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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Marking a complex shape for hand quilting

Kathi here from Design Originals by KC.. my blog will be linked at the end of this post if you choose to visit me :)

Today I wanted to share what I have learned recently marking a complex shape for hand quilting...

You see I had this feather but wanted both ends pointed instead of one blunt feather tip and one sharp point.  So I turned the template at the end of the marking process to change the intended shape to my own custom shape!

I used graphite in my Fons & Porter pen pictured on the right and marked all 49 feathers on this quilt top sashings...
about the size of a queen throw :)
That took a day to mark but are continuous line feathers so they went pretty fast to stitch into place :)  Not too difficult right???

But the blocks are dark and multicolored on this top... how to mark them... I tried all colors of lead and colored pencils even!!!  But this design...
was rediculously intense to mark... again continuous line stencil so not hard to stitch... but how to get it on the blocks in a way that I can remove the marks easily when finished to have a safe and clean quilt for my honey when finished... hmmm... along came a few vids I watched on Youtube... I am not linking them because their reality isn't my reality! lol

Here is the deal... I had the stencil and gathered supplies...
Pounce pads come in white powder, blue, and pink... other colors may be available in other parts... but locally that is all I could find... and by local I bought my pounce pad via Walmart shipped site to store as I couldn't find one locally! lol

I added regular school chalk and baby powder with zinc (medicated ~ check the ingredients) to my marking supplies before I started playing with the design... Above you will see I marked the whole block... well not so much... it wears off and bounces off as you stitch... adding some baby powder helps.. but my big trick is...

SCRUB the pounce pad into the stencil... when you first get your pounce it will be empty.  Fill it with some of the powder (chalk and cornstarch mixture) and "charge it".  You charge simply by banging the pad in the box face down on your hand or a table to settle the powder into the pad.  Then you SWIPE it across is what the videos showed.. and it's suggested use... however... the lines above only came by SCRUBBING the powder into the slots of the stencil.  Then I got the nice marks you see above..

I took a close up of the stitching with reduced visibility of the lines to show you...
fading lines as I stitch...
Completed block :)
The stitches are faint right now but this fun pattern WILL show up once washed... and all the blocks will be getting this same design... here is another style block I am working on now... it is my 3rd block to use this pounce pad on...
I have learned to only mark 1/4 of the swirl at a time... so this plume is where I start... then I mark the bottom right.. then the top right.. and finally the top left to call it done!  Yippee :)  Just 27 left to do!

In closing I would like to say I am glad I learned how to scrub with a pounce pad and use it for my purposes... if you have a pounce pad or are thinking of getting one they aren't too expensive and you can always buy the powder in colors via refill form if you find you like it.

I quilt without a hoop.  I think a hoop would make this process harder as I have a hoop and tried it... but your hands rub more on the chalk design you have yet to quilt than how I can position the quilt without a hoop.  This may work VERY well on a frame system however as it doesn't move at all really!

Let me know what you think!  Have you used a pounce pad before... are you likely to try after this review???

Wanna visit my blog for more info?  Check out this blog post and peruse from there...

Wanna contact me privately?? Email me here or this info is in my signature below!

Any comments left here... and we LOVE comments!!!  will be answered here so check back for my reply :)

Have a blessed Thursday!


  1. I have the pounce pad and chalk but haven't tried it yet. Maybe on my next quilt.

    1. I think it takes a special project to NEED the pounce pad for marking... hope my tips help when you do use it :) Kathi

  2. Interesting, I've yet to actually lay out a pattern to follow, I usually do clamshell or going along as it seems right to hold it all together. I totally love the work you go to achieve this, beautiful!

    1. I want to do clamshell on a project but one hasn't spoken to me yet for that pattern! Looking forward to it though :) My honey picked this pattern... the quilt is for him :) Glad you like my stitches! Kathi

  3. So lovely! :)
    Greetings from Finland!
    Hugs, Ulla

    1. Glad you like it Ulla! I am glad our blog is international.. hope my tips help you if you use this type of marking product :) Happy stitching from Florida's east coast USA! Kathi

  4. Very informative. I've never used a pounce pad and I prefer to use a hoop when I hand quilt. Your work is lovely.

    1. Thank you... I wish I could use a hoop for my work! I started very young doing handwork and no one taught me to use a hoop so I learned my own stitching method that stabilizes the tension as I quilt or sew... it works for me but I don't recommend it! :) Kathi

  5. Thank you for the clear explanation. I have never used a pounce pad to mark a quilt. It's nice to have another option to mark a quilt.

    1. That is EXACTLY how I feel... I am using it now.. don't know that I will choose a quilt of these kind of prints in the future... but you never know what will come across your desk.. a nice tool to have in my arsenal so to speak! lol Kathi

  6. Great information! I have had the pounce for.......quite a while and have never used it. I need to get it out. Thanks


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