Custom Quilting Line Stencils

I am working on new class samples for a workshop I teach, Custom Cuts, which introduces quilters to the many ways a computerized cutting machine can be a valuable tool in their quilting studio.

Stencils for fabric painting or wax resist work are often closed shape objects where you need to mask off the negative space. Quilters however, also use stencils to mark the lines of stitching used in quilting the three layers of a quilt together. You can purchase many designs from quilt stencil vendors, but if you need a special size or an original design, you will need to make your own. Traditionally, this is achieved by hand-cutting with a stencil blade the narrow channels that represent the stitching lines.

The challenge to do this by machine is to draw these channels or slots that the marking pen rides in without too much distortion. One of the fastest is to simply create a shadow layer of the object that is ½ the width of the desired channel size. Note that your design must be an open, not closed object. You want to create a shadow around the line itself not the design.

  1. In Make The Cut!, I found that a shadow layer of .025” produces a channel wide enough to accommodate a standard quilt marking pen, and a shadow layer of 0.017” works well for fine line marking pens.
  2. Separate the original design from the Shadow Layer and hide.
  3. Using the Eraser Tool in the Node Editing toolbar, erase portions of the shadow line to create the breaks necessary to hold the cut portions of the stencil together. I used an eraser width of 1 mm.
  4. Join the edited design to a rectangle to complete the stencil.
  5. Note that once created, the stencil SVG cannot be resized as that will also change the size of the marker channels.
  6. Cut!

mtc-quilt-stencil_opt

I tested on a few different materials, a pliable quilters stencil plastic that comes in a roll and a more rigid stencil plastic. Both material types are readily available from sewing and craft stores.

Best results are achieved when using the Extra Sticky Mat (Green Grid) to firmly hold the plastic sheets in place. I also taped the edges for extra security.

Maxx Air Settings

Blue Stencil Plastic (pliable)

Extra Sticky Mat (Green Grid), tape edges

Force = 110, Speed = 270, Red Blade, Passes = 1, Blade Height = 25

Hard Stencil Plastic

Extra Sticky Mat (Green Grid), tape edges

Force = 130, Speed = 80, Red Blade, Passes = 2, Blade Height = 25

quilt-stencils-5x7_opt

To use your new stencil, lay it over the area of the quilt top you wish to mark, insert marker into channels and mark quilt. Now you have lines to follow to add some special quilting designs to your quilt!

Using Cut Files as Masks & Stencils

Hello fellow KnK-ers!

In my last post I demonstrated how I use cut files for embossing and I thought I’d look at another use for cut files today so I will show how cut files can be used for masking or stenciling.

You can use a large patterned panel such as these designs as a one-piece stencil to spray or ink through to create a great background for your peojects. Today though I will use smaller pieces to build up a scene and as Halloween is fast approaching I will create a spooky graveyard picture for the front of my card. The cut file is available at the end of this post 🙂

These are the Materials I used:

  • My wonderful KnK Zing
  • Make the Cut Software
  • Copic Markers & a Copic Airbrush set (sponging with ink works great too)

These are the Zing Settings I used:

  • Blade = Standard
  • Blade Height = 25 post-it notes
  • Offset = 0.30
  • Speed = 10
  • Force =  80
  • Passes = 1

Pic 1. I cut the pieces I will use as masks (the pieces which will protect my card and keep it white underneath) from some paper and added temporary adhesive on the back of them:

Halloween Scene 1

Pic 2. I cut my stencil pieces ensuring that there was plenty of paper around them to protect my card from over-spray (or over-sponging). I added temporary adhesive to the back of these too:

Halloween Scene 2

Pic 3. I placed my masking pieces, except for the clouds, onto my card front:

Halloween Scene 3

Pic 4. I placed the first cloud piece at the bottom of my card and sprayed along the top edge and slightly upwards with a light purple marker. You could also use ink sprays or your regular ink pads and a sponge to achieve similar results:

Halloween Scene 4

Pic 5: I continued to spray the clouds with 4 different colours of purple gradually getting darker towards the top alternating the 2 cloud pieces as I went:

Halloween Scene 5

Pic 6. Now the the masking is done we can do the stenciling, I placed the graveyard stencil piece at the bottom of my card and sprayed with a dark grey marker:

Halloween Scene 6

Pic 7. As I wanted my bats to look like they are flying in front of the moon I needed to remove my moon mask before I stenciled my bats, I used a black marker this time:

Halloween Scene 7

Pic 8. Once all of your masking/stenciling is done you have the fun of peeling any remaining masks from your card to reveal the bright white card underneath. I added the cloud pieces back over my moon and gave it a subtle cloudy look with a pale lilac marker:

Halloween Scene 8

Pic 9. To complete my card I backed my Halloween scene with some black card. I cut my sentiment from some more black card and adhered it to a strip of vellum which I wrapped around my scene panel and stuck to the back of it with tape. I then popped my panel onto a purple card base with 3d foam pads:

Halloween Scene 9

If you would like to see more projects I have created with my Zing, access my Free Cut Files and read my Terms of Use, you can find my blog here: www.birdscards.com

Here is today’s Cut File:

Halloween Scene by Bird

Halloween Scene Cut File by Bird