Welcome to my blog and to a tutorial that is picture heavy and is meant to HELP you make your own mosaic art quilt. This tutorial shows you how to make a small quilt approximately 6″ square … but these methods can be applied to larger quilt ideas too 🙂
This tutorial will be divided into 2 general areas… Making the Mosaic & Making the Mosaic a Quilt!
I am hoping my friend Lisa of Lisa Capen Quilts will also do a YouTube video process of this idea using her own ideas! And we did do a collaboration using this process for me and another process for her using a hummingbird!!!!
This IS a picture heavy tutorial also 💟
First Item … This method requires 100% cotton quilting weight or so fabric for the confetti that makes the mosaic. And making one the size I did doesn’t require much fabric… so save those cut offs from your fave project and try this out!!!
…Making the Mosaic…
1st step is to decide what shape you want to fill with confetti sized cotton fabric. I chose this heart shape and added a wavy line to separate the center for fun!
What YOU need to do is decide on the shape you want to make and then google search that shape name ” _____ line drawing ” … so in my case I searched heart line drawing in Google and then focused my search from “all” to “image”… choose one near the top or change your shape until you find something you can have a heavy line too for the confetti… my line is about 1/4” thick and that is fairly wide for a line drawing. Another source for your basic shape is a coloring book 🙂
Now you have YOUR shape… choose your colors for the background and the shape itself… as I mentioned above I imaged a 2 color heart and a color for the outlining … that means the background needs a color too… and you will need “grout ” or background fabric for once the mosaic is done… more about this later but ALL this fabric is to be 100% cotton mid/light weight (quilt type) fabric for ease of use… save your glittery fabrics and slinky stuff for a project that doesn’t need ironing and you will be ironing this !
So you have a shape! GREAT! Choose the fabric base colors you want for each section of your shape….
Now pull bits of fabric that are similar to that fabric so that you have 4 to 6 different usable fabrics that read as a solid or have a tiny print only on them… batiks works well but quilting cotton is fine also as long as the print is small on it and mainly tone on tone type of print like the ones below…
Supplies needed for mosaic making….
- Cutting Mat and Rotary cutter with manageable small see through ruler for using with rotary cutter… OR Scissors and LOTs of patience (haha)
- Fabric –
- 100% cotton quilting weight 4 to 6 each color of 2 1/2″ square or smaller bits in the same color family for each color area you are filling with mosaic shapes
- 1 1/2″ width and length to cover the sides for binding at the end (for my 6″ art quilt I had a 30″ piece)
- Grout piece of 100% cotton fabric in a solid fabric preferably for your first project larger than your mosaic finished piece and Steam a Seam 2 Lite Fusible piece
- 100% cotton batting piece larger than above grout piece
- Backing fabric that is 100% cotton and bigger than your batting piece
- Tulle – I chose a roll of 6″ wide glitter tulle but you can also find this easily by the yard in colors or in white which reads very clear in this project. Choose as desired!
- Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite Fusible… this is the BEST to use… I have tried others for this process and they are too heavy and not tacky when working with them so they don’t hold the pieces… get THIS type and brand to be most successful please 🙂
- Steaming Iron
- Tweezers of any sort but metal is best as they are most non stick in my opinion and this is important!
- Piece of 100% cotton fabric to use as a pressing cloth
- Piece of copy paper with your image printed on it (if making a larger than 8″ width piece go to your local copy shop for the printing to make it easiest and most accurate)
- Non melting (such as glass head) pins… you want to iron over these once your mosaic is made before lifting it up… if you are unsure just test with your pressing cloth over the head of your pin selections 🙂
- Hanging circles or ingenuity to hang your finished piece otherwise 😉
Here is the specific paper that came on the double fusible I used (click on the images in this tutorial to enlarge) …
Step 1 of the process is to prep your image for becoming the mosaic!
Do this by laying down your copy paper sized image on a pinnable surface like an ironing board… I laid a sheet over my ironing board to keep it safe from this craft project too but it would have been find without this step.
Outline the size of your finished piece… square or rectangle is best for your first one.
Pin a piece of Steam a Seam 2 Lite over the surface that is about 1″ larger than your defined lines all the way around. See photo below…
When pinning the Steam A Seam take off the top cover that is kind of awkward to keep on in the first place… this reveals the tacky top and well adhered backing to pin down over your image as I did above.
Now you can see through the Steam a Seam to you pinned down on the image as below… fuzzy but seeable without a light box because you thickened your lines with a black pen before layering up… if you can’t see your image easily >>> take time now to thicken them up !
The surface you have left open to air is very tacky and can easily be messed up… so if during this next steps of placing the confetti sized mosaic color pieces onto your Steam a Seam 2 Lite surface… be ready to replace the top piece of nonstick paper you removed and cover with your cutting board or other lightweight item that will hold that unruly nonstick paper on the surface to avoid getting pet hair, lint, or other stuff on your sticky topped fusible. Hope this makes sense.
Beginning to make the confetti for the mosaic….
I like to start with the outline of the shape and fill in from there… this is my process… yours can be in a different order if you prefer but this works best to start out. So my outline is dark red…
I layered up my 3 different dark red strips and using my little ruler and rotary cutter on a rotary mat … carefully cut strips of the 3 fabrics all together at 3/8″ wide (see above) then turn the board or the strips and cut again at 1/4″ this time…
This gives you little rectangle shapes to start filling your line with.
Now get your tweezers and alternating your fabrics place them on your outline of your shape.
I didn’t cut enough so I hand cut a few more rectangles to finish the above shape outline… below is all that was left in non-useful shape sizes 🙂
Now it is time to make similar confetti of your filling for each area…
I had 4 yellow colors and cut more because I needed more in the red outline as mentioned above…
I had PLENTY left over but it is better than not enough at this stage…. look at my yellow layout… the top and bottom of the shape are the lightest yellow and most solid reading fabric, next from top and bottom is a bit more color orangey yellow, then a darker yellowy color then finally a mustard with white and yellow print in the center… this gives you a mosaic fill that is deeper than using 1 or 2 fabrics to fill the entire area… so ponder this when choosing your fill fabrics.
Next I did the aqua light blue side of the heart and finally the lavender purple background. When doing this I make sure to leave room around each of my shapes and not to line up the shapes in different areas too much with another area… only line up within that area if you like it … but leave space as you will be placing this piece of double sided fusible with fabric on the tacky side you are placing now … on a piece of cotton fabric later for grout lines to be filled. This matters!!!
The blue went much like the yellow in laying it out… lots of variety and some left overs for sure… but the lavender… well I fussy cut some fun fabric I found in my stash and first placed the fish, the bird, the owl, and the mouse in fun places … then I hand cut all the fabrics I had pulled and I had the MOST variety in this color than the others… probably 6 or 8 different options to fill this background and I used a LOT of what I had pulled !!! So be ready for that BUT have fun filling in each section 🙂
Now it is time to Iron your Mosaic… you will press with a very steamy iron per the directions on this specific product on the cotton or just below that setting on your iron. BEFORE ironing replace that nonstick piece and I added the 100% cotton pressing cloth too… this is just a piece of cotton or nonstick sheet or fabric you don’t care if it gets a bit of glue on. Once you have pressed well … LET IT COOL WELL!!!!
Once it has cooled you can lift it off the backing fabric carefully!!!
It is thin and fragile at this point so go slow and careful to remove your artwork from the backing sheet.
Now choose your “grout fabric”
Grout fabric is 100% cotton fabric that you will place this piece on that will show through all the little places you left uncovered with this mosaic process
This is Light Grey…
This is White background aka grout…
I chose white… I layered my backing … then batting … then grout fabric on my ironing surface
Then placed the mosaic fragile piece centered on this… replaced the non stick cover sheet and my pressing cloth and pressed and pressed and pressed per the instructions to get a good adherence with this step…
And the mosaic is now ready to be covered with the important next step…
Glittery clear tulle!!!!
I bought a roll of 6″ wide tulle and laid out 2 pieces with a bit overlapping in the center… I plan to quilt fairly well but this tulle will allow your mosaic to be washed via machine and dried in the dryer if you like without losing it’s integrity after quilting is complete.. so for under $2 at Wally world I got the tulle 😀
…Quilting the Mosaic…
I used white in my top and light grey in my bobbin and practiced on a piece before beginning quilting on my project… this is how the back looks where where you can see the quilting best at this point…
Now it is time to trim up your piece… you will soon be adding the binding so no need to stay stitch I think.. but if you aren’t ready to add your binding don’t trim it down to size until you are ready for this would be my advice…
For finishing your project you need the binding fabric, a piece of your backing for a label or just write on the back of your art quilt… a needle and thread to sew your single fold binding down and your hanging method of choice….
Single fold binding is a bit tricky to deal with … if this is your first time doing it like it was mine on my first mosaic I did before this tutorial one… here are a few tips.
Cut your binding fabric 1 1/2″ wide by width of fabric … if this isn’t enough cut enough to cover the outside plus 6″ to 10″ more for joining. Join so it is one long strip just like you do with double fold binding… all these cuts are cross grain from selvage to selvage too… this is not bias cut binding as our sides are straight.
Press your strip of binding fabric in half lengthwise… then fold one side of than in half again… this is prep work but soooo worth it in the end. Let this cool a few minutes to hold the folds then unfold and start your sewing close to a corner like I did below but leaving a 6″ unsewn tail or so…
I sewed mine on using a heavy 1/4″ seam allowance… when I came to a corner I treated it just like double fold binding.
Once I came back to the beginning side I stopped after rounding the corner well… joined the ends in my favorite method and sewed the remaining seam allowance to finish the binding sewn the front leaving me with a the below shot…
And now my pre ironed edges are coming into play making it easy for me to bind the little art quilt…
So I decided a change of scenery would be nice… I brought my new fave pin cushion holding my binding needle… binding clips (aka wonder clips) … scissors for trimming threads… matching thread to my binding… and matching thread to my backing to sew my label down…. and finally a cuppa something yummy!
And Tah Dah… I hand washed this cute little quilt then threw it in the dryer and gave it a quilt little steamy press… it was ready to share then 😀
And the final back side…
I hope you have enjoyed this in depth tutorial … if you make a mosaic art quilt of your own and use any of my helpful hints along your path… please send me a direct photo to my email HERE to see your work of art! I look forward to hearing what you think of this tutorial and receiving many works to my email too!!!
looks great – and it looks like you had fun making this piece – I had a book on mosiac's at one time and patterns but never got around to using it and passed it on to another – I do remember they did it differently but it must have been 15 years ago that I had it and all things evolve
this blog has to be one of the most organized and most well explained that I have ever seen!! This project looks like it is so much fun, I can't wait to give it a try!
hahaha……Unknown comment from Lisa Capen 🙂
What a detailed tutorial, thanks! Looks lovely, added to my someday list. Happy Stitching!
Way out of my patience zone! lol very very cute, though!
What about making mug rugs with this technique or placemat for a grandchild! They are the only ones i would have the patience to do this for.
This is so cute and lovely! Maybe someday I’ll make this fun looking project. Thanks for the tutorial!