art / picture quilt tutorial (part 1)

With all this gloomy weather, I was feeling the need to work on something cheery. I also wanted to play with fabric, so I started a bubble-blowing quilt. I thought I’d share my process here, hoping you’d find it more interesting than yet another round of travel photos.

I first created a simple line drawing on regular printer paper, then put fusible web (sticky side down) over the top and traced the outlines with a pencil. I cut around the outline to get this:


I drew dividing lines randomly on my cutout (they’re random but I always try to stay with the general shape of each element) and used an x-acto knife to cut those pieces apart to get these:


Next I rummaged through my fabric scraps to find the colors I wanted to use. BTW, one of my personal rules for making these little art quilts is that I have to use whatever I have in the scrap tub… it adds an extra challenge and helps to reduce the pile!


After I had my fabrics figured out, I ironed the fusible web bits onto the scraps and cut them out… then remembered that I had forgotten to grab a background fabric!


I wanted this girl to be blowing bubbles in the house so this wallper-ish design was perfect for the background. I peeled the paper backings off all of the fusible bits and laid them on top of the green fabric. It’s like working a puzzle and it usually takes me a few tries before I get the pieces exactly where I want them.


Oh- did you notice that she’s facing opposite of how I drew her? I found out the hard way that lettering (or anything that matters directionally) needs to be reversed before tracing. Anyway, after everything was in place, I ironed the whole shebang. Hmm… I don’t seem to have a picture of that… you’ll have to look at the last pic to see how it all ironed down.

My girl was blowing hot air– she needed some bubbles, asap! Since bubbles are simple round pieces, I used a different approach for making them. I ironed squares of fusible web onto the back of several blue fabric squares and traced around a few round things I had in the kitchen. There’s no need for pre-drawing with easy shapes.


So far so good, but this girl didn’t have any hair! I didn’t want the title of the quilt to be “The Baldheaded Bubble Blower”, so I found some brown fabric and made hair for her:


And then I put the quilt away. The next step will be sewing around the individual pieces and then I’ll start adding embellishments, then…? I never know when these are done until they’re done, if that makes any sense. Very little planning goes into the art quilts I make because an idea can evolve so much during execution. More pics of the next steps when I get around to it :)



10 thoughts on “art / picture quilt tutorial (part 1)

  1. Monique!
    That is too cool – such a fun design you created too. I’m beat. This weather in combination with my workload is gonna do me in! I need sunshine – hey, the beach would be nice to go with it. LOL


  2. You came up with a really neat design, what a fun one to work with. Looking forward to seeing what all embelishments you decide to use. Loved the earlier travel pictures too, Cheese is just so fun to see with everything he gets up too. :)

  3. Hi, this tutorial is just what I’m looking for…but where’s part 2?


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