As you may recall, all of the artwork for this quilt was drawn by 5th through 8th grade students at the school. Below is a sampling of the artwork. We were really impressed with their drawings.
Once all of the drawings were selected, we came up with a design for the quilt. Traditionally, once the children draw the pictures, fabric is selected and parents interpret the drawings as closely as possible through applique. At first we thought we would keep with tradition and hand applique all the drawings onto blocks. We came up with a great design but ultimately, the fact that we were dealing with somewhere between 15 and 20 horses (and 30 drawings total) coupled with the fact that people just don't know how to sew anymore, led us to change our plans. I came up with the idea of having the pictures printed on fabric and then embellished through embroidery. The only problem was that the pictures had no color.
Because we would be printing onto fabric we needed to be careful that however we chose to color these images would not give way to crazy coloring lines. You know the kind I mean... crayon lines in all sorts of mismatched directions, with varying (yet unintentional) shades. So we enlisted the help of the upper school art teacher who recommended water soluble crayons and pencils that, when gone over with a wet paint brush, give off the look of watercolor. Perfect. With the help of one of the girls in the senior class, the drawings were given some life through color.
With the coloring done, I was finally able to take the first batch to the printer-- no easy feat finding one, mind you, due to needing to print on 11x17" fabric paper! But here they are in all their glory... It was really interesting to see how the watercolors were picked up by the computer. We found that greys and blacks printed out in shades of blues, not overly accurate for horses, but we think we can make it all work out. If not, I know we will have at least one "horse of a different color," if you get my drift... heh heh.
As soon as they were printed we took them for the thread and have picked everything out. We will be distributing them this week or next to our volunteers who will begin the task of embroidering them.
I'm really happy with the process thus far, although I have made many, many, many notes for next year should we go this route again. If anyone has questions, I'd be happy to share what I've learned so far. Just let me know.
Linking up today with Freshly Pieced.