Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quilted wall hanging: the tutorial for those who don't know better

Many years ago, I wanted to make a wall hanging for a friend of mine. Yesterday, I found the pictures for the project, so thought I would make a little mini tutorial.

I decided I wanted to do the family's initials in a row. We had often joked combined they spelled KBAM! making them sound like a superhero fight scene. We had KB for the mom, A for The Boy, and M for The Girl.

It always made me laugh because it suited them all so much.

I started with colours I thought suited each one of them. (That, and I had these colours on hand!)


Red for the passionate and life-loving KB, blue for the creeping-nearer-manhood A, and purple with a little flower detail for the sunshine and giggles M.

I cut three 6X6 inch squares out of the material. I intended for the final product to measure approximately 5 inches of colour and then edging, so I gave myself some room. I wasn't particularly concerned about being exact.

That is usually my biggest problem.

I used a chalk to draw the pattern I wanted on each piece. I lined the back of each piece with a thick silver cotton and sandwiched a pick of quilting batting in the middle. Then I took to the sewing machine.

I'm pretty sure in order to do quilting in real life you are supposed to use pins and patterns and... you know, thought.

That's just not me.

Pieces with quilting done

I sat down at the sewing machine and went to town.  I'm very lucky it all worked out. Lazy waves for KB, straight lines for A, and a tree branch motif for M.

I am still alternatively pleased and shocked at the way they turned out.

Then, I moved on to the fonts.

I went old school and used Word to choose a font that suited the personality and the style I was going for. I blew the font size up to giant (that's the technical term) and printed it off. It was about 6 years ago or so, so there is likely some fancy way to do this now.

I am not that fancy.

I cut the letters out, laid them on the fabric where I wanted them and pinned them within an inch of their lives. I sewed the paper directly onto the fabric and then picked out all the little pieces with a stitch ripper.


It's not dangerous, but you will lose your mind.

I think if I had it to do all over again, I would trace the initials with chalk, but hey! Live and learn.

Finishing touches
Please note my tidy and professional work station.
I then sewed the 3 squares together and realized I'd buggered up, so used the silver cotton material to make separations between the letters.

I love making things up as I go along.  A lesser person would cry. I'm just like - Now I will do this!!!

Who am I kidding? I probably cried.

I used the backing material to make an edging all around the outside and finish off everything. I then added a silver ribbon to hang it from.

Finsihed product

It wasn't perfect, but neither is family. I think it pretty accurately described them, their personality, and the different ways they approached the world.

When KB moved into her "getting life back on track" apartment, she hung it front and centre on the entrance door.

I could not have been more honoured.


  1. That is exactly how I build things out of wood, too. We must be related?

    1. Dad, I think that's where I learned it from!

  2. Funny, I quilt like that too!

    1. Carol, that makes me happy to know! I've seen your work and it's beautiful. Glad to know it's by the seat of your pants sometimes too.

  3. Yup. I work the same way, too. What a lovely and thoughtful gift -- I love how you chose the fonts, and I can see why she would hang it right on the welcoming door.

    1. Thanks, Wynn Anne! It was a trial and error project, but I loved the way it turned out.

  4. I always loved seeing that on her door, mostly because I lose my sense of direction indoors and it helped me find her apartment for the first few visits. When I first saw it I started to think of KB and her kids as the KBAM clan and it was very fitting :-D

    1. I love that, Chris! Makes me smile a lot. They were the KBAM clan for sure!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Multi-testing! It was a lot of fun to do and couldn't have been more perfect for the family.


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