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The Magic of Quilting Stamps: A Beginner's Guide

Patchwork using stamps that have a built-in seam allowance is a breeze, as it eliminates the need for tedious measuring and marking. Say goodbye to the hassle of adding seam allowances manually, as specially designed stamps already include it meaning you can get to the stitching part faster.

One of the first designs i made in patchwork was a Grandmother's Flower Garden. My teacher used a stamp (from the US) to print the hexagons which were then cut out by hand. I have never been a papercrafter, but I was hooked by this method and searched for a set of stamps of my own.

I searched for years but couldn't get any in or sent to the UK!

One Sunday morning I was watching the sewing shows on 'selly telly' and a lady, Rinske Stevens, came on with her quilting stamps!! As she began her demonstration, I was already online and ordering. Now, I use these stamps to teach a different technique for piecing hexagons that saves time and allows for precise results.

The stamps can be bought through Rinkse's website (link below) where she has variety of shapes and kits available.

To do your own stamping, you will need:

  • a quilting stamp

  • an acrylic block

  • ink pad for fabric

  • fabric

  • hand-sewing needle

  • thread

  • The clear stamps will stick to the acrylic block. Place the stamp centrally so you can get even pressure when you press down on the block.

  • A tip I picked up from papercrafters - take your ink to your stamp. Try to get it on the raised parts of the stamp only, this will help you see through the stamp if you are fussy cutting. (The stamps can be washed so don't worry if you do get in in the middle)

  • The outer, dotted line (cutting line) and inner solid line (stitching line) will have been inked and are now ready for stamping onto fabric.

  • Place the stamp on the back of your fabric and apply even pressure to push down on the block.

  • When you lift the stamp away you will have a shape that can be cut on the dotted line and stitched on the solid line.

  • I have found that I can get two decent stamps out of one inking using light and medium fabrics. On very light fabric, a dark ink may show through but you can buy lighter colour inks.

  • Cut your shapes on the dotted lines.

  • Lay them out in the pattern you are making.

  • For this pattern of hexagons, lay one of the outer hexagons over the middle one and pin at one of the corners. I am right-handed so will stitch from right to left so pin the corner to the left of where my stitches will be. (The hexagons in the pinned picture should be rotated so the pink patch will fill the gap when it's opened out)

  • Make a double stitch at the start to secure the hexagon at the corner then, using a running stitch, load up your needle to the middle of the fabric. Pull your thread through and smooth out.

  • Make a back stitch, load up your needle to the opposite corner, pull the thread through and smooth out. You can make a securing stitch here but don't cut your thread.

  • Place your hexagons back in the design and pin the next hexagon ready for stitching so you can continue from where you left off.

  • Stitch the second hexagon in the same way as the first.

  • Continue to stitch the hexagons around the centre.

  • Once all the hexagons in the round are attached, start stitching the side seams. You will finish each side seam with a securing stitch before cutting the thread and starting on the next.

  • Press the seams to reduce the bulk. I press all the seams to one side when hand-stitching to make the seam more secure and so it won't pull open at any of the larger hand-stitches.

Six pink hexagons stitched to a central yellow hexagon in a flower design

You can carry on adding hexagons (or other shapes) or applique a smaller design into a bigger piece.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced quilter, the variety of quilting stamps available ensures that you can create a wide range of beautiful and intricate quilt patterns.

You can find Rinske's quilting stamps here -

Happy Stitching!

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