Friday, May 6, 2016

Marking The Square in A Square Quilt, Using Quilting Rulers and A #GIVEAWAY

Today I'm going to write about marking your quilt using a Quilter's Pounce. Now, I would start this off by saying it's not for every quilt you want to quilt, but it can be a fun tool in your tool box.What is a Quilter's Pounce you ask? Well, it's a little pad attached to a box that you fill with chalk, you tap it a couple times on the table to "load" your pad with the chalk and then you rub it over your stencil to transfer that chalk to your quilt. You can purchase these at and a variety of other places.

This can be a messy and frustrating endeavor unless you follow a few tips.

Here is how I use mine...

Start with the block you want to mark...for this quilt, I am marking the snowball blocks.

You can do this either on a table, if you will be quilting with a standard machine, or on your frame if you are using a longarm.

Lay your stencil on your block, you can generally see through them. Line it up where you want it and use a strip of painter's tape to tape down one side. This will help keep your stencil in place and will allow you to lift one side to make sure you have chalked it sufficiently before you remove the stencil.

With the bottom cover on the Pounce pad, tap your Pounce on a flat hard surface a couple times to "load" the chalk into your pad. Remove the cover and gently rub your pad across your stencil, don't pat it on or you will have a mess.  Gently rub the entire stencil then lift the edge opposite your tape (like opening a book) and look to see if you have enough chalk to see your design.  If not, lower the stencil back into place and rub a little more in the areas you need more chalk.  Once you are happy with your stencil, remove it. Put the cover on your pad, don't set it on your quilt or you will have a chalky blot.

Your marking should look something like the one above. Before you move on...take a moment and give it a light spray with your spray starch.  You don't need to soak it, just a light spray will keep the chalk where you want it.  If you don't do this, you will see the chalk disappear as you touch or stitch.  DO NOT IRON!  When you are finished quilting, just wash your quilt as your normally would and the chalk will wash out.  If you iron it, you're done, it will be there forever.  Now with that said, they do have a chalk that will iron out.  They have Iron Out, Red, Blue, Light Blue and White.  The colored chalks will not iron out but they will show on both light and dark fabrics.  If you are quilting for a show and do not want to wash your quilt I would suggest either the Iron Out chalk or another marking method.

Now lets talk a little about stitching this design. It's hard to free motion a circle, best to use either a circle template or a tool like this Clamshell Tool below.

This HQ Multi Clamshells tool will let you do a variety of different designs, one being a circle in 4 different circumferences. When you are quilting always use a ruler made especially for this purpose as it will be thick enough to avoid catching under and breaking your needle.

Start off by placing your quilt ruler so that one half of the clam shell lines up with your stenciled center as shown. Quilt around the clamshell stopping with your needle down when you reach the other side.  Now flip your ruler and repeat the same as shown below and you will have your perfect circle.

Another thing that is rather unforgiving when quilting is trying to stitch a perfectly straight line. For the cross hatch in the center of this design I use a mini HQ ruler. With your needle down in your starting position, lay your ruler next to your hopping foot and line it up across the design, gently hold it in place and guide your quilting arm across. I suggest that if you have not used a ruler before that you either; load a bit of practise fabric on first to get use to it or work with it out on the side of your excess quilt backing to make sure you have the feel first.  When you use rulers, you must use an extension table on your longarm so that you have something to balance the ruler on.

Now don't freak out your first time trying this.  Relax, breath, drop your shoulders down from your ears, place your weight equal in both feet.  Mistakes are okay, they pick out, really they do!

For the feathers, just follow the outline of the stencil, you don't have to be exactly on it, no one will know, they aren't going to take out a measure and say, "hey, you're off just a bit here".  And if you don't echo back over your lines exactly, it's okay, once you wash the quilt it will be amazing!  Each time you do it, you will get better and better.

For the squares and also for the snowball blocks, I quilted in the ditch using the little ruler.

I love the clean look it gives. 

All ready for binding!  See my mistakes?  No?  Right!...they won't see yours either! Be bold, Be brave, try something out of your comfort zone!  YOU CAN DO IT!

If you would like to win your own Quilter's Pounce Pad, visit our Facebook Site at

Like our page, Comment on the giveaway post which is pinned at the top of the page and Share with your friends!  That's all, nothing ever to purchase. Drawing will be held on the last day of May, 2016. Winner will be announced by June 1, 2016 on our Facebook page.

I hope I am able to inspire in you a desire to learn to quilt, to try a new technique that might be out of your comfort zone. Creativity is a joy each of us must experience in life. Have a blessed day. And please share with me your creations, I love to see them!


  1. I love this ..this would be a awesome tool

  2. make it look sooo easy! Thanks for the tips....