Sunday, February 3, 2008

Applique wallhanging using EQ6 as a design tool.

It's my neighbor's birthday -- well, yesterday was. As usual, I'm a day behind...
I walk her dog, Buck during the week, so I decided to make her a little wall hanging of Buck, as a birthday gift. I actually remembered to document my process, so I'm blogging it, in case someone else can use these steps.
Hers's a photo I took of Buck -- dontcha' love that face? He's a Weimaraner and he just loves to talk and sing...he's very vocal!

I wanted to do Buck in 3 shades of fabric, so first I used photoshop to darken the shadows and midtones.

Then I opened EQ6 and started a new block in 'patchdraw,' and imported the new and less colorful Buck. Under 'options' in the Drawing board Set Up, I chose 'auto-fill when patch is closed.' That's not what they recommend, but it's the only way I can tell that my drawn patch is closed and exactly the right shape. I started with the very smallest pieces -- the pupils of his eyes. As each patch fills, it blocks out whatever is behind it, so keep that in mind when drawing. (do all the little bits first!)

Still in EQ -- all the patches are now drawn. There are several that you can't see behind his paw, eyes and ears.

Then I went to 'print templates' and got this. Now this is one of those annoying little things about EQ. Why does it spread all these little itty bitty pieces over so many pages and split-up over pages?? What a silly use of space... Luckily you can rotate and move the pieces. This started out on 6 pages and by the time I got rid of the 12 inch square template (duh) and moved the rest, it took only 3 pages to print. I'm doing raw edge applique, so I don't need those seam allowances either. If I had been thinking a little harder, I would have printed these on freezer paper...20-20 hindsight!

After printing, I cut everything out and sorted the pieces by the fabric they would go on.

EQ6 does print out this neat thing that's numbered along with the numbers it assigns your applique patches. It comes in real handy when you're trying to figure out what some of those weird little pieces are and where-the-hell-do-they-go!

After sorting, I traced everything onto freezer paper. Did I mention that I should have just printed on to freezer paper? Let me reiterate that... I ironed the freezer paper templates onto the right side of the fabric, then ironed the wrong side of the fabric to heat-n-bond lite. would have preferred Misty-fuse, but was all out.

Then cut out all the pieces...

And started laying out Buck on the background.

Here he is, all fused to the square. That's his left paw sticking out there, because when you tell him 'Southpaw' he gives you his left paw.

I put some stabilizer underneath to keep the fabric from puckering and then I machine stitched around the main pieces with a blanket stitch.

Stitched some more around the larger applique pieces and added Happy Dog in the corner

His nose is several layers of satin stitch -- reminds me of a teddy bear nose.

Laid out backing and batting and pinned. Did some free-motion stitching on the face and a stippled background. Jeez, I totally suck at stippling. Well, it's a little better with this different FM foot and my stitch size is getting more consistant...but I still suck at stippling.

I folded back the backing and rotary cut off the excess batting. I'm bringing the backing around to the front to use as the binding, tucking it under, pressing, and machine stitching with a small blanket stitch. Quick and easy.

Just a couple of little embellishments. Small pearls for the gleam in his eyes and some bleached coral for his little doggie claws.

I added a couple of loops to the back of the top and he's all ready to hang.


Anonymous said...

SO COOL! Thanks for showing how you did it - I really must explore using EQ6 much more!
Lovely portrait, and I hope his Mom appreciated it!

ann said...

WOW! I am coming from a potter background with a bit of painting. Many moons ago I used to sew. However, I find traditional quilting both too confining and more of a challange than I want. I'm just trying to figure out this raw edge stuff. Really appreciate the information even though it is beyond me. If the fuse is ironed to the back of the fabric, how do you get it to stick to the background? Thanks for all the info. ann in Brunswick, Maine
PS. What is EQ6?

Karoda said...

This demo is the strongest argument for this software that I've seen. Thanks.

Ruth C said...

Thanks for this--I was wanting to print The Quilt Show BOM directly on freezer paper but of course they overlap. It appears your method would work if I scanned in the 4 taped-together images and then traced the pieces with Patchdraw. I have EQ6 but haven't used it for anything applique.

Jules said...

I love your dog quilt! I'm sure your neighbor was quite touched.

Your green background really lights it up - great choice!

Sirenen2000 said...

Wow... This was really good working. With love from Vigdis in Norway

cjEureka said...

How kind of you to share this technique. I have all the programs you used, and did not realize qwhat jewels I had to assist in applique, especially for portraits...I love applique and use it often:
This technique will simplify stuff for sure! thanks for your generosity!