Get Creative with Stencils!


by Jodi Robinson, Gammill Quilt Artist

I wanted to share with you how easy it is to use a basic stencil to create new designs! I hope this might encourage you to give your stencils another look.  I am going to share with you, one of my favorite designs that I teach in my “Stencil Magic Class.”

The stencil I used is called 4” Scallops, and is available from Quilting Creations International. (www.quiltingcreations.com)

What I love about this stencil is that it is a very traditional design that is meant to be used in a quilt border; but, with a little creativity, it can be used to create more contemporary/modern designs.


You can see that using a sharpie marker, I marked lines on my stencil. This makes it easier to line the stencil up when marking.

The first step was to mark the stencil, as is, as shown below.


After looking at the marked stencil, I realized that by simply flipping the stencil, and marking it again, it created a circle in the center.




After marking to create the center circle, I now had a nice place to add another design element. I chose to add a simple curved diamond in the center.


I then quilted the design, and it looks great just as it was drawn.


After stitching the design, I quickly discovered how easy it would be to now add more quilting to different areas within the design. This creates a more dense quilting design. As you can see below, I chose to add a simple design element to every other row of scallops, and a background fill around the center curved diamond. Wow … as you can see, the design possibilities with this one are endless!


Playing with the first design really got the ideas flowing, so I played a little more. In the next design I decided to mark rows of the stencil design. I added a line between the rows and put the circles in a different position in each row. Before marking the next design, I measured the width of the rows on the stencil and marked corresponding lines on the fabric.


I then marked the scallops creating the off-set circles, and added some different designs to the circles.


Below is the design stitched, with some different variations in the circles. When you look at this design, you can see how easy it would be to add more design elements … to the actual scallops, or the center circles, to create an unlimited number of designs. And just think about how neat it might be to elongate the center circle, to create an entirely different shape in the center to fill.


Oh! And what if the entire design orientation was changed?!?!


I hope I was able to spark your creativity, and have you looking at your stencils in a whole new way!

Happy Quilting …………. Jodi

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