With Veterans Day right around the corner, we decided to print and sew an easy to make quilt in honor of a veteran.
To get started, we gathered all the photos related to his time in service during WWII. As far as the quality goes, the photos were decades old and not in pristine condition and that’s OK! It speaks to the time in which these photos were taken and liked the added character it gave to the quilt.
We drew a (VERY) rough sketch to help organize our photos and lay out the quilt. Below you can see the photos used and the space we had to work within to create our quilt.
Prepping Your Photos
NOTE: We have chosen to have some of our images print as large as 24″X24! Taking up four square tiles on our quilt, if you think you will want to as well, you need to make sure those photos are sized accordingly.
You will need to make sure all your images are at least 12″ X 12″ w/ a minimum of 150dpi size before uploading so that they fill each 12″x12″ square. If your image is larger than your square, you can easily scale it down using our Scale slide Bar
One way to resize your image is to open it into Photoshop, Paint, Gimp, or any other editing software you prefer.
Now that we have all our designs sized and ready, go to the main My Fabric Designs page and select the Upload button to upload all the photos we intend on using.
Next let’s open the Project Creator.
Once open, there will be a menu to choose what type of project you will like to make and select your fabric. We will be working on the “Cheater Quilt 12″X 12″ Squares” using Basic Combed Cotton for the fabric. Then click Apply.
Let’s take a minute to breakdown a few things on our new screen.
On the left side of the screen, you can see options for inserting and adjusting images into the quilt.
Fill Color & Fabric– for inserting colors or prints into your quilt blocks. You will have access to all fabrics available on the My Fabric Designs Shop or from your Private folder of designs that you have personally uploaded to use. This is where our photos are for this project.
Angle– to adjust the angle of your image.
Horizontal & Vertical Offset– moving your image up/down or left/right to make a different part of your image visible.
Scale– Adjust the size of your image
On the right side of your screen, you will see your quilt broken up into twenty-four 12″X12″ squares and a strip running along the right-hand side enough to do custom 3/8″ binding.
Please note that you can select multiple squares to create a larger image like we have chosen to do for our main portrait. Click on the squares you intend on having your image in and as you do so the frame around them will turn blue. Once all the blocks are selected go to Fabric→Choose, a new menu will open giving you the option to choose what goes into that space.
Below you can see when we opened the image, it did not center correctly. This is fine, to adjust it set your Horizontal Offset to -50 or +50 to move it over enough to fill your space appropriately.
Add all the other photos you have and if you have to remove one, select the square you would like to remove a photo from the quilt and click on the X to the right of the Choose button. Also, feel free to play! Move the photos around till you find a placement that you like, we tried out several variations before we landed on a style we were happy with and we found ourselves STILL moving things around after we started adding other images to the quilt. Is a quilt really ever finished?
To fill the rest of the spaces, we decided to use a combination of words and fabric prints that spoke to the history of our soldier. You can go through our Shop page and take advantage of all the wonderful prints that have been shared by our artist community.
We decided to design our own 12″X 24″ panels using Photoshop to fill the longer spaces framing our portrait. You can use whatever photo editing software you’re comfortable with but if you do want any kind of words or phrases in your quilt you must create all text in your photo editing software, in a work space the size of the blocks you intend them to be in and then save as a JPG or PNG. The panels below were built at 12″X 24″ at 150dpi. This is what our panels look like once done and inserted into our quilt.
We took the patch that is displayed on the sleeve of our vets jacket and created a 12″X 12″ 150 dpi panel in the actual WWII colors and used it to fill out the corner blocks of our project.
All we have left now are the center blocks along the top and bottom, for these we wanted a fairly neutral color to highlight all the other photos and designs we incorporated into the quilt. We tried solid colors but it looked too bare and empty so we made a striped print to match the colors and prints of our quilt.
We have finished designing your QUILT Top! YAY!!! Once done click Process Fabric at the top of your screen to order your fabric.
Next step, wait patiently for your mailman to deliver your custom printed fabric.
Note: Do not harass the mailmen, they don’t like it…
NOTE: When working in the Project Creator, your progress cannot be saved to work on at a later time, this is to protect the artwork of other artists that are posted in the Shop section. You can insert their fabric prints into your quilt and once done print it but (again) you will not have the option to save your current progress. All work needs to be done in one sitting.
There are so many ways you may to chose to complete your quilt and so many great sewers who have already done great jobs at explaining it. So we have attached a few videos below to help guide you through the process of assembling your quilt.
Steps to completing your quilt
- Remove excess white fabric around the printed panel, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance around your quilt top
- Cut batting & backing to 4″ bigger than your quilt top
- Quilt Top Measurements- 48″X 72″
- Quilt Backing & Batting Measurements- 52″ X 76″
- Sandwich Layers Together
- Pin layer together. Optional: use curved safety pins
- Quilting layers together
- Trim away the excess batting & backing
- Make/Buy binding
- Sew on binding
Step 1: Trim Away Excess White Fabric
Step 2-4: Sandwiching Layers Together
Check out Sarah’s Quilts and her blog on Backing & Basting
Step 5: Different Ways to Quilt your Layers Together
-Stitch in the Ditch Quilting
-Free Motion Quilting
-Quilting with an Embroidery Machine
The Finished Quilt!
And there you go! An EASY Cheater Quilt for your lazy sewing days!!!