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Hand Quilting without Marking – video tutorial

Hand Quilting without Marking - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

In this video I show how to do more intricate hand quilting without marking.

I get really nervous about marking on my quilts.

Temporary markers (like water-soluble pens) disappear quickly in the humidity here.

Chalk marks disappear quickly in the time a quilt gets moved around on my sofa while I quilt it.

And the idea of marking on my quilts with anything permanent gives me the willies.

So pretty much as soon as I started quilting, I started looking for ways to do it without marking on my quilt at all. πŸ™‚

In this video I show you the two techniques I use over and over again.

I use painters tape as a guide for all straight lines. Those can be parallel lines, squares, diamonds, stars – anything made of straight lines.

For curves I cut the shape out of felt and stitch along the edge.

Easy peasy!

Here are all my posts about layering and basting your quilt, and the final round of quilting.

Here are all my posts about hand quilting and Big Stitch quilting. I don’t use these techniques with fusible applique or Quilt As You Go, but I LOVE using Big Stitch Quilting with my cheater fabric.

Finished with this topic?

Return to the Let’s Make a Quilt main Table of Contents.

Move on to the lessons about binding and finishing your quilt.

Happy quilting!


  1. Dixie Shoup SAYS...

    Thank you so very much.

  2. you are the bomb. Thank you so much for all you tip and free patterns.

  3. Thank so much for a great , clear and simple tutorial. πŸ‘πŸ‘ πŸ‘πŸ€—

  4. Theresa SAYS...

    Wendi- I really appreciated your idea of using tape and felt. I had never thought about that before. Really helpful.
    I’ve been quilting for about 12 years and have picked up some helpful hints from quilting friends. First of all I do mark most of my quilts with Crayola Washable Markers and have never had them fail to wash out. It may take two washings (rarely), but it works. Secondly, I run my thread (usually Gutterman’s) through a dryer sheet a couple of times to make sure it never knots while I am quilting. It works better than any other quilt thread application I have ever used. And last of all, I quilt with tiny #11 needles. This doesn’t leave much needle to grab when I want to pull the needle through the fabric. So I quilt with a needle nose plyers at the ready. It doesn’t seem to dull the needle and I am able to really use most of the needle before I pull it though the fabric.
    Just thought these hints might help someone else.

    • Judy SAYS...

      Just don’t iron over your markings that will set the ink O always learn the hard way.

  5. Trudy van Niekerk SAYS...

    Just love your video. I have been hesitant to mark my quilts too. Will definitely be using your wonderful technique. Thanks do much. 😊

  6. Kathy SAYS...

    Thank you, so much for this video! It is so clear and straight forward. Like you I don’t like the idea of marking my quilts and chalk would definitely wear off at the pace I sew. Now to go and create myself some felt templates and get quilting!

  7. Margaret Ann Patton SAYS...

    I have used washable Crayola makers and have no problem with the marker coming out

  8. Rosie Tooley SAYS...

    Thanks Wendi!
    I loved your instructions. They were very clear and you made everything look so easy! I’m going to start tonight.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year😊

  9. Camey SAYS...

    I’ve watched these first 2 videos and they have been such a help to me. I have never hand quilted before but I have a quilt that is all appliquΓ© and I don’t see any other way to quilt it. Thank your for your basic quilting technique tips.

    • Hazel SAYS...

      Hi Camey. I am doing the same now. How did you do your quilting? Thank you from a very inexperienced new quilter.

      • Julie Clark SAYS...

        Thank you for these top stitch strategies! I’m making an all muslin quilt, and I’m definitely going to use them.