Melanie Testa – Traced Patterns

A note from Melanie Testa, author, blogger, textile designer, fiber artist, and teacher

Today as I prepare a class called “Pretty Purses” for the Chicago Quilt Festival , I sit at my aurora 440QE. I question what I do and why I do it. I think of my sewing machine as a pencil, anything I think up using a pencil can be quilted and represented on a quilt. I like thinking of machine quilting in this way because it feels expansive, as if the vista of my quilting horizon is broad and open to possibilities. I hope to express this sense of wonder to my students.

In the photo you see that there is a piece of tracing paper pinned to the surface of the small quilt that will be made into a purse. I often use tracing paper to transfer designs and drawings into my quilt tops because it tears away cleanly and easily. This example is a simple one, although if you were to try this out, you might find that sewing a neat circle is a bit more challenging than it might seem.

Here is another example of a tracing paper transfer of a drawing, this one a bit more challenging:

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