Thursday, August 19, 2010

Little House Quilt - Choosing Construction Materials #4

We are starting to have some fun now.  What is your Little House made out of?  Brick, Stone, Wood, Siding, Stucco, Adobe?  What color is it?  What about your roof?  Is it Wood Shake, Tile, Shingles, Gravel, Metal, Shale, maybe it's flat and you can't really see it?  This is the time to explore your fabric stash and think about what your Little House will be constructed of.
Our Little House is made of wood siding that has been painted.  I could select a pin stripe fabric but then I would have to be concerned about all the various angles on my Little House.  We have bay windows on both ends so that would present a little challenge, not insurmountable.  But what I will choose to do is use a solid color fabric for the siding and later during the embellishing stage, I will stitch lines to represent the siding.  (besides, fresh out of pin stripe...LOL)
Below are some examples of construction fabrics, some would work well for a roof, some for the body of the house.  I have hundreds of fabrics, I just pulled these for an example...look through what you have and be creative...if your house is brick, but you don't have "brick" fabric but you do have a solid or very small print that is brick color, use that, you can always stitch the "bricks" on after.

Depending on the size of your project, generally speaking, very small prints work best when you are trying to "read" as a solid for siding or roof.  The black and white print above is very electric and could work as a roof fabric but your house better be just as dynamic.  Some of the center fabrics in the gray range work well as both house or roof fabric.  The plaid could work well for a brick house or a barn, the pattern next to it is a little to blocky for my taste, it would cut up the lines of the house too much.  The fabric on the far left would work well for a brick house.  The wood grain fabric, although interesting, might be a bit too large for a house, it would depend on the side and whether it was placed horizontal or vertical.  Play around, your house can be very vibrant, color crayon like, or it can be very realistic...your call.
Next weekend, we will get started on constructing your Little House, so have your construction materials at hand!

Little House Quilt - Sighting Your House #3

So by now you have 2 copies of your Little House Pattern and you have created a basic Lot to build your home on.  Take your black marker again and start to number the "basic" pieces of your house, you don't need to worry about windows or doors, just number the walls and the roof for right now.  Place the exact same numbers in the same location on your second copy of your pattern.  Take one copy and cut out your house, just like a paper doll, just trim around the outside.  Leave your other copy intact.
See example below:

 Okay, now we are going to explore some perspective in sighting our Little House on our Lot.  Below you will see what happens when I place the house directly on the horizon line.  This would be a good placement for a home that is on level ground on a street perhaps or out in the prairie.  Watch the perspective change when I move the house down below the horizon line.  We are on a steep hillside so my actual horizon line would be very high behind our home.  Don't get too excited about the horizon line, you will be placing trees, shrubs, other hills, what ever excites you before you actually place your house, right now you just want to get a feel for where you want it on your lot.  It does not have to be may wish to have a pretty landscape feature to the side of your home, a waterfall perhaps or a brook, this is the time to kind of think those things out a bit and play with your vision.

Again, study the examples above, play with your Little House and see where you would like to place it on your lot.  Once you have a pretty good idea, you can do one of two things, either place a mark on your house to show where the horizon line will be, just a little mark at each side of the house; you don't need to draw all the way across.  Or if you have a digital camera, you can take a quick little shot to remind you.  Either way will work.
Okay, we are on to Step 4 - choosing our construction materials!

Little House Quilt - Developing Your Lot #2

This is part 2 of Getting Started On Your Little House Quilt.  In this discussion we will explore the development of the "lot" on which you will "build" your Little House.  Keep the vision of "building a house" in your minds eye as you undertake this quilt and you will understand the process.  You can't put the windows on the house until you build it and you can't build it until you get the site developed.  So, this is our site development.

Start with ground and sky.  What color is your ground?  Take a look at your photo, what time of year is it?  Are the leaves on the trees or on the ground?  Is there snow?  Green Grass, stones? What does the sky look like?  Is it day or night, morning, midday  or sunset?
 This is the beginning of your artistic license, it can be any time of year you want, any time of day or night.  You can pick something entirely different from your photo, just be clear about what you are trying to express and be consistent.
Be bold in your fabric selections...this is your house!  If you look at the quick selection of fabrics that I pulled out this morning you can see a variety of "blue sky" and "green ground".  The fabrics that are very plain, don't pop out as much as some of the more exciting "textures" might.  Think about this when you are picking your landscape base fabric.  This is just a base that you will be building on by adding other landscaping elements and of course, your house.  We will add, trees, shrubs, flowers, stones, water, animals, cars, what ever to our landscape as we go along.  Remember "building".
Don't get hung up on the colors shown here, they are just an example, choose what pleases you, your sky may be a luscious peachy sunset color, or a pale dawn, it might be midnight with stars pick.  Let your fabric do some of the work for you.  In some of the fabrics below you can see the suggestion of what could work as clouds, hand dyes work well here.  Same way with the ground fabrics.  Want to do your quilt in "sepia" tones, you might think about a piece of muslin that you tea dye or coffee dye.  For this project you are the landscaper and you have complete license to do it any way you want!

In your photograph of your house,  there is a definite place where sky meets ground, this is called your horizon and will be a key feature in where you will place your house on your quilt once you start building it. so make sure that you give yourself plenty of sky above and ground below to work with.  You can trim it down to your desired finish size after you place the house, but for right now, give yourself plenty of both to work with.
You will take a strip of sky fabric the width of your desired quilt plus give yourself an additional 6 inches in width, same with your ground fabric.  Stitch these two together at the horizon line.  See example below:

Okay, you are ready for the next step...Sighting Your Little House!

Little House Quilt - Getting Started #1

Welcome and let's get started on your Little House Quilt.   You will need to start with a photo of a house that you want on your quilt, it can be another building, a church perhaps or a building of historical significance, the process will be the same.  If you have a digital camera and can load your picture onto your computer you will use Method #1 to create your pattern.  If you have a photograph only, then you will use Method #2 to create your pattern.  These quilts don't need to be large, I like mine about the size of a fat quarter give or take.  

Method #1:  Digital Camera:  take your photo and input it into your computer, use a photo editor software, like Microsoft Photo Editor or any photo editor software you may have to convert your photo from color to black and white or  using the effects tab, change your picture to a chalk and charcoal or a line drawing.  Print this out to the dimensions that you want for your pattern.  Make 2 copies.

Method #2:  Regular Photo:  take your photo to the copy shop and print it out in black and white, enlarged to the size you wish.  If you need a really big pattern, you can take your black and white copy to a Blue Printer and they will copy it for a couple bucks to the size you need.  Make 2 copies.
HINT:  You can use a fine or medium tip black marker to outline the various components on your pattern.
The process looks like this:

Your Colored Photo to Black and White, use either Method #1 or #2
Next, enlarge your black and white to your desired finish size.

The enlargement above has been taped together to achieve the size that I want for this project.  I did this on my office copy machine by selecting 141% and running the pictures through twice to get it to the size I wanted.  Be sure to make 2 copies of your desired size!   This house has pretty bold lines that are easy to see, but if it didn't, you could take a fine or medium black felt tip marker and a ruler, trace over the main features to make them more prominent.  You can see in the photo below that I have filled in some of the house lines with a marker to see them more clearly.  Do this on both copies of your pattern.

Materials List:
2 copies of your pattern.
Some Fusible Bonding, I like Mistyfuse because it's light weight and won't gum up your sewing machine, but any light weight fusible will do and if you have a paperback one, well, that is just fine also.  You can also use a quilting spray adhesive, or a powder bonding agent like Bo-nash 007 bonding agent.
A nonstick ironing sheet or the paper from your heat and bond.
A variety of fabric pieces to construct your "Little House" and it's surrounding landscape.
Scissors, sewing machine, threads, embellishments.

Little House Quilts

I have been asked by The Quilter's Club of America to do a little tutorial online about how to make my "Little House Quilts".  I have been having fun putting this together.  When our youngest son and his wife purchased their first home I made a little quilt to commemorate that event.  Here is a picture of the house and a picture of their Little House Quilt.  There are things I would do differently but they were happy with it. So here it is

Now here is their Little House Quilt

A good start, but it get's better
The middle son was next, he and his wife purchased a home and so, of course, we had to make a little house quilt for them also.  They have a little boy and so I included some fun things like their dog running in the front yard and little kitties hiding in the bushes.

Here is their Little House Quilt

You can see that the technique progressed a little from the first one to the second one.  Perspective is better, not floating in air, the landscaping makes it look grounded.  

I will post my tutorial online here as well, so you can see how it's done.  Please let me know if you make one, I would love to see the pictures!  

Quilting The Blooming 9 Patch

Here it is mounted onto the quilting machine over at Deanna Wright's home.  She was kind enough to let me come and quilt it on her beautiful machine.  So much fun, looking forward to the next one!  I was delighted with how the quilting turned out and loved the thread selection that I made.  It looks like tiny thin pieces of confetti streamers across the top all free motion quilting.

Now I just have to stitch on the binding and then a finish picture will be forth coming!