Thursday, August 28, 2014

Using Your Silhouette to Make Quilt Stencils - Henry's Quilt

Hello! I have been working on a nautical quilt for my grandson, who will be born in October. Henry's room is decorated in a nautical theme, so I chose a boat quilt pattern. I pieced the quilt in two fabrics - a white muslin and a navy blue print. I usually wait until the quilt is pieced before I start thinking about the quilting. I know, that's not the best practice, but that's usually how I operate. So once this quilt was pieced, I started trying to figure out how to quilt it.

I started by quilting in the ditch (or close to it) for the main boat blocks, and around the borders. I then turned the quilt over to look at the back. It seems like I needed a good bit more quilting, so I started thinking of other options. I have a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine that I use alot in my papercrafting, and I have tons of designs for it downloaded from the Silhouette store, as well as other sources. I started browsing my Silhouette library as well as the online store for nautical images. These are the ones I found that seemed to be appropriate for the spaces I needed to fill.
These are the designs from the Silhouette store.

Wave border: #63263, Whale: #58186, Anchor: #58517, Oar: #1427, Flourish: #19009

I measured each space on my quilt that I wanted to put these designs, drew a rectangle or square that size on my mat in the Silhouette program, then sized each image to fit that shape.  Here is a screen shot of this process:

Next, I deleted the rectangles and cut the shapes out of a sturdy cardstock. I used this cardstock to mark the designs on my quilt. I then quilted each design using free motion quilting, which I was already pretty much familiar with. I just went slow and took my time stitching each design.
Although most of the quilting is white on white, it is still noticeable - especially on the back.
Here are some pictures of the quilting.

The wave border segment underneath each boat.

The anchor in between sailboats.
The individual whale in the border
 The oar (in the blue rectangle), and the whale border
The flourish wave in the corners
I also embroidered Henry's name on the large boat, as you can see in the picture above. Overall, I am pleased with how this quilt and the quilting turned out. I am kind of wishing I had used a thread with a little contrast for the quilting though, so it would stand out a bit more. I was just afraid it would overpower the boats, so I used white.

Hope you've enjoyed this post on using your Silhouette (or any other cutting machine) to cut designs to use as quilt designs. It's opened up a whole new world of designs for me!