Using pre-printed quilt tops as a pattern for quilting is wonderful. I used the Feathered Pineapple pre-printed top for the Amish Bar Quilt. Plus it saves hours of frustration marking a quilting design onto fabric.
Steps to success:
The first thing is to purchase the top – I get mine from The Stencil Company either on-line or at the quilt show at Paducah, KY. Do not pre-wash these tops.
The next thing is to decide which top you already have, or make one to fit the size of the pre-printed top you bought. I like my quilt tops to be about 2″ bigger all the way around just so I am sure they will fit together.
Next is to make your quilt “sandwich” like always – if you are going to hand quilt it then you will want to baste it really well. Use the batting of your choice (I use wool from Hobbs).
When I use the pre-printed tops, I put the pieced quilt top on the bottom, then the batting, then the pre-printed top. I will be following the marking on that top to make the quilting design of the quilt.
I am hand quilting these – I imagine the process would be similar if it is machine quilted.
When you put the quilt “sandwich” in the frame, make sure that the pre-printed top is what you see. Until you complete the quilting – the backing is the top so the marked lines can be followed.
Marks be gone:
Once you have completed the quilting the quilt can be washed to take out the lines, or lay the quilt outside on a dry sunny day.
Lay a king size white flat sheet on the ground, lay out the quilt pre-marked quilt top up, and then lay another king size white quilt on top. By late afternoon, the marking has pretty much faded.
I have 2 methods to wash quilts depending on the weather or my available time:
One way is to put a white sheet in the bottom of the bath tub, put the quilt loosely bunched up on top of the sheet and put in warm soapy water. Let soak a couple hours. Drain water and push as much of the water out by hand. Then run in more warm water and let set another couple hours to rinse. Drain really good – usually another couple hours. Hang up over chairs or wooden drying racks to dry.
Do not hang on the wash line as the weight of the quilt will damage it.
The second way to wash a quilt is to take to the laundry mat. Use a large front loading machine that does not agitate on the gentle cycle. Then throw it in the dryer for one cycle and take home to hang up over chairs or wooden drying racks.
Using pre-printed quilt tops allows you to spend the time quilting, instead of marking the top. I find it very enjoyable to follow the printed lines and relax with the rhythm of the quilting. Here’s another pre-printed top I used to make a quilt.