Thursday, August 28, 2014

Using Your Silhouette to Make Quilt Stencils - Henry's Quilt

Hello! I have been working on a nautical quilt for my grandson, who will be born in October. Henry's room is decorated in a nautical theme, so I chose a boat quilt pattern. I pieced the quilt in two fabrics - a white muslin and a navy blue print. I usually wait until the quilt is pieced before I start thinking about the quilting. I know, that's not the best practice, but that's usually how I operate. So once this quilt was pieced, I started trying to figure out how to quilt it.

I started by quilting in the ditch (or close to it) for the main boat blocks, and around the borders. I then turned the quilt over to look at the back. It seems like I needed a good bit more quilting, so I started thinking of other options. I have a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine that I use alot in my papercrafting, and I have tons of designs for it downloaded from the Silhouette store, as well as other sources. I started browsing my Silhouette library as well as the online store for nautical images. These are the ones I found that seemed to be appropriate for the spaces I needed to fill.
These are the designs from the Silhouette store.

Wave border: #63263, Whale: #58186, Anchor: #58517, Oar: #1427, Flourish: #19009

I measured each space on my quilt that I wanted to put these designs, drew a rectangle or square that size on my mat in the Silhouette program, then sized each image to fit that shape.  Here is a screen shot of this process:

Next, I deleted the rectangles and cut the shapes out of a sturdy cardstock. I used this cardstock to mark the designs on my quilt. I then quilted each design using free motion quilting, which I was already pretty much familiar with. I just went slow and took my time stitching each design.
Although most of the quilting is white on white, it is still noticeable - especially on the back.
Here are some pictures of the quilting.

The wave border segment underneath each boat.

The anchor in between sailboats.
The individual whale in the border
 The oar (in the blue rectangle), and the whale border
The flourish wave in the corners
I also embroidered Henry's name on the large boat, as you can see in the picture above. Overall, I am pleased with how this quilt and the quilting turned out. I am kind of wishing I had used a thread with a little contrast for the quilting though, so it would stand out a bit more. I was just afraid it would overpower the boats, so I used white.

Hope you've enjoyed this post on using your Silhouette (or any other cutting machine) to cut designs to use as quilt designs. It's opened up a whole new world of designs for me!


  1. What a wonderful quilt, Susan. At first I thought you were going to say you hand quilted it and I was amazed. I'm still envious that you can do free motion. I always send my out. I'm sure this will be something Henry and his mother will treasure.

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comments Bobby! They are appreciated. :) My first quilt was hand quilted - took me 6 years to finish! From that point on, anything other than a miniature is machine quilted. :) I do really admire those who hand quilt - I just don't have the time or the patience! Long arm quilting has come so far in the past few years - some of the custom work they do is amazing!!!

  2. Your quilt is beautiful and I'm sure it will be treasured for a very long time. Personally I think you would have been disappointed if the thread color was darker as it would look busy. You should be proud that it's done well ahead of time - so unlike most of us crafters!

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement!