Quilting Stencils to cut with the Silhouette Cameo

QS-11 Quick and Easy
QS-11 Quick and Easy. Free design available at http://www.quiltersniche.com/SVG-Quilt-Stencils/SVG-New-Stencils.htm

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have found a way to cut quilting stencils with my Silhouette Cameo. I have a ton of quilting designs and have just finished adapting the first batch to quilting stencils. The above file is an example. The little black lines in between the longer lines are actually little bridges that keep everything together, but because the design was reduced in size the white part became invisible.

The above design is free and can be downloaded from my website at http://www.quiltersniche.com/SVG-Quilt-Stencils/SVG-New-Stencils.htm .

Material to use:

You’ll want something you can look through so you can see where to place the stencil on your quilt. Preferably It should also hold up to repeated use. I tried the following:

– Tracing paper, but found it too flimsy.

– Plastic dividers that are used in binders. The cheaper ones that I bought at Target worked quite well, but their size was a drawback as they are only 8″ wide and many designs require at least 10″.

– Grafix Clear Craft Plastic, 0.007 weight,  bought from Amazon (also available at Dick Blick). The sheets were 12″ x 12″ and came in a pack of 25 sheets for under $10. I used a medium setting for the blade and double cut and then had to send it through the Silhouette a second time with the same settings. NOTE: when you send it through a second time, make sure you do not unload the mat after the first time. Just send it through again while the mat is still loaded. So it actually does a double cut twice and takes a bit longer.

– Finally, I tried Grafix Matte 0.005 Dura-Lar Film, also from Amazon. I liked this one the best. As it is matte it is easier to see where the cut lines are and I did not have to send it through the Silhouette a second time as it is just a tad thinner. Unfortunately it did not come in 12″ x 12″ so I had to settle for 9″ x 12″ sheets.

When the stencil is cut, you can mark your quilt with a pounce or with an air or water erasable fabric marker and then just stitch over the lines. A great method for those of us that are not too good at free motion quilting. Plus, it can be done with any machine whether a regular sewing machine or a long arm.

Not all designs make good quilting stencils. If there is too much backtracking or lots of lines cross each other, stencils would be too confusing to follow.   When a line crosses another one you may see the following:

stitchingThe first image shows how a line crosses another one. In the second image the red lines show how they should be stitched. The red lines are not shown in the actual stencil design, but once in a while a stencil may have some red arrows to indicate the direction of stitching. Make sure you deselect these red arrows before cutting your stencil so they don’t cut.

Here are a few a few of my stencil designs:

QS-4 Narrow Feather Corner
QS-4 Narrow Feather Corner

Sorry, the double lines do not show up in the graphic, but they are in the stencil. This is a corner block that can be combined with the border design.

QS-4 narrow feathers border
QS-4 narrow feathers border

Together they become this:

QS-4 Narrow Feathers corner-borders combined
QS-4 Narrow Feathers corner-borders combined

The border can of course be repeated. Fill half the width of the quilt. Then mirror the same designs for the other half.

Here is a 1/4 block in the same style:

QS-5 Narrow Feathers Block
QS-5 Narrow Feather 1/4 Block. Add and rotate 4 times.

The red arrows are stitching directions. The spine has to be sewn twice (backtracked). I try to avoid this as much as possible, but sometimes it is necessary to avoid tie-ins and tie-offs. By repeating and rotating the 1/4 block 4 times you get this result:

QS-5 Narrow Feathers Full Block
QS-5 Narrow Feathers Full Block

By backtracking over the spine, the whole block can be sewn in one go without any tie-offs.

One more note, the size of the stencil designs is adjustable in the Silhouette software. So, by cutting your own you can adjusts them to fit your quilt.

For more designs, please visit my website.

Feel free to share and pass this on to your quilter friends.

Until next time,




Author: Quilters Niche News

I am a quilter and designer of quilts and digital quilting patterns for longarm systems. I love to sew and all sorts of crafts

4 thoughts on “Quilting Stencils to cut with the Silhouette Cameo”

  1. Wow this is exactly what I was looking for! My mother in law is an amazing quilter and I am a scrapbooker and shes been eyeing my Cricut but we didn’t think it could do what she wanted and now we know a silhouette can and how to! Thank you so much!!!


  2. Hi! I wonder if the Grafix Matte film is fairly flexible. I am thinking of buying a cutter and I would also like to make punch cards for my knitting machine as well as quilting stencils. Also, I assume this film isn’t sticky on one side?


    1. The Grafix Matte film is not so flexible that it can be folded easily, but it cuts quite well with the Silhouette with the double cut setting. I can’t comment on punch cards. The last time I used those was in the 80’s and I seem to remember that they were made from a lighter material, but I am not sure as it was a long time ago. The film is not sticky.


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