Stencil suggestions

Saturday, 10 July 2010 10:46 am
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
[personal profile] lobsterdesigns
I am about to place an order with The Stencil Company for a nice big spiral and this background for the Hoffman quilt (though I'm not discussing that here as this is an unlocked post, except to say that it'll be rotated 90 degrees). While I'm paying for international postage, I may as well pick up a few nice stencils as the UK has very few. Borders in particular, I think. I'm in the throes of taking up Welsh quilting, which you can learn more about here and here, and while I intend to learn how to use a sewing machine eventually, I'll be hand-quilting for the foreseeable future. Any suggestions as to which stencils will be particularly useful, or at least which sizes/border heights tend to be the most useful? I'm thinking of something along these lines.

(Meanwhile I have found some fabulous quilters who add beads, have ordered a book on beading fabrics, and am trying not to go too wild buying beads. I may as well think about the beading for the challenge quilt while I'm unable to sew, and there is so much prettiness!)

Date: 10 Jul 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Grah! As if I don't have enough things to put on my "to buy list" you have to show me a quilting stencil site!! (LOL) One thing that's slightly helpful is that I have no idea how to use a stencil, although I could certainly covet many of the sale ones - and that spiral is very very tempting, if only for it's evenness.

But then that means I have to purchase pouncing stuff and a whole lot of other things. Sigh.

Date: 10 Jul 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Blame [ profile] mmegaera for the site. She has loads of stencils and may be a good person to talk to about them.

I don't plan to get pounce (despite its cute name), largely because tempting as it sounds, the greater amount of handling involved with hand-quilting would be sure to make it a pointless marking method. I've been reading up on marking methods, as I still haven't found one I'm 100% happy with. For the next quilt or so, I'll probably use a silver marking pencil, as the lines seem to rub off sooner or later and even if they don't, it's not as bad as with the darker lines left by an ordinary graphite pencil. For the future, I may cautiously use water-soluble marking pens, though I'll experiment first to check that the lines really do wash out thoroughly. There's a rumour that the lines can reappear years later, though a few professional quilters are using these pens very happily. I used to use them for embroidery (hey, I should check that no blue lines are appearing on that challah cloth I made my best friend's sister four years ago, though I think they'd be hidden under chain stitch anyway, but I do know from him that they use it all the time and get him to rave over it to me periodically, and yes, I am showing off shamelessly) and the main thing I remember was that if the weather was really humid in the summer, the lines would sometimes fade right off, but then embroidery involves a hell of a lot of handling the fabric. Aaaanywayyou can get a variety of markers from most quilt shops, it's worth playing with.

I've never used stencils before, although I ordered a stencil full of small circles which I've been using for drafting small-scale versions of Welsh quilt patterns on graph paper, and I'm loving it, it saves faffing around with compasses. I've made my own templates, though I tend to calculate the piece, draw it with an acrylic ruler and then use the template for checking wherever possible, rather than drawing round the template. I hated cutting the template plastic, and have rather moodily ordered a double-bladed stencil knife and some template plastic which the shop assured me was the thinnest sort, so you may see me cutting my own cable pattern or something in the near future. And, erm, I may have succumbed to some of these template sets. But they'll be so useful when I take up Welsh quilting! Which involves huuuuge amounts of spirals, which I cannot draw for toffee, hence getting the spiral stencil. At least I'm holding out against the 14" version, since I can't imagine a quilting style I'm likely to do which would use that. (Maybe it's useful for big block quilts?)

As for using stencils, I think you just hold them steady over the fabric and mark through them for the design. Nothing more than that.

Date: 10 Jul 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I also have a set of circles, and they are invaluable to me for freehand drawing circular feathers and other designs. and I just remembered I have a whole bunch of air brush stencils (some of which are knotwork), but I think they may be too small to be useful for quilting... plus I'd have to really clean them carefully - they likely have residual body paint and spray adhesive on them from when I used them last.

I've got a couple of sets of white and colored chalk and that's what I currently use to mark quilts (when Im not totally winging it doing free-motion meanders)

I'll probably have to bite the bullet and get a large sheet of plastic to make that labyrinth pattern I was talking about last winter. I don't think I'll ever be able to freehand something like that on a quilt top.

Date: 10 Jul 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh yes, I have recently bought a soapstone marker for use on dark fabrics, though I haven't used it yet. When I get around to making that wholecloth sampler quilt on navy batik, I'll use that. You need something with a pen point, so chalk will depend on what form it's in, but plenty of people use chalk quite happily with stencils, I think. I have a grey chacopel marker which I might try for the Hoffman quilt background, depending on whether I think it will rub off by the time I've finished quilting that section. I've never used it much, it's an odd little thing, but for gentle wavy lines that are guided I'd hope that it's usable.

I vaguely remember you talking about a labyrinth pattern: remind me? How about this ruler? You may still need to mark the template onto poster card or something (I've been known to use a spare poster from the charity shop D used to work in), but at least it'll sort out the big circles.

I am totally crap at drawing, so I ordered the circles (generally useful), leaves (useful for leaf designs and also cable borders), twisted leaf (handy for when I get to Welsh quilting and I'm sure will turn out to have other uses) and feather (which I'll use for Paisley designs instead and anything else requiring a teardrop shape). I'm being a bit extravagant at the moment, but at least the lovely woman with the big bead shop on eBay is going to send me oodles of samples instead of having to buy larger quantities of loads of beads to get the colours right. I think the templates will be handy for if I just want to draw round lots of shapes and play until I come up with some designs, too.

UK quilt shops do turn out to have a decent selection of general border designs, so as I don't actually need any specifically just yet, I think I'll sit down tomorrow and go through every stencil on that site until I find something I really adore, like that spiral. I'm contemplating this background, for instance, though I've a feeling that background stencils will be pricey to add. I'm also trying to work out whether the square spiral is something I'm likely to use. A couple of the Celtic designs are vaguely appealing.

Date: 10 Jul 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, and an Orange Peel background might be handy, and useful for borders as well.

Date: 10 Jul 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
P.S. If you like the celtic stencils, you could always mess around with enlarging photocopies and then making your own stencil. I'll report back on how tricky it is to make stencils.

Date: 10 Jul 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ribbon link:

ETA: well, you beat me to it :P
Edited Date: 10 Jul 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
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