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No-mark method for stitching complicated quilting designs
January 5, 2016

Almost every quilter has a story about a fabric marker incident. With so many tales of caution about marks that won’t go away, or marks that went away and then came back later, the idea of marking a quilt top can be scary. You can double the fear factor if you’re considering marking a customer quilt.

But if you don’t have Quilt Path and you’re still developing your free motion quilting skills, quilting complicated designs entirely freehand on your longarm isn’t always an option either. That’s where tear away quilting paper and water soluble stabilizers can help bridge the gap between your creativity and your skill level.

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Both products work the same way, although the removal method varies. First find a quilting design you like and trace it onto the tear away quilting paper or water soluble stabilizer.

Then pin the paper or stabilizer onto the quilt top where you want the design to go and stitch the design on your APQS machine.

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If you don’t follow the design perfectly, that’s OK. The tracing material will either be torn or will dissolve away when you’re finished. Nobody will ever know you didn’t quilt perfectly on the lines.

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Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using tear away quilting paper or water soluble stabilizer to create your designs. And just like more traditional marking methods, it is always a good idea to test new products on a quilt you don’t care too much about before using it on an heirloom project or customer quilt.

The quilt shown in these photos is a variation on Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion 2015 mystery quilt.

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