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How To Mark A Grid On A Quilt

Quilting is a difficult process. With consistent practice, you become an expert quilter. While quilting you need to make marks on the fabric to guide you when sewing.

The marks you make will be in the form of shapes such as wavy lines and triangles. Or, you could mark gridlines on the quilt which will help you in layering your quilt top as accurately as possible.

How Do You Mark A Grid On A Quilt?

To mark a grid on a quilt, there are many methods that you can use. You need clear marking tools that will not rub off before you are through making your quilt. The best tools to use are heat-activated and water-soluble pens whose markings are not permanent.

Get a grid stencil with straight lines and different angle lines. You can buy your stencil or make it for yourself. Place the stencil on the quilt fabric and trace the lines onto your quilt fabric. Mark grid lines that you need with the help of your stencil onto your quilt fabric.

Steps To Mark A Grid On A Quilt

Method 1. Using A Stencil

Step 1. You need to have a stencil that you will use to mark the grid lines on your quilt fabric. You can make a stencil for yourself or you can buy a commercial stencil from your craft shops.

Commercial stencils have more details and are quite easy to use compared to self-made stencils. However, for speed and to get the exact grid that you need, you can make the stencil yourself.

Step 2. Make your stencil. It is easy to make a stencil for yourself. You need ordinary printing paper. Draw on it the gridlines that you need on your quilt fabric onto the paper.

Take two pieces of freezer paper. Iron each on itself then place them onto each other. Place the paper with your grid design on these freezer papers. The freezer paper provides a backing for the paper you have made your stencil diagram.

Step 3. With the stencil diagram now backed up, use a sharp razor to cut out the grid lines you have made. With the cut-out paper, you now have a stencil to use to mark grid lines on your quilt fabric.

Step 4. Now, prepare your quilting fabric for marking the gridlines on. Wash, dry, starch, and iron your fabric. Wash it before you mark the grid as you can’t wash it after.

Starch stiffens the fabric and makes it much easier to work with and stable enough to draw on. Ironing the fabric makes the fabric more receptive to starch. It also removes all the wrinkles on the fabric.

Step 5. Place your quilt fabric on your working surface. Make sure that it is firmly stabilized on the working surface. Place your stencil on the fabric. Collect your favorite marking tools. A temporary fabric marking pen is the best to use. Mark the grid lines onto your fabric according to your stencil.

Step 6. Depending on your stencil, you can mark shapes such as squares and triangles. You can also make either vertical, diagonal, or horizontal lines depending on your stencil and how you want your quilt grid to look.

Step 7. To now make a grid, take your ruler and draw on the straight lines across the lines that you have drawn on your fabric. Space out the lines that you draw on the fabric to make sure you have the desired size of grids marked along with your quilt fabric.

Method 2. Mark Grids On A Quilt Using Masking Tape

Step 1. Prepare your quilt fabric for marking grids. Wash your quilting fabric, dry it, starch it and iron it. If it is too big for the project that you want to undertake, cut it up into smaller or larger pieces that will be enough for the project that you want to carry out.

Step 2. Place your fabric that you need to grid onto your working surface. Straighten it out with your hands to ensure that it is free of wrinkles and ready to be worked on.

Also, make sure that your fabric is properly fastened on the working surface that it will not move around when you work on it.

Step 3. Now get a masking tape that you will use to mark a grid on your fabric. There are different sizes of masking tape available. You need to use the 1 inch think masking tape for this project.

Step 4. Cut a strip of masking tape the length of the quilting fabric on which you want to mark grids. You can work with a single strip of masking tape for the whole;e project.

Step 5. Place your strip of masking tape on your quilting fabric. Take a different fabric piece that you will use to grid your quilt with. Sew it right along the bottom of the masking tape.

Make sure not to sew on the masking tape as you sew your piece of fabric.

Step 6. Remove the masking tape strip from the quilting fabric and place it at an already determined length that allows you to make another grid line.

Sew or hold with straight pins a strip of fabric below the line of the masking tape. Repeat this to the top of the quilting fabric. You will see that you have marked grids on your fabric with a few spaces left on your fabric.

Step 7. Get your quilt battings and fill out the spaces by making rows and below the grid marks made with masking tape that is already on the quilting fabric.

When you finally look at your quilt fabric you will see how accurate the grids you marked with masking tape are. And also how elegant they are on your quilt.

The Best Quilt Marking Tools

To mark a grid or anything else on a quilt fabric you need to use the right marking tools. The right tools make work easier, make clear marks on your grid, and help you to produce high-quality quilting products.

The most common tool to use for marking is chalk. You can use any color of chalk depending on the color of the fabric you are marking.

If you have a light-colored fabric, don’t use light-colored chalk as it may not be visible on the fabric. When using chalk, don’t press it too much onto the fabric. It may not rub off easily from the fabric.

If you want to mark wavy lines, you can use the Hera marker. The Hera marker is a plastic tool shaped like a butter knife.

It doesn’t cut your fabric but leaves a visible mark that you can follow along while stitching. It can make both wavy and straight-line markings when you use it with a ruler.

You can also use water-soluble pencils as marking tools for your quilting project. Water-soluble pencils can be easily cleaned with water to wipe them off the fabric once you are sewed.

Using A Lightbox To Transfer Unique Markings To Your Quilt Fabric

A lightbox is an integral tool when you want to transfer embroidery shapes and markings to your quilt fabrics. As its name suggests, it consists of a box with a lightbulb and a translucent cover.

To transfer the designs to your quilt fabric, take tracing paper or another fabric that has the design or markings you want to transfer to your quilt.

Place the fabric with the design on the translucent cover of the lightbox. Then place your quilting fabric onto the fabric with the design. Thanks to the light, you can trace the design onto your quilting fabric.

You can use a Hera marker to trace the design onto your quilting fabric.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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