Quilt Marking with a Circle Template

Marking clam shells on a quilt with a circle template at DreamWeaver's Quilts

I’ve been working on a wild little “black and white and red all over” type quilt, and before I could get to one of my favorite parts–that would be the machine quilting!–I had to mark it. Well, I didn’t have to mark it I suppose, but I didn’t think trying to freehand quilt a bunch of oversized clam shells was going to end well. My perfectionist side would have come out of the corner screaming the minute things started to go wonky, as they undoubtedly would without some premarking!

The search for the circle template began; remember that I haven’t spent a great deal of time in my studio in this house, so my memory of where things are is a wee bit foggy. I located it pretty quickly, but then realized that I needed the bits that came out of the circles too, and that was an episode of “Find the needle in the studio” that I hope I don’t have to watch in reruns! The worst part was that it was in the very first place I looked, but I didn’t look close enough until I’d looked everywhere else and then looked in that first place a second time!

Here’s the potent combination for marking this little quilt with a black background:

Marking clam shells on a quilt with a circle template at DreamWeaver's Quilts
Marking clam shells on a quilt

It was easy to mark the clam shells on the quilt using this circle template, because I could use the piecing as a guide to position the template for most of it and I extended the piecing lines across the inner border with a ruler where needed. When you use this method for marking, sometimes positioning is easier using the template with the holes and trace inside them, and sometimes it’s easier if you use the circles and trace outside them. Note that there’s a slight difference in size with the two methods; depending on the size of the circle you’re marking, that difference could be up to 1/8″. I also used a couple of the smaller circles and connected them with lines to mark a simple pattern in the border.

Of course, I wouldn’t use anything to actually mark the quilt except the wonderful White Marking Pen from Clover. I love, love, LOVE that pen! I buy them by the dozen and I use them all the time. I love being able to actually SEE where I need to quilt so I can steer the machine properly, and this pen won’t rub off or disappear before I get done quilting. When the quilting is finished, I can take one or two passes over it with a steam iron and it’s gone!

Clam shells quilting on a quilt with a circle template
Clam shells quilting on a quilt with a circle template at DreamWeaver’s Quilts

I used Iris Ultra Brite Trolobal Polyester thread in the top for a bit of added shine on the quilting stitches, and Aurifil 50/2 cotton Mako in the bobbin. Premarked, easy quilting makes for a quick finish, and there will be more pics coming. There are also some sneak peeks of the binding auditions over on Instagram, though you’ll have to wait a bit for the full reveal after I add some of my other favorite parts!

What’s your “potent combination” for quilt marking? Share it over on Facebook!