Monday, April 19, 2021

DIY: Hand-Quilted Bear Picture

This hand-quilted project was delayed and took extra time to finish, but the results are amazing! Included are directions and tips with photos along with a little history of the project.

If you keep something long enough...  Have you made that same statement? I've said it many times. It was certainly true with this project.

When my oldest son Jeff was in 3rd grade, his teacher was extremely creative and got the kids really involved in Arts and Crafts. Each student did a hand-quilted fabric picture which could then be made into a pillow or wall art in a hoop. Jeff really liked outdoors and wildlife, so he chose a deer print to hand-quilt. He did a great job! I then added a ruffle and sewed it into a pillow for his room. 

His fabric panel was sold in a set of two, and his other picture featured bears in the woods. Only 1 panel needed to be completed at school, so Jeff's plan was to finish the second project at home. I cut a piece of cream cotton fabric for the back with batting sandwiched between the cream fabric and the bear fabric panel.

Soon Jeff lost interest, and the bear was never completed. Likewise, I did a little stitching on it, but my busy schedule prevented me from completing it. (At least that's my excuse!)

Jump ahead quite a few years, and now Jeff's youngest son Alex was about the same age as Jeff was when he started the bear picture. 

We had moved, and I was going through some craft crates when there it was! I couldn't believe how good it still looked! It was still in the hoop, just waiting to be finished.

I shared the story of the hand-quilted pictures with Jeff's kids (my grandkids) and showed them the partly finished project. I told them I thought we should finish it. Alex was especially interested in working on something that his daddy had started.

I helped Alex to thread a needle with quilting thread and tie a knot in the end. I showed him how to make small running stitches around the designs that he wanted stitched. His sister Mia sewed a few stitches. He showed me which parts he wanted me to sew around, also. Teamwork!

Alex caught on really quickly, and his stitches were small and neat. Alex decided he would hang the picture on the wall of his room when it was completed.

Finally, all the stitches were finished!

I loosened the screw on the hoops and released the fabric.

I had a grapevine wreath in my craft supplies, and it looked perfect to use as the frame. I used a Sharpie Marker to carefully draw around the wreath onto the fabric.

I carefully cut around the drawn line through all layers. I then serged around the edge on my serger machine.

I used hot glue to adhere the grapevine wreath to the hand-quilted picture, and it was done!

The Hand-Quilted Bear Picture is now hanging on the wall in Alex's room, and we all love it!

Alex's Daddy is proud of Alex for doing such a good job.

Overall, this hand-quilted project is easy to complete with just a few materials that can easily be found at a fabric store: 
  • A printed fabric panel
  • Batting
  • Fabric for backing
  • Quilting thread
  • A hand sewing needle
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Additional fabric if you are making it into a pillow when completed
  • Ruffle or lace (optional)
Just cut the backing fabric and batting the same size as the printed panel, "sandwich" the fabrics with right sides out and with batting in between, place in a large hoop, and start stitching!

One great thing about it, it's definitely the type of project that you can put down and pick up again, even if is over 30 years between sessions!

Alex's Hand-Quilted Bear Picture

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