Bluebonnet the art collage longhorn – collage lesson #2


Last week I wrote about having a general plan when selecting fabrics for your collage quilt. Decisions like will I be using themed fabric, batiks, or my personal favorite, Kaffe Fassett fabrics? Also, do not hesitate to pick through your fabric stash, especially if something isn’t working while building your collage.

COLLAGE LESSON #2

Filling up Bluebonnet with fabric motifs – Your collage pattern has been traced onto the pattern ease and taped on a foam core board. You have cut out your fused fabric motifs and laid them out. Grab a bunch of fine point pins and let’s get started.
I like to lean my foam board on an easel. It makes it easier to work. For the longhorn, I started on the top of her head and overlapped slightly the different flowers. I added the astronaut later when I discovered I needed to cover an empty spot with fabric. You don’t want any of the pattern ease to be showing. By the time you are completely finished pinning motifs, the entire longhorn needs to be covered so you cannot see the pattern ease. Also, you do not want to have too many layers of fabric. The only exception might be with the eyes. I believe I have three layers of fabric for each eye. The goal is to overlap slightly so as not to create too much bulk to quilt through. And remember, it is fine to let the motifs spill over the pattern line. I think it creates an interesting look in some areas … notice the longhorn’s flowered legs … when the excess pattern ease is finally cut away.

Creating the bandana horns and legs – I always knew the red bandana fabric would be used for Bluebonnet’s horns and two of the legs. I also used it for the longhorn’s nostrils. While I could have covered Bluebonnet with just small flower motifs, I thought it would be fun to try some larger pieces that were not flowers. There are probably a few ways to create the horn and leg shapes for these areas. I chose to trace, with tracing paper, the horn and leg lines with pencil. Any area that shared an interior line, I created an additional inch in those areas. You do not want to butt fabric up against each other. The extra margin of fabric allows enough area to overlap slightly the fabric motifs that will be laid over that small margin. After you have traced an area, cut out the tracing paper and lay it over the back of the fused bandana fabric. Make sure you have the tracing laying in the right direction so when you cut it out, the fused side covers the outlined horn area on your pattern ease and the fabric is facing up. You can now peel off the paper backing of the horns and legs and place them on your pattern ease to be ironed down later.

Next week … we will talk about cutting the pattern ease away, auditioning the background fabric, and gluing down Bluebonnet on the background.

As always, if you would like to purchase one of my collage art quilt patterns head over to my Etsy shop for full-size pattern, supply list and detailed instructions. Domestic shipping is free.

Bluebonnet the art collage longhorn – collage lesson #1


After releasing a new collage pattern, I like to throw out some hints/tips on how to make one of these quilts. Let’s talk about fabric choices for Bluebonnet the Longhorn. Although you don’t have to stick to an exact plan when creating your collage quilt … your fabric stash can be your best friend … it is good to have some general idea of the direction you are headed.

Originally, I thought about using all Kaffe Fassett fabric. I love their fabric’s bright colors! I also thought about using batiks and some novelty fabric for the actual longhorn. Wouldn’t it be fun to use batiks with a field of bluebonnets for the background? Absolutely! Exactly why I decided to do the opposite … bluebonnets and Texas-themed fabrics for the longhorn image and a bright yellow/burnt orange for the background.

Moda makes a lovely line of bluebonnet and Texas-themed novelty fabrics. I also used a fabric from Timeless Treasures that contains sunflowers, pansies, hydrangeas and some pink flowers that played nicely with the bluebonnet fabrics. Of course, when I saw the red bandana fabric, also a Moda fabric, I fell in love. Right away I thought about keeping the bandana fabric intact, instead of cutting it up, for Bluebonnet’s horns, two of the legs, and even the binding! You don’t have to always cut out small motifs for your collage quilt.

I worked on Bluebonnet’s face last. It was the most challenging area for me. When in doubt stage an intervention with your fabric stash! I pulled out a swirly blue fabric and Kaffe Fassett’s orchid fabric for the face.

Next time we will chat about strategies for filling up Bluebonnet with fabric motifs, overlapping motifs and creating the bandana horns and legs!

As always, if you would like to purchase this Bluebonnet art collage pattern, visit my Etsy shop with full-size pattern, supply list and detailed instructions!

Introducing Bluebonnet the collage quilt longhorn


Just in time for rodeo season, Bluebonnet the Collage Quilt Longhorn pattern, is making her debut! If you are interested in purchasing one of my original collage quilt patterns head on over to my Etsy shop. Full-size pattern and detailed supply list and instructions are included with all my quilt patterns and domestic shipping is free.

In the coming weeks, I will blog about the making of my Bluebonnet collage quilt with lots of tips, tricks and how-to’s!

Trudi the Collage Art Quilt Reindeer – all quilted


Trudi, the Collage Art Quilt Reindeer, has been back from the longarm quilter, A Needle and Thread, for some time and I just realized I haven’t blogged about the finished product! I guess I’ve been busy creating the next collage pattern! Trudi’s quilting is custom with the lovely Erica catching lots of the flower motif edges. She also enhanced lots of the areas to make them puff out. The outside edge of Trudi is also outlined. Finally, Erica quilted an “all over” pattern in the navy background. I used a marbled deep red for the binding and made a hanging sleeve for the back.

I love hanging my quilts and auditioned Trudi in my sewing room. Ultimately, I decided Trudi was meant to hang out in our entry foyer. What do you think?

Next week, I will be launching my next pattern just in time for rodeo season in Texas!

If you wish to purchase any of my patterns head on over to my Etsy Shop. Domestic shipping is free.

Trudi the collage art reindeer – auditioning the background and gluing down!


So far you have learned so much about collage quilting from my previous posts about Trudi. I wanted to take you from the beginning to the end of a collage art project. This post is about auditioning the background and gluing the collaged Trudi to the background fabric. I will save the post about the longarm quilting for later.

After finishing collaging Trudi, I cut away the pattern ease to reveal just the reindeer image. Trudi and I then took a little trip down to a local quilt shop to figure out a background fabric. I wasn’t going to repeat a mistake I made on my very first collage and purchase fabric before I had the collage finished. Getting stuck with over a yard of fabric you probably won’t use is not a happy thought.

So for Trudi, I knew I wanted a bright batik to really make her pop off the quilt. One of the lovely ladies that works at the quilt shop helped me pull fabric bolts down and lay Trudi across. I really liked the brightness of the lighter blue … but the reindeer didn’t pop. When I laid Trudi on the navy batik, we knew we had a winner! The lesson here is don’t rush when it comes to purchasing the background fabric. It can really enhance your collage art quilt.

After ironing the navy batik, I was ready to glue the collage onto the backing. This is so simple. I lay the batik, right side up, on the foam core board (the glue can bleed through a little and you don’t want glue all over your kitchen table). Place Trudi exactly where you want her on the background and keep her in that position. I use FabricFuse, a quick bonding fabric adhesive. There are several on the market. Place a thin line of glue around the entire outer back-edge of the collage and lift, for instance, one of the antlers … glue … then carefully lay the antler back down on the background. Repeat until you have the entire edge of your collage glued down. Follow the pressing/drying directions of the glue and you are finished with your collage art quilt top.

If you wish to purchase my original Trudi the collage art reindeer full-size pattern with step-by-step directions, visit my Etsy shop. Free domestic shipping is still available but for a limited time.

Trudi the collage art reindeer – a lesson in building your collage


Last week I wrote about building Trudi’s antlers and the method behind all the fun with little pieces of fused fabric.

Since then I have been Christmas shopping with my lovely daughter. Rice Village, a popular Houston shopping area, had an adorable reindeer just hanging out. I had to get a picture.

So this week let’s talk about some of the other areas on Trudi. It is instructive to see how an collage quilt comes together.

First, the Trudi’s eye gave me some issues. The eye originally chosen was a light brown fabric. It had a swirl in it that could suggest an eye. I knew Trudi’s face and ears were reserved for this beautiful medium blue/purple flower. Once the face was built, I placed the light brown eye. Unfortunately, it was totally lost in all that blue/purple. I struggled with different colors, but finally layered three fabrics. First white, then black and finally a pink center flower. Playing with the colors really paid off.

Next, I turned my attention to Trudi’s neck area. I knew the neck should be lighter in color and chose a cream with a hint of blue flower. I played with a thin red fabric to divide the neck from the body but didn’t like that at all. That red went in the trash. Once I had the neck covered with just the cream flowers, I still wasn’t happy. The flowers by themselves was too much. But by simply adding a few darker small flower motifs throughout the neck, it looked more interesting.

One of Trudi’s front legs was my biggest challenges. I interpreted the way Trudi’s two front legs are positioned on the pattern as a front and back leg. Actually, they are both FRONT legs. Note the mostly purple front leg. I kept looking at it until finally it came to me that it really was a front leg. I finally took off the purple motifs and built that leg much like the other front leg with red flowers. Instant harmony!

So I guess your takeaway from this blog post is to play around with the motifs. Experiment if something doesn’t feel right. Don’t be afraid to take a whole section of motifs off and start over. Add motifs to a section that looks plain or bland. Be bold.

Next week, I will show you how to audition a background fabric for Trudi. The background can totally change your collage quilt. I will also talk briefly about gluing Trudi onto the background and color options for binding.

As always, if you are interested in purchasing my Trudi full-size pattern and step-by-step instructions check out my Etsy shop. Free domestic shipping is still available but not for long.

Trudi the collage art reindeer – a lesson in getting started with the antlers!


Creating a collage art quilt is easier than you think. Just break the process down into little bites. If you need to review how to fuse, check out one of my previous blogs for new collage quilters on fusing. The link is provided here.

On this blog, I also have created several other blogs posts with lots of other tips, tricks and lessons on how to put together a collage art quilt.

With Trudi the Reindeer, I started with the most difficult area first … the antlers. All those little narrow areas and curves were going to take some time to cover properly with fused fabric. I already knew I wanted to use Philip Jacobs’ Orchid line of fabric in several different colorways. I previously used his fabric for Moo-Shu on the panda’s face and large body area. When figuring out the “look” for Trudi, I spent some time searching around the web just looking at fabric colors. I love the elegance of Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs’ fabrics. But I could have just as easily chosen batiks, novelty or even thrown in a plaid or two. I discovered two additional Philip Jacobs orchid colorways that have brown and orange tones. These colors made Trudi’s antlers appear more woodsy-looking. I also mixed in the lighter orchid colorways to create interest.

After cutting out lots of motifs, I like to lay them out near where I am working. Then I start pinning them onto my line drawing drawn on the Pattern Ease-covered foam core board. I move the motifs around and pin them on until I like how they look. I cut larger motifs into smaller pieces if I need to.

When I have the antlers covered with fabric, I take each motif off, remove the paper backing, and place the motif back on the Trudi’s line drawing pattern. The motifs are tacky on the back, with the paper removed, and adhere gently to the Pattern Ease. When the entire Trudi line drawing is covered with motifs, a final fuse with a hot iron is finally performed and they will now be permanently fused.

If you are interested in purchasing my Trudi the Reindeer pattern, head over to my Etsy shop. The pattern includes full-size line drawn pattern, supply list and step-by-step directions. Domestic shipping is still free for a limited time.

Next week … I will talk about the challenges I had with Trudi and how I solved them!