I love the process of quilting. And I really like complicated quilting designs. How ever I am not comfortable enough in my quilting skills to do some of it free hand. And I STRONGLY dislike marking quilts. I was stumped as to what I could do, until I was introduced to TRACING PAPER!!! Yep pretty much the same stuff I used in high school drafting classes!
Once learned how to use it, it became my main go to method. Basically I either don’t mark at all, or I use tracing paper. Here’s how I use tracing paper to mark a quilt.
1) Find the quilt pattern that you want to use. If it’s not the right size, take it to a copy machine and either enlarge or shrink it until it’s the right size.
2) If you are taking a pattern out of a book cut 1 piece of tracing paper about 2″ bigger than the pattern. Trace the pattern onto the tracking paper so it’s in the middle of the paper.
3) Cut as many pieces of tracing paper as you are going to need for you quilt. They should be about 2″ bigger than the quilt pattern.
4) Lay all the pieces of tracing paper on top of each other. Put the traced quilt pattern or the copied quilt pattern on top. Pin them together. You can either use straight pins or safety pins. I usually use safety pins to keep from poking myself. Of course I didn’t this time and ended up looking like a pin cushion.
5) Set your machine up for free motion quilting (darning foot & lower the feed dogs) Take the thread and bobbin out of your machine. But leave the needle in.
6) Sew on the papers following the quilting design. this will perforate the tracing paper.
This is what they will look like after you sew them
7) Take one of the pieces of perforated tracing paper and pin it to the quilt. If you are doing a border you can do the whole border. If you are doing blocks you can do a few at a time, but don’t do too many the paper might tear as you move the quilt around.
8) Thread you machine. Now quilt following the lines made by the perforations.
10) Take a loop of masking tape and use it to take up the paper that is under the seams. Use a rocking motion. You should be able to get almost all of it up using this method.
11) What you can’t get out with tape use tweezers to pull out.
You should be able to get this tracing paper from your local quilt shop. You can also get it on line from many different resources. The paper I use is made by Golden Threads. But it is also the same as drafting tracing paper, so it may be cheaper to purchase it that way.
Hope you try this method and let me know how it goes for you.