Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Wholecloth Quilting - Laying Down The Groundwork

So you got your fabric and your design...what's next?

Actually a fairly simple but hugely important step. You will need to iron your fabric and mark in the crosshairs. I usually do that with the iron first
It is very important that this is correct as your whole design is based on those simple lines. See my marker...I have decided to use the trusted Sewline Chalk Pencil. If you are like me you probably have a variety of markers. It pays to test them out beforehand. I had another chalk pencil where you could wipe the line with water and it disappeared. Next day though the lines were back, even after a second rinse. So that was too dicey for me. Then I got another pen that has a liquid chalk tip...nice to use but am always a bit skeptical when you can remove the lines with heat...means that there is some chemical reaction that makes the lines disappear. So in the end I settled on the old Sewline pencil. Obviously if I was using light fabric, I would use the common blue water erasable marker...tried and tested to work well.

Once the lines are ironed in, I mark them in
And now for the fun part, marking in the framework. I used Cindy Needham's Ultimate Shape for this part of the marking process.
First hiccup...I had a half inch line next to the border. Somehow over the distance of marking with the stencil, inaccuracies must have crept in (or my measurement of the center might have been out) and I only got 1/4in clearance. This was not what I had in mind but decided that this was the new design choice and pressed on. I also marked the half line in the border as I know from experience that I am going to struggle later on with finding the half point...once it is all quilted I will also have some compaction, so I thought it is better to mark the border as well while I was at it. This took most of the afternoon. Then came the basting. I could have used spray basting, however last time I did this I had to wash the floor twice as I had ended up trampling the sticky stuff all over the place. In hindsight though, maybe that would have been the better choice. Definitely would have been quicker!
Anyway, I always pin baste the wholecloth first and then baste all over it with thread to avoid any shifting of the fabric.This takes forever!
My lines have softened but are still relatively easy to see. Once I work out how to approach this in terms of stitching path I will lightly strengthen the lines with the Chalk pencil as I go along, if that is what is needed.
Must admit that I am having second thoughts about this as I am going along. This looks so involved and I am wondering whether I can actually pull this off. I am planning to now stitch the framework using my straight and arc ruler. This sounded ok on a theoretical level but looking at all those lines now, I am beginning to wonder whether I have bitten off more than I can chew.

Will keep you posted 🙀.



  1. Thank you so much for sharing your process on this project and your experience with some common products we quilters use. I always wonder if I want to try a new (to me) product. It is helpful to know how these might cause some unintended consequences.

  2. Very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Wow, Karin! I'm so amazed at watching this process! Thank you for sharing it with us! -Jean💟

  4. Thanks for sharing it’s very helpful.


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