Thursday Tip #11

{Thursday Tip: A regular weekly feature sharing my quilting tips. There are no rules in quilting, these are just the things that work for me and might help you. There are no quilt police, so use them as a guide; no ones watching :) There is no wrong way to do anything......just relax, experiment, learn, create and have fun. }
We all like to add our own stamp to designs or whip up a project without a pattern. I love seeing how people interpret my designs; some people adhere to the pattern, others make it there own. There's inspiration everywhere and playing around with different design elements is all part of the fun.
Here's a few of my tips to help you design some of your own elements:
  • To add lettering to projects, choose your favorite font or Word Art in Microsoft Word (or equivalent) and print them out to use as templates for applique or stitching. Use fine fonts for stitching and large bold fonts for applique.
  • Depending on your preferred method of applique, letters may have to be reversed prior to printing, to avoid backward lettering.
  • Don't forget Microsoft Word has lots of shapes i.e. stars, hearts, circles etc. that are perfect to use as templates as well. 
  • Basic stationary items such as pencil compasses, protractors etc. are handy items to use for drawing accurate circles or half circles for applique, stitching and quilting designs.
  • Cookie cutters, bowls, glasses, buttons and cake decorating supplies are great for tracing around and using as design elements. Basically everything has a shape, so consider everything.
  • Kids colouring books are also versatile. A few years ago, I made Cohen an appliqued "Ben 10" quilt . He picked his favorite characters from his colouring book and I used those as the templates for all the applique. I stitched the smaller details, to keep it as authentic as I could.
  • Colouring books are also helpful, when teaching kids to stitch, as the designs are large and less detailed. Trace their favorite character onto fabric, start them stitching and then frame the completed stitchery for their bedroom wall :) 
  • Their artwork is another great source of inspiration and even more special, because they designed it themselves.
  • Most printers have an enlarge or reduce feature, so you can alter the size of any design element you draw or digitally draft, quite quickly and easily, to fit.
  • I have been guilty of raiding hubby's workshop, looking for shapes. Metal washers are perfect for flower centre templates, just for reference :)
  • Design your own quilting designs, using houeshold objects as well. Plates are fantastic for marking arcs and glasses for marking circles. You can also give a rounded edge to quilts, using a plate, to evenly mark each corner.
Its easy and fun to add your own special touches to any project. Remember to look around at your everyday items and you will find something just perfect and if not, you can always forage through hubby's workshop too, just don't get caught :)

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