...

Thanks for the detailed instructions Lane. I might just try that sometime!

lw said...

Great detailed instructions, can't wait to try it out.

Thank you so much for that link to the three things quilters shouldn't do. I need to play that for myself once a week until it sinks in.

Sydney's evening wear at school reminds me of a friend, Mitch Fleming, who once picked me (and six of my girlfriends) up for school in a limousine his dad had repaired (and loaned to Mitch to test drive.) Imagine the faces at Montclair High School when a limo drove up and Mitch, in borrowed livery, opened the door as seven girls in jeans, clutching brown bag lunches poured out.

Marei said...

I know you've talked about the tissue paper "pattern" before but I must be awake this time because it all makes sense to me now. Thanks for that. I've got just to project to try this out on.

Gisela Suski said...

I love this idea.