Add Glitz to your Quilt

We have a whole ebook all about adding glitz to your quilts, Glitzy Quilts, by the renowned quilter Annette Morgan.

The ebook has many techniques for you to try, such as dyeing in the microwave, 3D paint, using a soldering iron and foils, making beads, using sheer fabrics and plastics, and other ways of adding glitzy texture. This is appliqué for the contemporary quilter.

Follow Annette’s ideas and make a small quilt, using the techniques described, or dip in and out to try different methods for a particular textile piece.

‘This comprehensive guide includes sound advice on sourcing and working with many unusual materials for contemporary quilt making and yet also covers the practical side of making an art quilt, such as layering and finishing.’ – Patchwork and Quilting Magazine

For more about textile artist Annette Morgan, go to her website.


Now to add the glitz! There are many ways of adding sparkle to your quilt once it has been bound. In the ebook we concentrate on 3D paint, sequins, foil and, especially beads. See some of these in the free extracts below, along with the Stitch Resist technique.

3d paint

3D paint is excellent for adding sparkle and interest to the surface when the quilt is finished (not puff paint, which needs heat and tends to be a matt in colour). 3D paint is widely available in many colours. Never iron 3D paint – it becomes flat and sticks to your iron. I find it works well as little dots, which look very like beads on the surface. It can be applied in lines, but this is more difficult as you have to keep pressure on the bottle and squeeze for the length of the line. Sometimes bubbles get in the way. As I repeatedly say, practise on a sample first.


I really like the transparent sequins as they give glint rather than ‘bling’ (too much shiny gold/silver). There are many different types of sequins: round, square, flower and leaf shapes. There are many suppliers on the Internet. To stitch sequins down, I often use a thread that tones in with the back-ground. Then your eye is drawn to the sparkle rather than the stitch. I have tried using monofilament nylon but this often gets twisted and knotted. Use a single stitch or more. To add interest, sew beads in the hole of the sequin.


Applying coloured foil gives instant glitz. It can be glued in place or ironed onto small pieces of Bondaweb/Wonder-Under. Try Applique glue, which is available in a pack with foils.

Adding foil and paint to your quilt
Sample showing the use of small pieces of foil – also couching, appliqué, paint and free machine embroidery
add glitz to your quilt
Detail showing sequins stitched onto the surface, and gold 3D paint applied in dots

Stitch Resist

Stitch resist is a traditional technique used in the textiles of the Far East, from India to Japan. A pattern is stitched into the fabric using running stitch, then the thread is pulled tight to gather up the fabric, and the fabric is dyed.

When hand stitching for this technique, you need to use a strong thread such as buttonhole twist, as the thread is put under a great deal of tension when it is pulled tight. Ordinary sewing thread breaks too easily.

The beauty of stitch resist is that you can draw designs and patterns onto cloth before you start to stitch. This gives more control over the final result than tying, clamping or binding the fabric. The fabric can be used single, double or folded.

1. Draw your design onto the fabric using a pencil.

2. Stitch along the lines with a running stitch. When you reach the end of the line leave the thread hanging.

3. When the whole piece of fabric has been stitched, pull the threads as tight as you can and knot all the threads together in a bunch.

4. Soak the fabric in warm water, squeeze out the excess, then dye in the microwave or on the hob.

Stitch resist by machine

The sewing machine can also be used for stitch resist. Set the machine to a large stitch (straight or zig-zag) and loosen the tension. At the beginning of the stitching, reverse stitch to secure the ends. Leave the ends hanging. When the stitching is finished complete as above, Steps 3–4.

Stitching along the lines with running stitch
Stitch resist patterns
Stitch resist patterns
stitch resist sample
Threads pulled tight ready for dyeing