Tinkerbelle is Off the Wall

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.

Step 10

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.

auditioning fm for tink

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.

Step 11

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.

free motion stitching a quilted dog portrait

Step 12

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.

internal border of quilted pet portrait

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.

 

 

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2 Responses to Tinkerbelle is Off the Wall

  1. Dee says:

    Anne, thank you for this tutorial….I am working on a picture of a Boston terrier, very similar to Tinkerbelle. I’ve been stuck on the quilting part….but now I have the answer! Your description is very clear.

    • Anne Mathers says:

      You’re so welcome. It takes a bit of practise to quilt around the bitty pieces but it soon feels much like drawing a line with a pen. Atleast that’s what I’ve found. Good luck with your Boston portrait.

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