I originally posted this over the last 5 weeks on Craft Hackers. I decided to rewrite it here in it’s entirety for my quilt loving followers. Just as a warning, this post is REALLY long because it includes 5 weeks of posts detailing how I made my quilt.
I had the pleasure of meeting and taking a class from Joni Newman on April 22nd. She is known for her stunning quilts, especially the stained glass technique. I decided I wanted something that truly shows Canada in my quilt, so I chose her Majestic Moose pattern.
Step 1 – Trace the image onto a piece of black fabric
I used a light box when doing my tracing. I kept losing the lines of my pencil and had to keep turning it off and on. Joni suggested doing this against a window on an overcast day. She said it is light enough to see through and draw, but dark enough that you can see your markings.
You may have noticed I used a quilting pencil when I drew my moose onto the fabric. I learned that this is NOT a good idea. It may be hard to completely wash out the pencil and if the fabric being fused onto it doesn’t cover up the pencil lines, then it may be seen in the finished product. Joni suggested using a chalk pencil instead. The chalk will easily wash away. It’s a good thing this Moose will probably be for me, or a gift.
Step 2 – Reverse the drawing and trace it onto your fusible web.
I also used my light box for this step and it was a lot easier than the previous step. I thought it was pretty straight forward and used my quilting pencil again for the drawing. That was perfectly fine and worked, except when I was ironing them onto the fabric and cutting them out, the pencil would rub off. Joni suggested using a fine tipped sharpie. The paper will be removed from the fabric, so won’t be seen at all.
Step 3 – Cut apart the shapes between the lines, not on them.
This was a pretty easy step. It just took time. When you are cutting your paper make sure you use paper scissors, not fabric scissors. You don’t want to dull your good scissors! The biggest thing to keep in mind when cutting them apart is not to lose the little pieces of paper. Joni suggested Ziploc bags and labeling the different groups of pieces. I thought “Oh, I can keep it straight and just keep them in piles”. Guess who lost one of the pieces?
Step 4 – Fuse pieces to the wrong side of your fabric.
This is where I decided what fabric I wanted to pick for each design. I decided to go with a solid color for the moose without the shading the original has. I bought a kit from Joni so I used a lot of the same fabrics, just made different choices. Once the pieces were ironed on the correct fabric, I cut them out along the lines.
Step 5 – Place the cut out shapes in place (peeling off the paper) and iron in place.
You notice that lovely area on the front leg of the moose? I lost it somehow. I didn’t keep track of all of my pieces and somehow it went missing. So I pulled the pattern out again and made another one.
To prepare for step 6, I first had to decide if I was going to sew the pieces in place first, or pin it and quilt the entire thing to hold the pieces in place. I decided to sew them first and then quilt along the black lines.
It was important to me for the thread to match the fabrics.
Step 6: Sew, quilt, and bind the top.
At first I wanted to sew them on free hand to move a little faster. As you see, that didn’t work out too well. I just couldn’t seem to keep it moving along the edges.
So I decided to just sew them on as normal applique using a rough edge straight stitch. I actually started to get the hang of it!
As you see, I still need some practice, but I am sure the more I make the better I will get. Next I needed to get that 9 patch border finished. I followed the directions exactly like Joni had them to make the 9 patches.
After assembling them, I wasn’t sure I wanted to make it just like she had in the sample and wanted to play around with the layout. I pulled out my brand new design wall and used a few different layouts until I got one I liked.
Then it was just a matter of sewing the blocks together.
I ran into a small problem at this point. I trimmed down my moose to show the right amount of black that I wanted to show. I didn’t read ahead in the directions that it had to be a certain size for the borders to work. Oops! I fixed the problem by adding on a little bit of brown to each end.
When I assemble my quilts, I tape the backing to the ground, smooth the batting over it, then place the top. I use quilting curved safety pins to hold it in place. I always decide how I want to quilt it before pinning it so I don’t hit the pins with my sewing needle.
Next is the quilting. For this quilt I decided to use black thread. I quilted some of the black areas inside the quilt and meandered around the border.
After removing the pins and trimming the edges, it was time to bind it. I make all of my own binding and add it on using my machine.
I am pretty happy with the finished product. Even though I made quite a few mistakes, it is hard to tell with the finished product. I have learned when you make mistakes in your crafts, it is important not to give up and just incorporate those mistakes in the finished product. Make it look like you did it on purpose!
Next week I will be at Wizard World Philly!! Make sure you swing by and say hi!