Heather Thomas

Using Quilt Stencils to Enhance a Boring Quilt

Heather Thomas
Duration:   10  mins

Whether you’ve been quilting for months or for many years, odds are you have made a quilt that didn’t turn out the way you had planned. Heather Thomas shows how to add extra visual interest to a quilt using quilt stencils and fabric paint.

Stencils and Paint

To add extra design to your quilt using stencils, Heather shows several different examples of quilt stencils that can be used. Many craft and fabric stores sell stencils in various sizes made from plastic, which can be easy to wash paint off of. Heather then shows the type of paint she like to use, a textile paint. However, she explains that any fabric paint can be used. For the quilt stencils Heather uses, she prefers to apply her paint with a small roller rather than a brush. She demonstrates how she loads paint onto the roller and then how she carefully rolls paint onto the fabric over the quilt stencil.


For the example quilts Heather adds extra visual interest to using her quilting stencils she uses black paint. While black goes with the colors of the quilts she is using, any color can be used, though she recommends choosing one solid color. For each of the quilts Heather adds stenciling to, as well as the other quilts she has already done, she explains how and where she decides to place her designs.

In some cases, depending on the fabric used and the quilting designs on the quilt, an all over stencil design may look best. In other quilts, Heather shows how you can use different portions of a quilt stencil in different areas of a quilt to make sure the piece remains balanced. She also shows how you can use just the roller and fabric paint to add a small amount of color to an area of a quilt to help make the added stenciled design stand out.