Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quilting Tutorial: Marking Difficult Fabrics–Part 1

When I showed the quilt I am finishing for Jessica’s room I had questions about how I was going to mark the sections I had yet to do.

They were very legitimate questions as the background fabric is one of those that is hard to see marks on.

Add to that the fact that there is already a layer of wool batting behind the fabric because most of the quilt has already been quilted.


These are my 2 favorite things for marking quilting lines.

The Chalkoner has a wheel at the bottom and it dispenses a very fine line of chalk. I only use the white powder as the colors were difficult to impossible to remove.

I have had mine “forever” and had to do a Google search to find a source if you are interested in this.

It can be refilled. I have never used up the chalk in my original one.

I also use the Clover tailor’s chalk that you can get here.

You may have other favorite marking devices but these work better than anything else I have tried and I probably have tried them all!


I made a pattern for my quilting lines from a piece of heavy template plastic. I laid this on one section of the quilt and marked all the horizontal quilting curved lines.

I used the Chalkoner. By the time I finished quilting you could no longer see any of the marking. I sometimes have to remark some areas.


I then did the same thing for the vertical curves. It is not easy to see the quilting on the pictures of this quilt. To me that is not a big deal. The quilting design enhances the design of the quilt. To me that is what quilting should do, not shout so loud it overpowers what you have created with your piecing.

Stay tuned and tomorrow I will share with you the way I quilted the triangle sections on the edges of this quilt.

In case you haven’t seen the entire quilt I’m adding a photo of it.



Judith Glover said...

Could you use a flexible curve used for garment sewing instead of the plastic template?

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

Reasons why I wouldn't use a flexible curve:
1. It would be hard to keep the shape over a period of time.
2. I needed two different curves.
3. It was too wide.
4. It would be much harder to mark around with it's height.
The template is permanent and I can use it now or ten years from now!
But thanks for thinking outswide the box!

Marie Costa said...

I agree with you about the quilting. Sometimes heavy quilting is desirable because it becomes a design element in itself. For tops that have stunning piecing, I think too much thread work ruins the effect.