Sunday, June 07, 2009

Designing And Drawing Quilting Stencils

Thanks to Waun-a-Quilt prodding I started working on the quilting designs for the compass points.

I've been going over designs in my head for months.  I know what I wanted, I just didn't know how to put it into reality.  Plus, it just seemed like too much work to even try.  I've just been stalling.

For those that really struggle with quilting designs and drool over those that make it seem so easy, I understand.  I would die of envy everytime some celebrity would show off her quilting and go on about how easy it was.  Or she'd come in with a hoard of stencils that I can't find anywhere on the web.  I'm convinced there is a secret fraternal order of quilters who hoard it all.  

After several hours of drawing stuff out and nearly erasing the paper away I came up with these:
From Embroidery Designs
The easiest way to make a quilting stencil is to trace the area you want on tracing paper.  You can see the outline of the triangle in the left one.  I then start drawing different designs within that space.  I'm not worried about perfection, just the basic ideas.  You can see some sketches on the sides.

For this quilt I wanted some scrollwork designs.  I had gone online and did a search.  Most of what I found was for metal and nothing I even liked.  Which is why I hadn't done anything for months.  I was just lost.  I drew and erased back and forth.  I also knew I needed it to be simple.  
I then folded the traced area in half.  With a pencil I cleaned up the lines and then traced over them with a fine permanent marker.  I flipped over the paper and using the drawn side, traced over it giving me the complete design.  I rough cut the design out.

I got out a sheet of freezer paper and put the design under it.  I traced the design and carefully cut out the design.  I like freezer paper because you can press it to the fabric for easy placement and tracing.

From Embroidery Designs
To align the designs right, I'll draw a line down the center and carefully trace it.  If it gets too hard with the stops/starts I can always just go through the designs.  Tracing and freezer paper are wonderful tools.

Don't be afraid to do your own designs despite your skill level.  Sometimes the idea comes right away.  This one has taken months of thinking it out to finally work.  If you listen, your quilt will speak about how to quilt it.   


Gina said...

Love the stencils.

Try here

for free quilting motifs. Just scroll down the page a bit to find the list. there's some great ones there.

love and hugs Gina xxx