Sunday, May 29, 2016

How to make a painted-block quilt. Part 1.

Aside from writing books, I also make quilts. It's something my mom and grandma taught me to do when I was little. In fact, I learned in the daycare they owned together.

Here's one I made for my boyfriend for Christmas:

Okay, I kinda lied. The only part I did for that one was painting the squares and tying the quilt. So if you have an amazing awesome grandma, this process will be even easier.

However, I finally got a sewing machine and I'm learning, so this next quilt I'm working will be ALL me. Anyway, I'd been promising a few people that I'd write a series of blog posts explaining the process. So here we go.

Supplies that you need right away:

1.) Ball point fabric paints.
I use both Aunt Martha's which you can get in combo packs on Amazon, and Tri-chem, which you order from their site.

You can also get this nifty case to hold them all.

2.) Washable Fabric pencil

3.) Quilting ruler.

The square one RULES!!

4.) Cutting mat

5.) Rotary cutter

6.) White cotton fabric.

How much you need depends on how many squares you'll cut.

Tip: You can get 42 13x13 squares out of a Queen flat sheet.

(Just get a bed sheet from a thrift store. They work great)

7.) Carbon paper

8.) The images you want to use.

Ex: 30 for a Queen Size, 42 for a California King.

You can either pick pages from a coloring book, or download any image you want off the internet.

If you're not using color pages and printing off your own, then you will need:

9.) Some photo program like Gimp,, or Photoshop

Then, of course, you'll need access to a color printer to print the pictures.

10.) A clip board.

11.) Clippies: Um.. you, know, these things:

Supplies you'll need later:

1.) Fabric for the strips that frame your squares

I'm going with this:

2.) Fabric for the back

3.) Quilt batting for the middle

4.) Yarn or Embroidery floss for tying.

I prefer the latter.


6.) Sewing scissors

7.) Sewing machine, or an awesome grandma who has one.

Pictured above: The most amazing woman in the universe.

8.) Access to a quilting frame... or study the DIY methods to tie a quilt without one.

Um, we'll get into quilting frames in a later post.

Okay, let's begin:

Step 1: Select the images you want for your quilt. Since I'm a hard core painter, I'm doing the covers of my favorite horror movies. Here's my pinterest board for that. Horror Quilt

However, for easier painting, I recommend coloring book pages. My aunt made quilts with Disney characters, for example.

If you're going my route and duplicating full color images, then you'll need to adjust your images to 8 1/12 by 11 and 300 dpi resolution in your photo program. After selecting the pictures you want to paint on your quilt, either print them out or take them out of your coloring book.

Step 2: cut the amount of squares you need for your size of quilt. For the quilt I'm making, I'm doing 30.

Step 3: Line up one of your fabric squares on the clip board, then place a piece of carbon paper, inky side down on the fabric. Place your image on the carbon paper. Make sure everything is centered before securing the layers with clips.

Step 4: Trace your image onto the fabric.

Step 5: Remove the image and carbon paper, then place a piece of paper on the clipboard underneath the fabric square because the paint will bleed through.

Step 6: Paint the squares.

The envelope was scratch paper to test paint colors. More on that later.

For tips on painting squares, see Part 2!!!

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