How to mark your quilt for quilting

Using paper to mark your quilt top

There are many ways to mark a quilt.  If it’s your own quilt, you can mark it any way you choose.  But, since I mostly work on customer quilts, I don’t like putting marks on another’s quilt top, so I use vellum paper a lot for marking.  If you go to the following posts (click on the blue, underlined word), you’ll see how it’s done.

This one is about how I drew the trees on Joan’s quilt.

And, here is a quilt for Mary’s grandson.  It was “flaming hot”! 😉  You can watch a demonstration of me quilting it on my YouTube channel  here.


Using Press ‘n Seal to mark your quilt top

I made a Japanese quilt for our guild’s raffle quilt a few years ago, and in this post, I show you how I used Press ‘n Seal to mark it.


Drawing in the middle of a pantograph

If you are using a pantograph, it might be tricky to add something extra, but this is what I did.  I like to add surprises to my customers’ quilts, so the pictures below show how I added a surprise when using a pantograph.   Since this quilt’s border was piano keys, I couldn’t add a surprise there.  But, the good thing about this particular pantograph is that there were some areas that had big swirls where I could put a surprise in its place.  If you’ve ever used a pantograph, you know you have to play around with the edges anyway and especially when you are almost done with the quilt and have only 1/2 of a row for a full row of pantograph.  So, you just draw lines with a dry erase marker on the plastic on top of the pantograph, so you can adapt it to fit the space you have available.  Okay, so if I can do that, I can add a surprise.  I just drew out a mouse on Vellum paper to be eating within all those leaves and taped it to the spot where I wanted it to go.  That red dot is the laser light pointing where to follow the lines.

Wilma's quilt 5 001

And, you probably can’t see this unless you make it bigger, but here is what the mouse looks like stitched out.

Wilma's quilt 5 004


Using the laser light on the front of the machine instead of the back

Another way to quilt a quilt without marking is to bring the laser light to the front of your machine, pointing at the quilt top itself and not a pantograph. Here’s what I did with Mickey’s quilt. I drew her dog by taking a picture of her dog in black and white.  I then took a green highlighter and marked on the paper/picture what I wanted to quilt onto the quilt top.  Can you see the little red dot under the dog’s paw?  That’s the laser light that is attached to the front of the machine.  When I moved the laser light along where I highlighted, I was stitching it onto the quilt. You can see the picture I used on the left and the finished product on the right.   It’s not perfect, but it is one way for me to avoid marking on a quilt.

MD quilt 001      MD quilt 002