It’s time to celebrate because Tinkerbelle’s portrait is done and she has moved off the design wall! In this blog, I’ll describe how I quilted the background and the portrait itself. If you’ve just landed here, you can scoot back to the original post to see how this quilted dog portrait started.
I knew that I wanted to frame Tinkerbelle with an internal border 2 1/2” from the outside edge and that provided me the final dimensions of 22” wide x 24” high. Having selected the blue-green batik, I cut out a rectangle this size plus an additional 2” in width and height. I cut out slightly larger pieces of lightweight batting and backing and made a quilt sandwich out of the 3 layers, spray basting them so they would cling well and not slip around while I stitched them.
I had to decide on a free motion design so I took out a paper pad and doodled a few free motion designs, then chose two of my favourites. I’m a fan of testing my ideas before using them so I stitched some small samples to see how they would look. Oh my, am I glad I did that! This is how they turned out. The design on top was the winner hands down because it has a calming feeling while the one below looks busy and chaotic.
There’s no need to quilt behind the portrait itself so I marked off that area with a chalk marker. Then I went ahead and quilted the rest of the quilt sandwich.
Next, I pinned the portrait in place on the background and with a Sulky invisible monofilament thread and Schmetz Microtex 60 needle, I zigzagged along the entire outer edge. I used my walking foot for this operation. After securing the portrait this way, I switched to an open-toed darning foot, dropped the feed dogs on my machine, changed to a Schmetz Microtex 70 needle and used the five colour-matched threads (Aurifil 50wt cotton) to stitch around the raw edge of each piece in the portrait.
I had selected a black on white aboriginal print for the internal border since it seemed to echo the light on Tinkerbelle’s face. I planned to make a 1/2” border so I cut a 1” wide strip the required length plus a few inches to join the two ends. With a Hera marker I marked a 1/4” crease on each long edge, turned these edges to the back of the strip and pressed the strip well. I marked the placement of the internal border on the background with a chalk marker and then pinned the strip down along the chalk line. Using a narrow zigzag and invisible monofilament thread I stitched the inner edge of the border down, leaving a gap where I needed to join the two ends. I used a standard technique for joining these with a diagonal seam then resumed stitching the rest of the inner edge and finished off the outer edge as well.
All that’s left now is to finish the edges with a facing and add a hanging sleeve. That will be the final instalment in this series. If you have any thoughts on the processes I’ve described, please give me a shout by leaving a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks again for checking in.