Jun 20, 2014

black and white cow appliqué art quilt, part one

Working on a new art quilt - a black and white cow with over 180 pieces of  appliqué.

Here's my model. Handsome, isn't she? You just can't get more "Texas" than this baby, right?

And here's my progress to far. Obviously, the eye is not done yet.

Appliqué work in progress. Third Floor Quilts.
I have placed the applique pieces for the entire cow on a white muslin background. Eventually, the cow will be sitting on a vibrant turquoise background --- a beautiful Moda solid. This step (using the muslin) was important though, because there is so much white fabric in the cow, if that white had been placed directly on the turquoise, it would completely change the color balance. However, for the purposes of this photo, the whites look washed out.

Check back in a week or two and the whites and blacks will really pop!

In order to make these pieces, I first enlarged the photo in black and white, or gray-scale. Took it to Fedex to print. You can of course do this in color, but it is way more expensive to print the enlargement, and for pattern line drawing, the color is not necessary.  This image is roughly 35 x 40 inches and the b/w enlargement costs about $7.00 at Fedex. You can "tile" the image and print it on your home computer - that seems like a waste of my time though, so I gladly pay the $7 bucks to have one photo on one piece of paper.

Next step is to draw the pattern. Here's a photo - it is a bit difficult to see the pencil lines. It's drawn on tracing paper. I taped several pieces of tracing paper together to cover the whole thing.
Line Drawn Pattern by Teresa Duryea Wong. Third Floor Quilts.
Once you have a pattern drawn on the tracing paper, transfer it to freezer paper (in reverse). Then the fun part - choosing fabric. The more fabric the better. If you repeat too much, it starts to look boring, or flat. Also, not too many prints... abstract or soft lines work best. I use a lot of Stonehenge fabrics for these type quilts. Or course my studio is a disaster site for quite a while.

I should add, the appliqué will be fused, raw edge - using Misty Fuse. This is the FIRST time I have done a major project of this scale using Misty Fuse. I've done several smaller things so I could learn to use it properly. So far I am thrilled with the results.

Up until a year or so ago, I completed all my appliqué by hand - edge turned and everything! Can you believe it? Sometimes I can't even believe it! So fusing this one has saved me at least a month's worth of work, maybe longer. I made the switch for several reasons... one of them being the pain in my hands from hours and hours of hand work. This weighed heavier on my decision versus just saving time. But, I have to say, I'm so excited about being able to iron these pieces down and pretty much move straight to the machine for free motion quilting!

I'll update my progress on this again in a few weeks.  I hope you enjoy this work in progress. Its Friday so I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.

Be sure to check out all the great work there. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Wow this is an amazing project. That's a lot of pieces. I can't wait to see if when you finish it because it is pretty cool already. My sewing room had looked like that during projects as well!

    1. Hi Chris. Thanks for your comments! This piece will certainly look more interesting when I get it on the bright background. Isn't it fun to trash the sewing room with stuff everywhere, and then eventually clean it all up again. Someday, somebody should put up a camera in the corner and do a time lapse... hmmmm.

  2. you had me a cow!!! I love a black and white cow! Did you see my A-Moo-Ha quilt? Cow dancing the hula? I will want to see your progress. Looking fab right now. I love that your studio is an explosion of fabrics!! I can relate.
    LeeAnna Paylor not afraid of color lapaylor.blogspot.com

    1. Thanks LeeAnna. Yes, black and white cows are the best! Thanks for your comments, as always. I promise to post again in another week or so as I go along!

    2. Thanks LeeAnna. Yes, black and white cows are the best! Thanks for your comments, as always. I promise to post again in another week or so as I go along!