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Monday, September 30, 2013

Marking for Hand Quilting

I am in the process of marking a quilt top that my hand quilting class will use in a few weeks for practicing.  I thought I might share a few pictures of how I work.

First, here is a glimpse of the quilt top; it is based on an Amish Center Diamond pattern.

unmarked top

Today I created this design for the grey triangles that square off the quilt above (click to enlarge):


I did not design the circle in the top point.  That is from a book by Linda Macho called “Quilting Patterns.”  I enlarged the design and have used it in several places on the quilt.  I added the trailing vines and curls, though. 

First, I taped the circular design onto a piece freezer paper cut the same size as the triangles on the quilt.  Then I sketched out the trailing vines and curls until I achieved the look I wanted.  Finally, I went over the design with a black Sharpie marker.

I taped the design to my LIGHT TABLE in my kitchen.  This is a dual-purpose table; it also serves as our kitchen table!  The top is glass.  Here is how I turn it into a light table; it is very easy and everything I need is in my home. 

Light table 1

The table sits where it always sits… in my bay window.  There is an electrical outlet directly behind the table that you can’t see in this picture.  I grab a little lamp from my bedroom and remove the shade.  I put a plastic mixing bowl upside down underneath the middle portion of the table.  I set the lamp in top of it to raise it closer to the glass top.  Then, I place the pattern on the glass top and tape it down in a few places.  I lay the quilt top over the pattern and position it where it needs to be.  I flip on the light and then begin tracing.  It even works through black fabric!

Light table 2

So there you are… my tip for the day!  Now go mark something!

Please show us what YOU are quilting on your blog! 

The Celebrate Hand Quilting Fall 2013 Blog Hop begins on October 1st. 

Hope to see you there!


  1. This is what is currently in my hoop, while I work on the tropical rainbow top that will not be done by tonight in time for the contest--blog coming on that tomorrow

  2. You are a genious!! I own two light boxes and never thought to do something like this. Love it.

  3. I have a little glass top coffee table that would work - thanks for the tip! What kind of pen are you using?

  4. Oh boy - I'm attending your class with CAMEO in a couple weeks - did I just get a sneak peek of what we'll be doing!?!? I've been doing a lot of hand-piecing lately, and will enjoy the chance to get back to some hand-quilting.

    1. Sarah, why yes, you did!!! Looking forward to meeting you!

  5. I love this idea! I've been taping the pattern pieces to our window and drawing on sunny days. I think I can make our patio table the winter we store it in the basement. I'm so glad to have found this blog....many great ideas!


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