Today’s Topic: Designing Quilts with Stencils
Welcome to Weekseventeen of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
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Good Morning, Quilters!
This will be the only post for the quilt a long this week as I am “on holiday”-shelling and soaking up Vitamin D on Sanibel Island, Florida. This trip was scheduled for March…and you know how that turned out!
This week, we will talk about using quilt stencils and where to buy them. We won’t use the stencils until the end of October.
While you wait…
Working in Series
As you’ve worked through the quilt projects in this quilt-a-long, have YOU ever said “I wish I’d used a different thread or a different motif?” Or maybe you said–“would’nt this be cool on a different fabric? Or bigger?
This is called working in series. I mentioned it last week, but this week, I would like you to consider it more. Which of your quilts would you like to do again in a slightly different way?
Try your new ideas this week. And one might lead to another and pretty soon you’ll have a collection or series! A series is a way to work an idea and really go in depth in a project. The fat quarter size quilt is a perfect opportunity to work out ideas without spending too much time or resources.
There are many companies that offer stencils for quilting. Most of my plastic stencils are from:
The Golden Rule of Stencil Buying
Don’t buy the stencil—If you can learn to doodle the motif in less time than it would take to mark the quilt and remove the markings.
(Even if it takes more time to learn by doodling you might not want to buy the stencil -because doodling is more enjoyable than marking and removing markings.)
In other words, I would not recommend buying a stencil for an allover flower motif or a stencil for stippling.
I think it is a better use of time to doodle the motif to develop the muscle memory for it-than to use a stencil. The added benefit is you only need to learn the motif once, whereas you would have to mark every quilt forever.
Which Stencils to Buy
There are many stencil options! It is worth buying grid stencils. Grids are surprisingly challenging to mark with a ruler or yardstick. Check out the Grid Stencil Page
I occasionally purchase a stencil for a motif that I think I will use multiple times and I can’t easily draw or trace.
For example, I love this birds in a nest stencil. The stencils are grouped by themes which is really helpful.
I have also used whole cloth stencils. Mark and quilt! They’re a fun way to learn to follow a line.
This is called Geranium.
While I’m away sipping margaritas by the seaside–I don’t want YOU malingering….
Keep doodling and quilting.
Order a few stencils–don’t go crazy buying–just a few. If you can only buy one–I’d recommend a grid and one fun novelty (there’s no such thing in quilting as only one.)
Work in series-try YOUR ideas on making one of the quilts we’ve made so far.
And have fun!
Slip off your shoes, sip a margarita and doodle Sunshine!
Seeking Seashells on the Seaside,
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thank you!
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