Cool Curves Make Amazing Scrollwork


Last summer, I took part in the Merchant Mall at Bernina University in Orlando. Most of the people at the conference were sewing machine dealers and their employees.

With my new Design Magic book in hand, I offered the dealers and shop owners a free DesignMagic stencil along with a free project. I was really interested to see which of the original 4 stencils (Safari, Scroll, Fractured-X or Wavy Squares) would win a popularity contest if people could choose just one.

While all of the stencils were popular, 35% of the dealers chose the Scroll stencil to make the sample for their project. The most frequent comment was that they liked the circular lines of the design — often referred to as “curlicues.” Here is a photo of the Scroll stencils.

When I created these designs, I was thinking about waves. (If you take one of the curly images and lay it on its side, it looks like a wave breaking — or at least it did in my mind.) But the composite image doesn’t look like water in any way, shape, or form!

Leanne (my trusty assistant) thought the images looked like Scrollwork, and that’s how the stencil got it’s name. (The discussions on names get very interesting at times — much rolling of eyes and tons of laughter as more than a few inappropriate possibilities are tossed about…) But, back to Scrolls…

I used the Scroll design for the very first project I created for the book. I made the little Scrollwork quilt at a retreat last fall. It was really an experiment to see if I could use Design Magic images with patchwork projects (instead of whole cloth), and clearly, the answer was YES! Here’s a photo of the Scrollwork quilt.

Making this quilt led to all of my “aha” moments related to the alignment guides on the pre-cut mylar stencils. when I made the blocks for this quilt, I put them on oversize blocks. Then I had to try to trim them down to size. With some designs that might work OK, but this one was a real bear. All the curves made it tough to find the “corners” for trimming the blocks to size. It was definitely one of those moments when I said “There has to be a better way!” And, of course, there was.

A number of people have asked what color paintstik I used on the Scrollwork quilt. Since there is no “burgundy” in the paintstik line, I made my own by mixing Purple Sage and Alizarin Crimson. (Crimson is a dark red, and the addition of purple tones it down to a nice burgundy.)

Before I go, I want to share one more piece that I made with the Scroll design. This is one of my Magic Mats. I painted this fabric while I was in Orlando. (I’m always happy when I can do double duty by demonstrating on fabric that will actually get used!) I used Chocolate Brown (from the matte color line) on the pink fabric.

If you would like to make Magic Mats, you can download our FREE PATTERN from the Learning Center by clicking on this link. To see all of our DesignMagic stencils and more information on how they work, visit this page.