q Design Transfers - Put a Light Under It | Tourmaline & Thyme Quilts

Do you transfer designs by hand from paper to fabric for quilting, applique or embroidery? If so, you know that putting a light under your design makes it easier to see. Therefore, it is easier to trace.

There are three primary methods for putting a light under your work:

  • Use a window – This is the easiest and least expensive way. However, it only works during the day, unless you shine a light in your window at night. That may get the neighbors talking. Granted, it is great for large pieces, especially if you have a big window like a sliding glass door or picture window. However, drawing on vertical surfaces can be difficult. Not to mention, you need a tape that will hold the fabric, but not stick so well that you ruin your window. Test in small inconspicuous areas first.
  • Use a light pad – These are wonderful as horizontal surfaces. Different sizes are available. And the costs increase as the pads get larger. You can use them anytime you have a power source. They are generally portable. But because they are generally smaller, you may need to keep moving the pattern and fabric to copy large designs.
  • Make a light table – This may be the best option for some. You can take any clear horizontal surface – like a sewing table extension, glass table, even a spare window! Put a light under it. Think ring light, cell phone, flash light or even work light. Then, put your pattern and fabric on top and trace away.

If you want to see these methods in action, watch our short video.

Happy Quilting!

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