Monday, May 22, 2006

Revised Lower-Case Tutorial Begins

I got some great feedback yesterday and I'm hoping that maybe this addresses some of the problems. Is this better, worse, or no different from yesterday's edition? Still confusing or better? [Note: I did make a couple of changes to yesterday's edition as well.]

The big difference between this version and yesterday's is that I've put the final letters at the top of the section so you can see what I'm trying to build.

Lower-case letters are generally less complicated than the capitals (you can go to Quiltville here for instructions) . Quite a few are made the exact same way, tho you may wish to make them a bit smaller.

I use the same size strips for these as I do the capitals and that's all in the Quiltville tutorial as well. I know my letters come out pretty small, but I just like them that way.

While you are making the letters, remember your 1/4" seam allowance. The goal isn't to get a great looking letter all on its own - it's going to be sewn into a bigger picture. You may need to add a wider strip of letter fabric (when called for) at the top, bottom, or sides.

For ease in writing I'm going on the assumption you're going to try every letter (which you certainly don't have to). I'm starting out with the easiest.

Before we get started, can I just say the most important part of this process is to think about what you're making. You know how to make letters - you probably write something every day. You can do this. Easy peasy lemon squeezie. Oh, and there are many different ways to make some of these letters so don't think they have to be done this way.

We always begin sewing the letters with the smallest part of the letter, moving to the bigger parts. You'll see what I mean.

The letters c, o, p, s, u, v, x, and z are constructed the same as the capitals. I figure you can make an l. Little k is the same as the capital K, but I make the leggy bit a bit smaller and sew background fabric across the top before adding the left-side letter fabric.

Here's i and j.

You can figure out little i. You'll essentially need two of them (if you're making all the letters) because one is going to morph into a baby j.

I make my little j with a bit of character by adding that bit that swoops up on the left side. I do that by starting with a small square of letter fabric surrounded on two sides by background fabric. (I should have used a wider bit of background fabric on the top.) You can also just use a large square or rectangle of background instead. Sew that to some letter fabric and trim even.

Then you're ready to attach it to an i.

Here are the completed h and y.

You can make a little y the same as the capital Y, but I now like this other version better. You could also just make another h and add a strip across the top (aka bottom) of it to get a y, but I like to avoid seams on the sides of the letters whenever possible.

Both the little h and y begin the same with the "bump out" - a bit of background surrounded on two sides by letter fabric. The h background is rectangular.

The y small and square.
The h gets a wide bit of background fabric on the top, the y gets a narrower bit on the bottom.

And then the y needs the lower bit of the letter.

And both get a wider strip of letter fabric to finish them off. Voila.


Judy said...

Yep, seeing them finished first does help to see which place we are starting when making them. I also like that you said that you like to have the "stem" OR "side" of the letter to remain as a whole piece of fabric rather than have a seam added in in the y and h. I hadn't thought of that really, but it makes a difference.

Okay, next letters!

Dawn said...

Bolognie - I think the smaller letters are causing me more problems because they are harder! For some reason an a seems harder than a A.

Hmmm, guess it could be me??!!!! :)

joyce said...

I think it all boils down to practise. Just looking at them, they seem really confusing but once you try them it becomes much more clear. Also, after the first three or four it's easy. I did a lot of E's for my wall hanging and the first one was difficult. By the last one I could see how to make them more wonky or different sizes. Also I think everyone has their size that they like to work in so it is not necessary to stress about size. That can be adjusted once you have some practise.

quiltpixie said...

The instructions seem great to me Tonya... I would recommend photographing on a white or off white background so that the background of the letters is clearly seen as background on initial viewing. Once I made the connection that the blue was the letters I easily saw the letters, but on the intial "i" and "j" I had to look a little harder than might be desirable.

I look forward to the rest of the instructions... Thanks for sharing them

sophie said...


I did a double-take when you started the lower-case tutorials.

When I was working "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Knot," I made lower case letters--for some reason I thought you's already included them in your directions ... they are that good!

YankeeQuilter said...

I'm in overload...I thought I was doing it right and now I'm not sure! Why can't a lower case just be a smaller letter!!!

Shellie said...

I had a much easier time following these directions than the first set. Just one questions-Are your lower case letters really that wide or do they just look "fat" that because of seam allowances?

Lily said...

Yup - much easier now that you've got a finished product sample at the top. I can work out where you're going now :)