Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Silhouette (Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop)

It's my day on the Dust Off a Quilt Book blog hop hosted by Bea of Beaquilter.  Bea challenged us to find a quilt book on our shelves and make a project from or inspired by it.  It turns out that the emphasis was on the oldest book we could find, but I missed that detail!  I was focused on using a book I've had for a while and a project I wanted to do using that technique, but hadn't actually gotten around to making yet.  Here is Silhouette.

The book I used is Fabric Silhouettes: Quilted Treasures From the Family Album by Louise Handley.  The copyright date is 2006 but I've had it maybe 6 years?  I got it when the library I was working for at the time discarded some books that weren't being checked out.

My plan since I bought the book was to make a silhouette quilt from one of our wedding pictures.  First step was to pick a photo to use.  I decided on this one.  Our photos were taken by Wendy Waldron who runs the 1812 Hitching Post, a wedding venue about an hour from Charlotte in Harmony, North Carolina.  (Can I just say how much I love that we were married in a town called Harmony?)

Inspiration photo.  Credit Wendy Waldron.
Second step was to simplify the photo.  You can see that I took our friend Mark, who was our officiant, straight out of the picture!  I used my Crayola light box (birthday present from my husband and son and I love it!) to trace the silhouette.  I orgiginally tried to trace the arbor as well, but it looked weird.  My husband suggested that I instead use a frame of floral fabric to represent the arbor, and pointed to an example in the book that did something similar.  He was, of course, both absolutely right and a genius.

Two of the three fabrics are Island Batik, the center is Coconut and the inner border, silhouette, and binding are Navy, both from the basics foundation collection.  I wanted to use Island Batik for the floral border as well but didn't have anything with the colors that I hoped would capture the spirit of the arbor in the photo.  I went to my local quilt shop, Quilt Patch Fabrics, which carries Island Batik.  They had a few floral patterns but nothing with the color variety I was hoping for.  And then I saw this print and knew it was probably as close to perfect as I was going to get.  It's Painterly Petals from Robert Kaufman.

I chose to quilt it before adding the silhouette.  I used a 1" cross-hatch design.  I didn't want to use white thread because I didn't want it to be super visible on the navy, so I used Aurifil monofilament instead.

I didn't want to trace the image more than once so I used Heat 'n Bond EZ Print Lite sheets that can go in the printer.  I use a dark blue Aurifil thread and a really short stitch length to trace as close to the edge of our silhouette as possible.  I also stitched a line to give a little definition to my husband's arm.  I'm not sure if you can see it in the photo but I think it helped.

My original plan was to frame it but at the last minute I decided to hang it above the fireplace mantle instead.  My dad rigged this hanging system for me when I moved into the house.  It's held the same wildflowers wallhanging (predates the blog) for the entire 10 years I've been in the house--time for a change!  The bouquet of flowers on the mantle is from my wedding; I ordered felt flowers from Etsy.  My grandmother bought those candlestick holders for her & my grandfather's apartment when they were newlyweds; she gave them to me years ago when they downsized into senior living.  I really love how Silhouette looks hanging above the fireplace and this is essentially your view when you walk in my front door, though I intentionally framed the photo so that you don't see the toy storage below 🙂

Many thanks to Bea for hosting this blog hop and giving me the kick in the pants I needed to finally make this project!  I absolutely love it!  Make sure you check out the other quilters on the hop and Bea has giveaways, too.

March 2
March 3
March 4
The Darling Dogwood -- That's me!
March 5
March 6


  1. aww that's adorable! it's okay if you didn't pick your oldest book, this is much better!

  2. Very sweet, Emily! That commemorates a wonderful memory. I love how it looks against the white mantle.

  3. I like how this turned out- oldest book or not!

  4. Emily, what a sweet way to remember your special day! And I like the way is hung above the fireplace.

  5. This turned out so well, and it looks so nice hanging there. All the family touches around it as well, make it extra special.

  6. What a sweet idea for a silhouette wall it! Thank you for sharing!

  7. That’s a wonderful project and fits so well above the mantle. I love the floral border too! Congratulations on a perfect finish!

  8. Great project, and lovely finish! It looks great above the mantle. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. That is a really sweet quilt. Love that you got around to doing it...thanks for sharing!

  10. What a great way to remember your wedding day!!! Fabulous!!

  11. Beautiful. A piece that will be treasured for a long time to come.

  12. What a beautiful work of art!!! I LOVE it! I also love that everything on your mantle has meaning! Perfect!
    Happy Quilting! :-)

  13. I think your simplification decisions were just right

  14. Oh my goodness, I love your dress, the pink underskirt, the pink flowers in your hair and your cute shoes. It must have been a challenge to simplify it to the silhouette. Absolutely terrific job!!!

  15. What a lovely finish! Looks so nice on above your mantle. Thanks for sharing.