Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Burning a stencil

For my current quilt, I decided to try burning my first stencil. I'd bought the template plastic and a stencil burner a while ago from Punch with Judy. I drew the feather design I wanted, then once I was happy, I cut off some template plastic from the roll and traced the design onto the template plastic in permanent marker.

It says to place the template on glass, so I took it over the the ceramic cooktop, but found it worked better for me to hold it in my had, wiht a little tension, and do it mid-air rather than flat on the glass. I did one practice wiggle, then went for it! No photos of the actual burning, since I had my hands full, and everyone else was in bed, as it was nearly 2am! It was a little smelly, but my father-in-law got up shortly after to get a drink, and didn't appear to notice what I'd been up to in their kitchen!

The result looks very warped, although it does actually lie flat. You can see (above) the smoke still coming off the tip of the stencil burner, where the remaining melted plastic stuck on it is burning off. If you look closely (or click to enlarge) the photo above, you can also see the trails of melted plastic.

I ended up spending a while with some sharp scissors trimming the melted mess neatly - in hindsight I should have burned more slowly, leaving a slightly wider gap. The melting also left lot of lumps of plastic on the ends and edges of the holes, and fine trails of melted plastic I had to remove.

I tried to mark it with pounce, but it didn't work too well. However, that was before I decided to trim it mor thoroughly, and the smoother template I'm using now may work better, but I'm using my clover blue and white markers. It is slow going, buit I'm pleased with the results.

At the edges of the quilt where there isn't the extra cream background from a neighbouring green block (such as next to the red border, above), I'm leaving the last half-inch of that edge unmarked with the stencil, and free-hand marking the shorter, adapted feather-ends.

So far I have marked 11 and quilted 10 of the 18 blocks. I mark a few, then quilt a few, to break it up a bit. The 18 green blocks will be free-hand quilted, and will be much faster.


Linda said...

You might try using an emery board to smooth the edges of your stencil. I too like to mark, then quilt, mark again and then quilt again, to break it up. Your quilting looks wonderful

Peta said...

It's coming up just beautifully. Can't wait to see the finished product. Did you design the pattern yourself?