Stencils are designs cut into a thin material such as stencil plastic and used to transfer designs onto a surface. Quilters use stencils to transfer quilting patterns onto a quilt top for quilting, like the stencil shown in the picture. Stencils are also used when applying inks, dyes or paint onto fabric. The gaps on the stencil create the design where the pigment has reached the surface. Stencils can be made using thin sheets of plastic, thick paper or cardstock. Commercially made stencils are available and you can make your own designs.

Benefits of Stencils

  • A stenciled design can be replicated multiple times on a quilt. Registration marks on the Stencils are used for consistent placement.
  • A hand cut stencil of your own design adds personalization to your work.

Tools and Supplies for Stencils

  • Stencil making material, thin plastic, paper or thin card stock.
  • Stencils or utility knife to cut the design if needed
  • Marking tools
  • Transfer medium; chalk, pens, inks, dyes or paint.
What I Wish I Knew When I Started Stencils

There are a wide variety of quilting STENCILS available in many sizes.

When using a stencil be sure to keep it clean and carefully wipe away any excess medium. This will help ensure sharp lines on your design.

Stencils Resources