Back in February, I wrote an article regarding the decision to mark or not to mark a quilt before quilting. At that time, I shared three ways that I “mark” quilts without leaving any markings. One of those ways involves copying a design onto tracing paper and then quilting right through the paper. This week, I’d like to share a new version of this technique that I discovered while working on my quilt “Flourish on the Vine”.
The motifs in the middle of the vertical borders include a fairly large section of dark green fabric. With the surrounding areas being heavily quilted, I needed to quilt the green area with equal density – but how?
I decided upon a fairly traditional motif of overlapping circles known as “orange peel”. And these circles, I concluded, would be a mere half-inch in diameter!
Now how was I going to get these circles marked on my quilt? I debated my options, but didn’t like any idea that involved actually tracing or drawing these circles – that would take forever! Since I had produced them on my computer using CorelDraw software, wouldn’t it be great if I could just print them onto tracing paper?
Enter Simple Foundations Translucent Vellum Paper from C&T Publishing. Introduced as a product for paper piecing, it is see-through, it is 8 1/2 x 11″ and can be used in a printer, and it tears away easily after stitching. Perfect! I decided to give it a try.
I printed my half-inch orange peels onto a sheet of this foundation paper, laid the paper over the green fabric, and traced the outline of that section. By cutting out the shape formed by the green fabric first, I could ensure that my quilting stitches wouldn’t inadvertently cross over onto the nearby gold fabric.
I pinned the paper in place and quilted the orange peels right through the paper.
Removing the paper was easy – especially with these two tips. One: run a blunt edge tool over the line of stitching first. I use my Easy Edge Appliqué Tool or you could also try That Purple Thang. This loosens the paper from the stitching and helps lift it off the surface of the quilt. Second: wrap a piece of masking tape around your index paper, sticky side out. This will help pick up any remaining little bits of paper tucked under the quilting thread.
Stacey Day says
This is a great technique! I am always scared to start the first stitches, thank you for sharing! I saw Flourish on the Vine at the CQA Show, congratulations!!! It was so stunning! We could not believe how small your stipple was! I am looking forward to going through your blog and your new posts!
Sounds great, Jacqui! Thanks for the tip about the tracing paper and good luck with your machine quilting projects.
Jacqui VMS says
I am enjoying reading your articles on machine quilting. I have used many of these techniques too and you really do need different methods for different quilts :-). Interesting to read about the vellum paper. I’m working off and on on the Dear Jane quilt and bought a pad of tracing paper at the dollar store. I cut the paper to size for my printer and print the paper piecing patterns right onto the paper using my ink jet printer. Works great and sure is cheaper than buying these specialty papers. I am going to try this with a machine quilting project as well and see if it tears off easily after. I am almost ready to set up my sewing room and do a few weeks worth of machine quilting to catch up on UFO’s!! Thanks again for your inspiration. Jacqui
Thanks Deborah! I have just put the quilt into the washing machine to remove the water-soluble blue marker and cut-away trapunto basting thread, so next week I’ll probably have an article about washing and blocking quilts.
I’m always a little (okay, a lot) nervous about washing my quilts, so I won’t breathe easy until it comes out looking okay!
This is beautiful. I’m learning so much from your website. Thank you for sharing these techniques.