Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Turn a Novelty Print into an Applique Pattern

Got a couple of yards of a cute novelty print that you don't know what do do with?  I usually buy small cuts of fabric to cut into even smaller bits and pieces for the baby quilts, but sometimes I find myself with actual yardage. There were two or three yards of this cute mouse print in one of my Craigslist purchases and I knew that if I cut it into my usual 2 1/2" squares, it'd be in every single quilt I made until the end of time. I needed a different tactic... 

This will work best with a novelty print that has a simple design in just a couple of colors. Pick one element and enlarge it on your copier until you get an image that's large enough and clear enough to trace. I don't have photos of the first copies I made, but they were dark and blurry. Just go around the edges and do the best you can. Leave out some of the detail if necessary. Once you get a traced image that you like,  go ahead and enlarge that to the size you want your finished applique to be. The mouse with cheese is about an inch high on the fabric. My applique is probably six or eight inches high. 

Trace the elements of your applique design onto fusible web. (Remember to reverse the image first!)  I divided the mouse head into three pieces because I wanted to separately outline the face and ears and left several of the holes out of the cheese so it wouldn't be as complex to applique. The nose is a separate piece of black fabric. 

I fused the pieces into place and outlined each one with buttonhole stitch, then embroidered the tail. Once that was done, I squared up the background fabric and added borders.

These are brand new instructions for an old quilt, one that I made before I started doing the baby quilt tutorials.  If I was making this quilt again today, I'd do something else with that wide outer border. The finished quilt was donated to a fund raiser auction at the center where one of my sons gets speech therapy - and  someone did buy it for a reasonable price, so I'm not stressing over it now. 

As always, if you make this quilt I'd love for you to send me a picture or link up to my weekly Let's Make Baby Quilts! linky party. There's a list of my free baby quilt tutorials over in the sidebar and you  can find out when new ones are added by either following my blog or liking the Let's Make Baby Quilts Facebook page.

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