Child Art Quilt

I am on a mission this year to work through my WIP drawer and finally finish up the slightly embarrassing amount of almost done projects I have stored in there. I was able to cross one project off the list today when I put the final binding stitches on this little art quilt I made from one of my daughter’s drawings.

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I started this project about 18 months ago after I took a Cityscape quilt class with Susan Powell. I had never made an art quilt before ,and I really enjoyed her applique method. When I got home from that class, I started thinking about what else I could do with what she had taught us. The following evening my daughter drew this spooky forest picture while we were out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.

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As soon as I saw it, I thought “hmmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a quilt…” And so I started experimenting. I wish I had more work in progress photos to share, but since I started this over a year ago I was not really thinking about a blog back then. What I ended up doing was taking the drawing to our local copy shop and enlarging it slightly. I made a few copies in different sizes until I got what looked right to me. I realized a little bit too late that I should have reversed the image before printing out the copies – so that is a lesson learned for next time!

I taped the drawing onto a window on a nice sunny day, got out my Heat’n Bond Lite and a sharpie and got to work tracing out the individual shapes in the drawing. After I had each shape traced, I carefully cut each one out, pealed off one side of the waxy paper and ironed it onto the wrong side of the fabric I was going to use for that particular piece.  Then I cut out each ironed on shape from the fabric. I used a large piece of white Kona cotton as my background and I started building the drawing from the background forward. So once I had all the pieces cut out in fabric, I arranged them on the white background starting with the large blue sky and green grass. Then I layered on the sun in the far corner, the tree trunks and finally the tree tops. Once I had everything in place, I removed the second sheet of waxy paper and ironed all the fabric pieces onto the background.

Once all the shapes were in place it was time to start adding details. I used a wide zigzag stitch in black thread to outline the tree trunks like my daughter used her black crayon. I did a little bit of free motion squiggly quilting to add in the clouds in the sky & add some texture to the sun. I think my favorite part of this whole mini quilt was adding in her handwritten “Booooooo !”

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Because I had forgotten to reverse the image when I copied and enlarged it, the text was backwards on my copy. So I used my Golden Threads quilting paper to trace her handwriting from the original drawing so that I could transfer it onto the quilt. I am very much a novice free motion quilter, so the finished product is far from perfect, but I love that my daughter’s 6 year old handwriting is now captured on this quilt.

Once I was done with all the machine stitching, I decided to add one final special touch to this little treasure – instead of stitching in the apples on the trees I dug into my great-grandmother’s button collection.

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Hand sewing each button was a little more tedious than I expected, and it was at that point that this project ended up in my WIP drawer for over a year! So last week, I finally finished adding the buttons, attached the binding and finishing this one up. I LOVE how this turned out and the best part was seeing my daughter’s face when she finally got to see her drawing turned into a mini quilt. Finishing this up has also inspired me to finally do another project I’ve been meaning to do for years – starting an Art Gallery of my girls’ artwork in our house. I bought some frames and picked out a few of our favorite drawings so that these works of art can hang in the stairway of our house.

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All in all, I learned a lot from this super fun project. This project got put aside not only because I got bored of stitching on the buttons, but also because I was afraid of adding in the clouds with free motion quilting. I love free motion quilting and have done a ton of reading about it, watching youtube videos and classes, but it finally occurred to me recently that I was never going to get better at it until I actually start doing it. Like I said, I am not great at it, but hopefully over time it will get easier.  For now I am so happy to have this done and ready to hang in our home gallery. I look forward to making one for my younger daughter in a couple of years. :)

Comments

  1. I loved this right away when I saw it on Instagram. Turning their artwork into something new is always cool!

  2. Ohhhh I LOVE your ingenious idea!! Thank you for sharing….I am totally inspired to created something like this….as I too just love children’s art work and to make it into a quilt…how fun!

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