March is National Craft Month and we are ready to celebrate! Jump into Pat Holly’s miniature world and let the crafting adventures begin. From paper projects to embellishment to coloring, there’s a little bit of everything.
Including 38 drawings from her miniature quilts, larger quilts, images from traveling, textile items in her collection, and ideas from her imagination, Pat Holly offers an invitation to create in her book, A Miniature World.
Play with Paper
Tracing paper (11″ x 11″ or whatever size your picture will be)
Fine tipped black marker
Fusible web (lightweight, paper backed – Softfuse by Shades Textiles is recommended)
Paper – For the background, I used Canson Mi-teintes (found at art supply stores). This is a nice weight paper but may be too thick for some of the small pieces (98 lb). For smaller pieces, I used origami paper that is a lightweight, brightly colored paper.
Sharp scissors – small embroidery-type
Applique pressing sheet (parchment paper will also work)
Fine pointed tweezers
Frame to fit finished design
Choose a Design
Remember, if it seems too small and complicated, you can always enlarge the drawing. Tape design page to a flat surface. Lay tracing paper on top, tape in place. Use the fine tipped marker to carefully copy all the lines of the design. Use a ruler to draw straight lines. Along the lower edge of the tracing paper, write “Front” to indicate this is the front side.
Prepare Fusible Shapes
Turn tracing paper over – you will draw the fusible shapes from the reverse side. Lay the fusible on the pattern, paper side up. If you have the fusible side up, you feel the unevenness of the fusible web when you try to draw. Use a sharp pencil to draw each shape. Leave about ½” between each shape. To help keep track of the shapes, write a number on the tracing paper then put the same number on the shape.
Cut Fusible Shapes Apart
At this point, DO NOT cut on the lines. Cut between the shapes leaving an edge of fusible on the outside of the drawn line. When we use this technique for making quilts, sometimes we remove some of the fusible from the interior of the shape to decrease the amount of fusible in the quilt. For this project, it is not necessary to do this – leave fusible on the back of all the shapes. Next, place the fusible shape on the back of the paper and fuse in place, following manufacturer’s directions for iron temperature and length of ironing. It is very important to make sure the fusible side is down against the fabric. If the fusible is facing up and you place the iron on top, it will fuse to your iron and make a mess. This is what iron cleaner is for…. Do some tests to be sure the paper won’t be damaged by the heat of the iron.
After fusible is fused to the back of the paper, cut out the shapes along the drawn line. This insures there is fusible all the way to the edge of the shape. At this point, small pieces are easier to pick up using fine tipped tweezers.
Some of the designs have layers of small pieces. You can create small units before placing them on the background. Place tracing paper pattern on ironing surface. Place an applique pressing sheet over the pattern. Choose the unit you want to create. For example, some flowers have several layers. Remove the paper backing from the fusible, lay the shapes in place on the pressing sheet and fuse together. Sometimes it is easier to remove the pattern from under the pressing sheet and lay the tracing paper pattern on top of the shape you are trying to align. Adjust the shapes, carefully remove the pattern and fuse onto the pressing sheet. When cooled, the unit may be removed then placed on the background. Continue making units, then place all applique shapes on the background and fuse in place.
Trim the final piece to fit in purchased frame. I found a nice 10″ x 10″ plastic frame that perfectly fits these design pages!
Want to create more in Pat Holly’s world? Get your copy of A Miniature World here!