Today’s Topic: Make a Transparent Overlay To Test Quilt Design
Welcome to the Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
Good Morning, Quilters!
As you begin to learn new motifs, it is important to see how they will work within your quilts. One of my favorite ways to audition motifs is using a transparent overlay made of vinyl. I recommend adding a border to the vinyl so you don’t accidentally draw off the edge and onto your quilt. (Don’t ask me how I know!)
Supplies for Transparent Overlay
It is easy to make your own with a few basic supplies:
- Lightweight Vinyl –Approximately 20 x 20 (I used 12 Gauge from JoAnn Fabrics)(Not an affiliate link)
- Cotton fabric- Four strips: 1-1/2 inches x 21″ (I use left over binding fabric)
- Wet Erase Pens or Dry Erase Pens
- Basic Sewing Supplies Including Sewing clips
- (Sewing clips work better on vinyl than pins)
How to Make a Transparent Overlay for Quilt Design
To create the overlay, fold the long cotton strips in half, wrong sides together and press.
Clip the fabric to the borders and zigzag in place. Use the standard zig-zag foot and cotton thread.
Add the words “Do Not Write” on one of the borders –and heed the advice! By keeping one side clean, you won’t risk getting ink on your quilt. (Don’t ask me…)
How to Use the Overlay
Both wet erase and dry erase markers write well on the vinyl and I use both.
The advantage of dry erase markers is the ability to try designs and wipe off readily with any cloth. It’s also the disadvantage–as your quilt can be the “any cloth” (Don’t ask…)
The wet erase markers come off only with a wet cloth or by running the overlay under water. A little safer, but if YOU are more careful than you know who…
Audition YOUR Motifs
As you build your repertoire of motifs, use the vinyl overlay to see how the motif will look on your quilt.
It is the best way to test the scale of a pattern.
Take your time to test more than one design, your first idea is rarely the best idea!
Low Tech is Often Best
I am really thrilled with this low tech way to audition quilt motifs and hope you will give it a try as well!
If you have leftover vinyl, you might like these folder/pouches. (I’ve made dozens–everyone loves them!)
What about YOU?
How do YOU audition quilt motifs?
Have YOU ever used clear vinyl sheets?
Do YOU have another method?
We’d LOVE to hear!
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of LoriKennedyQuilts 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. Thanks!You might also enjoy my motif books: Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 and More Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3