Quilter’s Block

23 02 2009

Writers can have “Writers Block” so why can’t quilter’s have “Quilter’s Block?”  I’ve been feeling that block for much of 2009.  This cute little quilt sat and just stared at me. 


 I was drawing a blank.  I finally decided I just needed to start.  The quilt is fairly busy so in the blocks most quilting wasn’t going to show.  I chose to use continuous curves and stitch in the ditch for all the busy prints.  That left the white spaces.  Throughout the quilt are pieces of fabric with letters or number.  So I decided to use my handy dandy computer for quilting designs — you did know you have quilting and applique designs in every computer, right?

This was the process I used this time.  

I measured the triangles so I would know how tall the designs could be.  


Then I opened Microsoft Word — any program that allows you to type words would work.  The first thing I did was type the alphabet.  It  didn’t matter what size or font at this point.


Next, I played with the font size.  Having your view at 100% helps.  You can then use a ruler and just measure the height of the font on the screen.  Highlight all your text and then adjust the font size.  I believe I used a font size of around 125 in this case, but each quilt will be different.  Realize the drop down menu only goes to 72 but you can type in much large values.  In fact you can go all the way to 1630 in word, you won’t be able to print it on a letter size piece of paper, but that isn’t my problem.


After you have a fairly good idea of the font size (you may have to adjust after your final decision because fonts vary) it’s time for the fun.  With the text still highlighted click on font face drop down menu.  At this point you can just hover your mouse over the name of a font and the letters on your screen will change.  Once you have hovered over a font you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to scroll quickly through the options.  When you find one you like click on it and that confirms your choice.  You can always come back later and change it again.  This is what the screen could look like.


We’re almost ready to print.  If you use the default, you will use a great deal of ink.  However, you can choose to print the letters as outlines.  Once again be sure all the letters are selected.  Next right click with your mouse and choose “font” from the drop down menu.  Under effects there are several radio boxes.  Click on the one called “Outline” and then OK.  Now it is time to print.  Here is the one page of the font I finally chose.

quilters-block-002At this point you could use your laser light and just quilt the letters.  I wanted more control.  So I got out my cutting mat and an exacto knife and cut out each letter.  You could use scissors, but for me the exacto knife was faster and easier.


I then positioned the cut out letter on the quilt.


When I was happy with placement I traced around the letter with a Marvy Air Erasable Marker.  Then I removed the paper and stitched.


After stitching, either wait for the marks to disappear (it doesn’t take long where I live) or use the eraser end of the pen to remove the marks.


The whole process was reasonably quick and accurate.  It also gave a nice little custom touch to the quilt.  We’ll see if the “quilter’s block” has been broken as I move on to the next quilt.

P.S.  This quilt was made by Rhonda from a Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. Schnibble pattern called Darcy.




3 responses

24 02 2009
Robyn Kirk. New Zealand

I love your quilt and your idea to quilt letters on the triangles. I am constantly amazed how reading blogs such as yours, give inspiration and ideas for my own quilts. May we know what the actual quilt pattern was or was that your own design as well?
New Zealand

24 02 2009
Vicki W

What a cute quilt and the quilted letters are a great touch.

26 02 2009

nice solution!

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