Stencils for Hand Quilting

“Cut Costs and Create Consistency”

Have you ever used stencils for hand quilting?

Want to learn how to make your own?

It’s not that difficult.  In fact it can be really easy.

We’ll guide you through this process and show you how to use it.

How Often?

The first question to ask is how often do you want to use your template?

Do you only want to use it for one project or do you want the stencil to last several years?

If you only plan to make one project with your image than feel free to use wax paper, butcher’s paper, or freezer paper to sketch out the design.  Paper isn’t long lasting but it is easy to work with.  Just pin this type of stencil to the fabric and mark it out.

Unsure about how many times the design will be used?

It would be better to go with a longer lasting form of stencil.  That’s when template plastic comes to the rescue.

How to Make a Quilting Stencil

Now that you’ve chosen which material to make your guide out of, it’s time to decide what design will be used.

This can be any image of your choosing.  It could be anything from a picture of clip art you found on the internet to a design you made yourself. 

Once you have decided on your image, have it on paper and lay it on a hard surface.

Place the template material over it.  Make sure it is see through.  A light table might be helpful.  In a pinch, a glass window works well.

Use a fine tip sharpie pen and trace the outer edges of the lines of the drawing.  This means for every line of the picture, there will now be two lines, and inner and outer one.

Here is an example.










When the design is completely drawn out on your template medium, place it onto a cutting mat.

Cut along the lines with an exacto knife.

The empty space that you just cut away from the template is now your stencil.

How to Use a Quilting Stencil

To use the stencil just place it onto your quilt top in the desired locations.  Trace the design with your favorite fabric safe method.  This can be washable markers, chalk, pencils, or quilt pounce.

We prefer the quilt pounce as it is a very quick and efficient method. 

However, more often than not, a regular school pencil is more readily available.  

If you use a regular pencil, be sure to trace lightly.  Marking to heavily on fabric with this medium can make it difficult to wash out later.

Think Oreo!

Once the design is outlined on your quilt top make the quilting cookie.

Make your quilting stitches along your guide and begin quilting.

Wrap Up

Making your own stencils for hand quilting can be a fun and unique way for a one of a kind work of quilting art.  It adds even more of your signature style to the creation. Enjoy the pride that comes with it.

Until next time.

Happy quilting,


Color Block Quilts







› Stencils for Hand Quilting

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