Wednesday, July 20, 2011

K is for Kumquat, Kangaroo and Knowledge

I don't mind wonky looking letters if they don't look totally clumsy or clunky. OK, there, I've said it. Blame it on my artistic training and study of lettering, but I like my free-pieced letters to look like real-life letters. I don't want them to look like a five-year old drew them.So last year when I made the word BLACKHAWK, I really put a lot of effort into sewing up a "K" that looked really cool. I was also interested in figuring out how to use the dragon fabric.
To make an upper-case "K" the way I do, wide with thick and thin elements, you'll need to cut a piece about 2" wide by about 8" long. (This is one of those letters that will need more fabric than you think even for the background). To this, add a wide piece of background on each side. Set the piece aside.Now you'll need a strip of red fabric about 1-1/4" wide. Sew a piece of background fabric to one side that's about 2" wide. Trim the red fabric so it measures 1" wide (when sewn it will be 1/2" wide).

Sew them together so you make a big fat red letter T, like so, but be sure the pieces join at a perfect 90-degree angle.
I've placed a 90-degree triangle (this one is a "Companion Angle", but don't go out and buy one, you don't need it.) to give you an idea of where I'm going next. I'll sew a big wide red piece of fabric to the left.
Then I'll trim it out. BUT BEWARE! If you make the diagonals too thick, your letter will disappear when you trim it to height. You'll have to make the pieces narrower.

See the thickness of the top diagonal part of the red "K?" It's too wide. Compare it to the black "K" below. You may have to make these pieces narrower to make your letter "K" work at the desired finished height of about 3-1/2" And see how I will have to add more background fabric to the right side of the letter to "square" the letter so I can sew it to the next letter?
Yeah. Diagonals bite you that way. Good luck!

It's always easier to make letters big. It's tricky to make them small.


Clare said...

I never thought of doing it that way. A lot easier that fussing about with fiddly bits of fabric.

Jean said...

Wow you really are clever. I would never have done it this way. I am gong to make mine later, so will post after I do.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Which is why your K's always look so much better than mine ... and why I tend to avoid certain letters. Have filed this post away for future reference!!!