Category Archives: embroidery

Creating a Donald Duck (or any other favorite character) Quilt

finished donald

Sometime before last Christmas, I set aside blogging, as my then current projects were all to be top secret gifts.  Now as a snowbird on Hilton Head Island, with nothing more pressing than to enjoy the sun and do some quilting, it’s time to return to sharing. My first project after settling in was this quilt, in order to fulfill a Christmas IOU.  Well before Christmas, I  made several false starts that ended with tabling the project until after the busy holidays.  This had shown me what didn’t work, and made it easier to find a process that produced what I had imagined.  Below is a simple version of the steps.  Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need more details.

first three steps

1.  The first step was searching out the images I wished to use and transferring them to my blocks.  I found mine in Google images which is acceptable when making an item for your own use.  I used a printshop type program to create like-sized images and to print them. .  At this point you could use whatever method you prefer.  (Print directly on your fabric, print a heat transfer or print a copy and trace)  I was forced to trace, as I had brought copies and have no printer with me.  Make extra paper copies with any method, to use as patterns for the applique.

Fused applique2.  In choosing fabric, I was guided by Donald’s original cartoon images, only darkening them a bit to suit my own taste.  I then chose to work the rest of the quilt in those colors, adding only a striped fabric to draw the design together.  Fuse your fabrics to Wonder Under or the bonding product of your choice.  Cut patterns from your Donald image and trace them right side down to the Wonder Under backing of the appropriate colors.  Cut out the pieces and bond them to your block using the transferred image for placement. I then stitched around each piece, very close to the edge.  Donald is always shown with black lines around each object so I tried using my machine satin stitch for this, but wasn’t happy with the look, so ended up using hand embroidery for his lines.  Your might, however, wish to experiment with your machine.  A blanket stitch might have sufficed.

3.  Once the blocks were complete, I cut an assortment of various width strips of each fabric and laid them out to decide on my design.  Some people complete their design on paper and then know exactly what to cut, but this is the method I chose for this project.

laying out the design

4.  Now you are ready to sew your pieces together and create a quilt sandwich of backing, batting and the top.  I have recently begun using a spray bonding product in place of pinning.  This works so much better than pinning if you plan to free-motion quilt, which is my preferred method.

That completes your quilt.   Next blog I’ll share another simple wall hanging created as a thank you for a special friend.

Everyone Has to Start Somewhere – Embroidered Squares and Simple Machine Quilting

Early Effort 1Early Effort 2

These early photos are not very clear, but as the work is that of an early student, that may be just as well. Both are in a style I still enjoy producing, as the embroidered parts are easy take-along projects.

The herb quilt makes use of Aunt Martha iron-on transfers, available in most craft stores that handle embroidery floss. I chose fabrics I liked and added my own embroidered bees that mirror the bee fabric.  (Click on photo for a closer view.)

The Hello Kitty quilt made use of transfers produced by copying coloring book pages onto transfer paper. This, of course, cannot be produced for sale, but mine was for a new granddaughter.

Both quilts have flannel backings, which are wonderful for cuddle comfort, but which necessitated machine quilting. I had begun hand quilting, at this point, but had little experience with machine quilting, so these have only simple quilting along seam lines and around the embroidered images. On the herb quilt I only encircled the images, so the Hello Kitty was slightly more sophisticated with it’s stitching done very close to the images, which did enhance them a bit.