Marking your quilt with tracing paper

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.

Prep the tracing paper

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.

Paper punch the bundle

This is what they will look like after you sew them

Paper punch the bundle

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.

Pin the paper to your quilt

8) Thread you machine.  Now quilt following the lines made by the perforations.

Sew following the perforations9) Once you are done sewing it will look like this.  Tear off as much of the paper as you can with your fingers.

Quilting is complete

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.

Pull out remaining paper

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.


About NotYourNormalSteam

I love to make things, food, paper, fabric, the medium doesn’t really matter. I am also an obsessive planner. The day after Christmas I am already working out plans for the next year.
This entry was posted in Quintisential Quilting, Terrific Tutorials and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Marking your quilt with tracing paper

  1. I love this idea. I have used my Brother Scan N Cut and cut out flower shapes and pinned them to the quilt to stitch around. I used freezer paper, but it did not “stick” as well as I hoped with all the shifting of the quilt. Pins were the name of the game. This is genius and I am going to share your post. I found you thru a post on facebook someone shared. Thanks for your info!

  2. Reblogged this on stitchinggrandma and commented:
    I am always looking for “help” with my quilting! This post gives some great tips using tracing paper. Go check it out; and while you are threre follow Not your normal steam blog!

  3. Jill says:

    Why did you perforate the paper with the needle? Why not just quilt the design the first time?

    • A few reasons. 1. The fabric was too busy to see marking on it. It was easier to see the perforations on the paper. 2. I needed to sew this pattern on a large space. I was able to mark it on one piece of paper, then layer about 10 pieces of paper together. When I pierced it with the needle that let me use those 10 pages and only have drawn it one time.

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