The Billboard Quilt-Along is open to anyone who wants to participate and has no set start or finish date. I’ve compiled a list of posts here.
You can make the letter templates in whatever font/shape you choose. Just keep in mind that simple, blocky, sans serif letters are going to be easier to render in patchwork and to read on the finished quilt.
Start by making a list of the letters you’ll need. If a letter occurs more than once in your message, you don’t necessarily need to make multiple templates for it. For example, my message “TOUCH THIS QUILT” has 14 total letters, but only 10 of them are unique, so I only needed made templates for 10 letters (T-O-U-C-H-I-S-Q-U-L).
You have three basic options for your letter shapes:
The letters will need to be enlarged to fit the letter footprints you drew on your Quilt Top Plan. Depending on your software and printer, you may be able to do this at home. If not, you can print the letters at home and take them to a copy shop to be enlarged.
Draw the shape of your letter footprint on a piece of sketch paper and draw a bubble or block letter to fit it. If you’re comfortable with your ability to draw letters, this is probably the easiest method. It’s also a good choice if you’re looking for a more casual hand-drawn look. If you choose this method, you may want to keep the spontaneous look going by making a separate template for every single letter (even repeated letters).
This option is a lot like the last one but, instead of sketching the letters freely, you’ll use a ruler to make sure that all parts of the letter are roughly the same size. For example, on my letters, I measured to make sure that every segment of the letters was 4” wide. If you choose this method, it may help to subdivide your letters into segments, sort of like the display on a digital clock. Start by drawing your numbers with this blocky, digital look and then soften the look by sketching in curves. (Use a compass, if desired.)
Regardless of which method you use to draft them, determine whether you’ll need standard or mirror-image templates.
If you plan to make fussy patchwork letters (like mine) you won’t need to do anything special to your templates.
If you plan to make simple patchwork or single-fabric letters, you’ll be tracing the templates directly onto fusible web and will need mirror-image templates.
If you’re printing letters from your computer, you may be able to format them in mirror-image before you print. Regardless of which method you choose, you could have mirror-image copies made at a copy shop.
Taping printed/sketched letters to a window (facing out) can also create a quick and easy “light table” for tracing the mirror-image of your letters.
Note: If you’re not yet sure what kind of letters you want to make, I recommend reading the upcoming posts about making the letters before going any further with your project.
- Make letter templates
Thursday, August 18 – Making Simple Patchwork Letters