Different Methods to Mark a Quilt Top (Intro)

Different Methods to Mark a Quilt Top (Intro)

Quilting is an essential part in making a quilt. Some claim, the most essential part. Whatever be the case, quilting should be more than an afterthought because the quilting motifs will strongly influence the overall design and might even change the entire character of a quilt top.

Lately, we have often been asked what method would be the best for marking a quilt top. The answer to that question is not easy and we often ended up with a rather lengthy discussion of different tools and their pros and cons. So we decided to give all these ideas, tricks and tools more structure and put them into an article to read and re-read whenever a new quilt project needs to be quilted and the question how to bring the quilting motifs onto the quilt top surface.

Detail from Lady of the Lake Quilt

An example for a simple quilt grid from the Lady of the Lake Quilt

Detail from the Oceanwaves Quilt

An example for a small motif from the Oceanwaves Quilt

Detail from Skiathos Quilt

An example for a free-motion marked and quilted motif from the Skiathos quilt.

The following instructions come from a mainly hand quilting perspective. We only very rarely mark quilt tops for machine quilting, and if we do, we do some “free-motion” sketching of larger areas then to be filled with free-motion quilting patterns. Nevertheless, the methods described in the following can of course also be used to mark quilt tops for machine quilting.


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