Monday, June 9, 2014

Louisiana License Plate Patterns

I am finally finished working on patterns for the AMB license plate!  I am so very sorry about not getting to them last week as I had hoped to do.  I guess playing in New Orleans had an adverse effect and scorched my brain.  Regardless, I have patterns.

Now why the paper looks pink or beige, I do not know; so more apologies all around.  I was able to clean it up even more and will post a PDF file so that you don't have to print this version.  For now, though, we'll have to be satisfied.  I've sent an email to Zoey and asked for help in making the pdf downloadable since I don't quite know how to do that.  As soon as we figure it out, I'll let you know.  You can email me at and I'll send you the pdf version.  

city scene and crawfish page 1

In the meantime, you should know that I simply cut and placed the pieces onto background fabric, pinning them down. I tend to work in an organic fashion: cutting by hand without a pattern and used the completed license plate to draw my pattern pieces 

The fabric color and number are on the pattern pieces just under the name of the item. On page 2 "tt" means tree tops and "lp" means lily pads.  Those pieces are so small that I didn't have room to write the whole thing.

swamp scene page 2
I did use fusible web on a few pattern pieces, but I tend to work without the fusible most of the time.  You may want to use fusible on the smaller pieces: draw the pattern on the paper side of the fusible, then apply the fusible web to the back of the fabric and cut out on the lines.  Peel the paper backing off and place your pieces where you'd like them. 

You can use my license plate as a guide, but I suggest that you play with the design and move things around so that you're pleased with the end result.  I pinned the whole block to a heavy interfacing--I used Ricky Tims' Stable Stuff, but others will work.  If your interfacing is not heavy enough, the fabric will pull together and bunch up.  Add another layer of interfacing or change to a heavier one.   

I have layered my entire quilt so that the batting acts as another interfacing, and this works especially well when thread painting.  I didn't have that option for this project, but you may.  If so, I recommend that you consider it.  

Once all the pieces are in place, press or take the block to your sewing machine and stitch down the pieces, threading painting as you go.  I like to put down at least a few stitches on every pattern piece to help hold them in place.  Then just have fun.  Feel free to change threads and add color to your liking.  Louisiana is diverse, if nothing else, and the people who fell in love with Blue Dog certainly will allow you some leeway in making your block your own.  So just have fun!

Did you notice the lines in the water?  Those are gator lines!  When alligators and other large creatures swim on the top of the water, they move the duck weed and the other stuff on the surface, leaving a trail of sorts behind them.  

The crawfish is perhaps the most difficult of all.  I cut it out in one piece of fabric with fusible web.  Pressed the crawfish in place and then stitched in the sections of his body.  He doesn't even have a face (I didn't want to deal with those buggy eyes) but no one has noticed yet.  I did add antennae because they are so long and prominent but the antennae can be just two swirly lines going in any direction.  Use the thin lines that I drew in to see where and how to section him off.  If you leave out one or two, don't fret....say that you were too busy thinking of how good he tastes!

Lastly, I do not have a pattern for the letters.  I just wrote the letters backwards on the fusible web paper and then made them thick.  I pressed the fusible onto black fabric and cut them out. They are only about 3/4 inch tall.  After pressing them in place, I stitched over them several times to make sure I had each one well sewn.  They are not evenly sized or spaced, although I did try to keep the letters close together so they would appear as one word.  In some cases I didn't even snip the thread between the letters because the stitches are so short and they barely show. 

And there you have it: a Louisiana license plate block!

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