Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mitten Graphic Novel Completed

In the previous post, I'd finished piecing the top for a comic book style quilt by converting a cloth book panel. That panel had been based on the artistic drawings of Jan Brett in her book The Mitten. I'd prepared my quilt sandwich of top, batting, and backing and had left off to decide a quilting pattern.

First off, I did a stitch in the ditch around each page and decided to leave the page itself quilt-line free. Then I chose a loop quilting pattern for the sashings to coordinate with the yarn tangles of fabric. So far I had only done straight line FMQ, meanders, or tracing whatever pattern was on the fabric. I overlayed a sheet protector on one block and practiced the loops with a dry erase marker. The sheet protector is shown by itself and overlaid on a block in the following photo. The numbers 7 and 11 were to remind me how many patterns I wanted to fit in per section of sashing but that number approach fell by the wayside once I started FMQing.

I'd taken a FMQ class from Megan Best, a HandiQuilter educator, and she'd suggested visualizing something in your mind to keep your sizes relatively uniform – a nickel, a golfball, etc. For the short sashing loop sizes and shapes I kept thinking watermelon seeds. For the wider sashing I kept picturing in my mind pumpkin seeds. The loops came out fairly uniform, although with the green thread on green background I had a lot of leeway before awful would be obvious. Until I get better at FMQ, I am sticking to matching thread.

I had a fabric in my stash for the back that was a close color palette and supported the critter and forest theme of the book. The backing fabric has chipmunks, chickadees, winter foliage, and cardinals (not shown).

Here are a few closeup views of the backing showing the critters and the stitching a bit better.

Normally I bind my quilts in a color darker or brighter than the outermost border. Here I did not want the binding to be distracting as something like a bright red would be and, although I had enough of the tangle fabric to make matching binding, that option just seemed to fall flat. The beige mini-print seemed to echo the page borders nicely so I went with it.

Here is a closeup of the binding and how it goes with the backing fabric, also.

Now this graphic novel is folded over and all set to be read, one row or "strip" at a time. The final size is 29" wide by 42" high. I hope my granddaughter likes it. If not, with its snow theme, it can double as a Christmas or winter wallhanging.

After all, I may be in California, but they do get snow in Oklahoma. Certainly a white mitten would get lost in this.
At first his grandmother, Baba, did not want to knit white mittens. "if you drop one in the snow," she warned, "you'll never find it." 


  1. Cute, cute, cute! Love the quilting. And the binding is perfect!

    1. Thank you. It was simple, fun, and a small first project to practice on with my new HQ Sweet Sixteen longarm.