Bluebonnet the art collage longhorn – collage lesson #4


This post is my final collage art quilt lesson on how to make Bluebonnet. This week I will talk about auditioning the background, gluing down Bluebonnet to the background, machine quilting options and binding.

Auditioning Background Fabric – After cutting the excess pattern ease from Bluebonnet (I left a portion around the horns and removed the pattern ease later), I went to my local friendly quilt shop, Cupcake Quilts, in Humble, Texas. One of the nice ladies helped pull down bolts of fabric so I could audition the background. I loved their suggestions and the process. Notice the bright pink, lighter pink bolt and the bright yellow batik bolt. They were interesting choices but not perfect. The light brown that was auditioned was also interesting but not the look I was going for. I did use the light brown for the backing. The next audition background is a light yellow. Still not right. The final choice was perfect … a bright yellow and burnt orange. It really made Bluebonnet pop!

Gluing Down Fabric to Background – After ironing the background lay it 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 Bluebonnet exactly where you want her on the background. Using FabricFuse, a quick bonding fabric adhesive, place a thin line of glue around the entire outer back-edge of the collage. For instance, lift one of Bluebonnet’s horns … glue along the back edge … then carefully lay the horn back down on the background. Repeat until you have the entire edge of your collage glued down. Follow the pressing/drying directions for the fusible glue and you are finished with your collage art quilt top.

Quilting Options A Needle and Thread, in Old Town Spring, custom quilted Bluebonnet. Erica pulled out several variegated quilting threads and one stood out! I like how she quilted around the collaged motifs to make them puff out. Erica also outlined the entire image and then quilted a flowery quilting pattern. She is such a pleasure to work with! There are lots of other ways to quilt your collage. I have also seen collages quilted in close vertical lines and close-cross hatching.

Binding and Hanging Bluebonnet Quilt – I chose the red bandana fabric for Bluebonnet’s binding. It just seemed to make sense because of the bandana fabric in the legs and horns. Two and one-half (2-1/2) inch strips are sewn together, folded lengthwise and the raw edge sewn to the front edge of the quilt. Turn the fold edge to the back and hand sew in little stitches. Very traditional and easy. Make a fabric tube and hand sew to the back and you are ready to hang!

As I release new patterns, I will include a series of tips and how-to’s!

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.

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.

Moo-Shu’s seven tips to finish your collage quilt

The whole collage quilting process is so much fun! Choosing fabric for your collage, fusing, cutting out the motifs and placing them on your Pattern Ease foundation. But now you have to turn it into an art quilt!

1. Cutting out Moo-Shu’s outline – You have a decision to make. Cut along the marked outer line of your pattern … let a design motif spill over or cut along the motif line. I do both depending on the look I want to achieve. Look on the back side of your fused design and decide!

2. Moo-Shu’s Background fabric – Audition your background fabrics for Moo-Shu. I chose two bright green batiks. Ultimately, I liked the look of the flatter green batik for Moo-Shu’s background … and used the wilder bright green batik for the backing.

3. Steam it! – I have had two quilts machine-quilted and have heard from my awesome longarm lady at A Needle and Thread that the fusing sometimes gums up the needle slowing down progress! I have read many online comments that suggest giving Moo-Shu a great steam. Apparently, this makes machine quilting easier. I will let you know if it helps on the next quilt!

4. Machine quilting needles – Since I send my quilts out to be machine-quilted, I do not live in that world. For those that machine-quilt at home (not longarm), several kinds of needles have been recommended at various online sites: Madeira Embroidery Anti-Glue needles, Schmetz Embroidery Gold, Schmetz Super Non-Stick size 4. I have no knowledge if these needles could be used on longarm machines. I welcome your suggestions!

5. Quilting Moo-Shu ideas – There are so many ways to quilt Moo-Shu. I chose to have Moo-Shu custom-quilted around various motifs to make them puff out. Moo-Shu’s outside edge is also outlined. The idea is to catch as many of the free edges as possible so your quilt will last a very long time. This is an art quilt and meant to be hung on a wall. The background has an all-over design. I have seen collage quilts quilted with very close parallel lines and also cross-hatched. It is up to you!

6. Moo-Shu’s Quilt label – My lovely friend, Sally, machine embroidered Moo-Shu’s quilt label. Labeling a quilt is important. My awesome son-in-law, Chad, has a quilt handed down to him from a relative that is priceless … but no label. So … give your Panda quilt a name, put your name on it, and who quilted it. Don’t forget your town/state and the year finished. Fifty years from now someone is going to want to know a little of the story behind your quilt.

7. Moo-Shu Hanging sleeve – Moo-Shu is going to hang in my sewing room just as soon as I get the quilt label finished and the hanging sleeve on. I have five quilts hanging at all times in my house, rotating them for the seasons, and no two are hung the same. Blame that on my engineering husband. He is so creative. But each quilt has the same type of easy hanging sleeve made from fabric the width of the quilt and around 9 or 10 inches in length. Fold the fabric, finishing the ends, make a tube, turn inside out and hand-stitch to the upper back of your quilt.

I hope you found these tips helpful!

Interested in purchasing Moo-Shu’s collage quilt pattern? My first pattern is for sale on Etsy.

Lulu collage quilt – she is finished!

Picked up Lulu from Erica, the awesome long arm quilt lady at A Needle and Thread, and couldn’t be happier! It was so fun to collaborate with her. Erica quilted an outline around the entire elephant image and custom quilted around the flowers, leaves, butterflies and other critters. I especially love the puffy textures she created with thread on the fishes. On the background yellow batik, Erica quilted an lovely all-over leaf design.

I’ve seen collage quilts quilted in tight vertical and horizontal grids. I know this ensures the fused fabric pieces will stay in place … but then I saw an alternative. Our collage quilt instructor, the awesome Jo Lynn, brought several completed collage quilts to class and they were stunning. On her quilts, the collaged image was custom quilted around the whole image as well as into the flowers, feathers, critters and such. I loved the look!

The amazing Sally embroidered the patch for the back of the quilt in hot pink thread. I had Sally place it on white fabric to remind me to “audition” background fabric on all future collage quilts. I almost had a huge “Oops.” I originally purchased plenty of white fabric for the elephant background while still taking the collage quilting class. I was obviously trying to hurry the process. Thank goodness I brought an unfinished Lulu for “show and tell” to the prayer quilt ministry I volunteer at on Wednesdays. The ladies stepped up and gently prepared me for an intervention. Yep … I would be making a huge mistake with the white! It was either Noreen or Cathy that suggested yellow and it really works on this quilt!

So what is next? I created a collage pattern and am busy working on a prototype collage quilt. Stay tuned! Future blog post in the making!

A pixelated heart quilt for Baby Frantz


This past weekend I attended a baby shower for my lovely daughter-in-law in Michigan. Still pinching myself Ricky and Kate are going to be parents. It will be our third little bundle of joy … and Kate’s parent’s first grandbaby. So much to celebrate!

I brought along with me a baby quilt that has been in the works for a spell. My carry-on bag contained the baby quilt and a wool coat for me. Not used to cold weather in March, but I did bring the “Texas sun” with me! Kate’s baby colors are sea foam green/teal, with white and gray. Kate and I collaborated on the design several months ago. I sent her quilt pattern possibilities from one of my favorite blogs … Diary of a Quilter. I’ve subscribed to Amy’s blog for some time and really like her style. She made her pixelated heart in two sizes … one very large and the other a tad smaller. I just reduced the size of the square blocks down to three inches to get the size quilt I was looking for.

The quilt has a total of 285 three-inch blocks … 70 of them a variety of sea foam green/teals and 215 a variety of whites for a scrappy look. The size of the quilt is 37.5″ by 47.5″ … 15 squares by 19 squares … and the perfect size for some future tummy time. I couldn’t find a suitable gray for the quilt and just decided to leave it out rather than not be happy with the result. This little girl will be receiving lots more quilts during her lifetime so there are lots more chances to get it perfect.

The quilt was machine-quilted with a butterfly pantograph by A Needle and Thread in Old Town Spring. And my awesome friend and fellow quilter, Sally, embroidered the patch on the back.

Next up … progress on that elephant collage quilt! It is going to be awesome! I’m so glad I auditioned the background fabric for Lulu with some friends. Disaster averted!