Tracing with bridal tulle or organza is a budget friendly and effective means of copying and transferring a quilting design. Tulle and organza are readily available in most fabric stores.
Once traced, the tulle or organza design can be used repeatedly. Tulle and organza should be stored flat or in a roll to avoid wrinkling or creasing.
You will need
- Fine-mesh bridal tulle or thin organza fabric
- Quilting design
Print-out a quilting design in the appropriate size for your project. You can use our FREE Virtual Re-Size Calculator to quickly and easily determine the enlargement or reduction ratio you will need to fit the quilting design to the area to be quilted.
- Painter's masking tape
The blue type is easily removed. Regular tan colored masking tape or other removable tapes can be substituted.
- A permanent marking pen
This pen is for marking on the tulle or organza only. Do NOT use it to mark on the fabric to be quilted!
- An erasable fabric marking pen, pencil, or chalk tool of your choice
This is the marking tool that you will use to mark on the fabric to be quilted.
- An embroidery hoop
You will need a hoop that is large enough to fit the size of the design you will be using. An embroidery hoop is optional, but highly recommended.
- If using the embroidery hoop, stretch-mount a piece of bridal tulle (or organza) between the rings and clamp it tightly.
- Tape the printed design sheet to your table or work surface.
- Position the hooped tulle screen over the printed design that you want to trace. If you are not using a hoop, you will also need to secure the edges of the tulle with tape to keep it from shifting and bunching up during the tracing process.
- Trace the design with the permanent marker. Be sure to let these markings completely dry before continuing.
- Lay the tulle screen with the design drawn on it (still in the hoop) in the appropriate position to be marked on top of your fabric to be quilted.
- Using the erasable marking pen, pencil, or chalk tool, retrace over the design lines on the tulle. Felt-tipped syle marking pens can catch and drag on the tulle when you draw. If you find this is happening, apply less pressure and position the design so that you are pulling with the pen stroke rather than pushing. Carefully lift the edge of the tulle and peek underneath to make sure that the resulting design path is clearly visible.
Tip: If using chalk, only mark a single section of your quilt at a time. The extraneous chalk marks will fluff away if your fabric is jostled around during the quilting process.
- Lift the tulle screen away and the design will be visible on your fabric.
- Following the markings, stitch the design using your favorite free-motion quilting method.
A special "thank you" goes to Beverly Lane of Prescott, Arizona,
for her help in researching the various marking tools listed here.