There are a lot of really fun picture blocks out there. If you have a hobby or interest, it doesn’t matter how far out it is, somewhere there is a quilt design that can reflect it. Many are paper pieced. This is when you add swaths of fabric right sides together under the paper pattern and stitch through the paper and fabric on a printed or drawn line. The fabric is cut to shape after it is sewn together when you trim the seam allowance before pressing it open and adding the next piece of fabric. It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t that bad and can have amazing results.
Some patterns are not paper pieced, but simply a combination of half square triangles, flying geese, and other shapes and blocks. These too, are not necessarily difficult, but you do need to be able to follow a diagram and instructions to have success. However you make them, picture blocks can be a lot of fun. Our longarm machine renters will bring these in on occasion. We have seen cats, bones, and cars. Here are a few quilts our renters recently quilted on the longarm machines.
Pictures of Music
This is Colleen’s guitars. We think this is the Kevin’s Guitar quilt by It’s Sew Emma. I have forgotten who she said this was for, but I’m guessing they play the guitar. It was a great idea to use the same fabrics for all three guitars. There is variety there with three different guitar colors, but cohesiveness with the accent colors being the same as the main color of another. They go together really well. She quilted this with Star Dance. This pantograph, as you can see, is large stars with some swirls and loops. It definitely adds to the rock star picture vibe.
This teddy bear quilt was from John for his rental certification class. He had to quilt it free motion because the eyes and noses are not only appliqued, but dimensional. We didn’t want them to get tweaked or smooshed weird. In a pantograph, you are quilting from the back of the machine where it is harder to see what is going on in the front. Some loops and spirals finished it nicely. I love the addition of the cat and monkey fabric. Such a fun quilt for a grandchild.
This is a great quilt from Erin Harris. This is the Norm and Nanette quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. I believe Erin made this for her sister in law. Who doesn’t love cute little garden gnomes? She used fabrics from the same line, so she was able to use similar patterns in all the different colors. There were some very tiny pieces in these. Erin did not applique those little black eyes and red mouths. They are all pieced. Because Erin is more comfortable with free motion quilting than with pantographs, she free motion quilted this quilt. You can see the rows of loops adding texture to the rows of gnomes.
Go ahead and do a google search for paper pieced patterns. You will be amazed at the variety of pictures that are available! In addition to guitars, teddy bears, and gnomes I also found drums, violins, foxes, squirrels, elves, santas, etc. After you’ve made your favorites, post them onto our Facebook page. We’d love to see what you’ve been working on!