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Kestrel Michaud


Classically-trained Fine Artist and Fabric Illustrator


Great Egret Process

My first appliqué wall hanging pattern is now available on my Etsy shop. I tested my pattern by following the instructions and created my own Great Egret wall hanging. Here it is:

Great Egret Wall Hanging, Complete
Great Egret Wall Hanging, Complete

I took photos every step of the way to show my process as I followed the instructions I had written. Continue reading to see how my Great Egret came together.

Picking Fabrics

Page 4 of the instructions talks about choosing fabrics. These are the colors I ultimately chose to use.

Fabric Choices
I chose these fabrics to use for my Great Egret wall hanging.

Fusible Swatches

Every fabric on Page 4 has a dimension listed under the name. I cut a swatch of paper-backed Wonder Under for each dimension except the Border and Backing fabrics. I also cut two fusible swatches for the White and Blue 1 (you can see those double stacked in the top right of the photo below).

Fusible Swatches
Fusible Swatches Ready to Iron onto Fabric

It’s also a bit hard to see, but I labeled each fusible swatch with the color fabric to which it corresponds. (If you do not own a DIY cutting machine and plan to trace the pieces onto the fusible, do that now.)

Treating the Fabric

I’ve ironed all the fusible swatches onto the correct fabrics and cut those swatches away from the rest of the material. I sprayed each one with Fray Stop and they are now drying on my kitchen table. I laid them over freezer paper to protect the wood tabletop.

Fabric Swatches
Fabric Swatches Drying After Being Sprayed with Fray Stop

Once dry, I ironed each one a second time to ensure the fusible was well and truly attached.

Cutting the Fabric

This is my setup for having my Cricut Explore Air 2 cut my fabric. (If you aren’t using a cutting machine, this step will just be cutting all the pieces with scissors.)

Cutting Setup
Cutting the Pieces on My Cricut Explore Air 2

On the right side of the table is my Cricut. It’s currently cutting the 5th SVG file, which is Green #3 and Green #4. My Breyer roller is next to the Cricut by the edge of the table. Toward the left, I’m in the process of lifting the fabric from Green #2 and Green #1 before I transfer each piece to the number match pages on the far left. My laptop is running the Cricut software.

Transferring the Pieces

Here is a closer look at the cut pieces on the sticky mat before transferring.

Cut Pieces on Sticky Mat
Cricut-Cut Pieces on Sticky Mat, Waiting to Transfer to Number Match Paper

The process of lifting pieces off the sticky mat causes them to curl. I use clear plastic page protectors to flatten them.

Fabric Pieces After Transfer
Cut Pieces After Transfer to Number Match Paper

Assembly

This is my assembly space. I use a stack of 4 bath towels as an ironing-safe surface. On top of that is the printed, color template covered by my non-stick pressing sheet. My laptop has the breakdown page for The Egret, and the number match sheets with the fabric pieces are on the far right side of my table.

Assembly Setup
My Setup for Assembling the Fabric Pieces

A closer look after I finished assembling the neck of the egret.

Assembling the Egret
Assembling the Egret

In this photo, I’m in the process of assembling Leaf Group C. I’ve finished “C1”, set it to the side, and am working on “C2”. I personally prefer to line up a few pieces to get them ready to place, which you can see between my template and iron. My style is to have the lower numbers closer to the edge of the table.

Assembling Leaf Group C
Assembling Leaf Group C

Combining the Sub-Groups

After I’ve assembled all five sub-groups, they’re ready to put together.

Combining the Sub-Groups
Combining the Sub-Groups

Picking a Background

This is one of my favorite steps. I always take my assembled fabrics to my local quilt shop and see how it looks on lots of different background materials. This pic shows a few different examples I considered. I ultimately chose the fabric in the center because I thought it looked like swampy water.

Picking a Background
Testing My Picture on Different Background Fabrics

Making the Quilt Sandwich

I ironed the egret to the background material, batting, and backing. I used two 26” x 10” pieces of fusible to hold it all together.

Quilt Sandwich
Great Egret as a Quilt Sandwich

(If you’re planning to stitch your own picture, you might not want to use fusible to hold your sandwich together. That’s totally okay! Using that much fusible gives the sandwich a bit more stiffness, which I prefer because it helps the picture hang perfectly straight. Feel free to use your own technique.)

Making the Binding

I make my own binding by ironing a 2” wide strip of fabric in half, lengthwise, twice. I then slide a reverse-folded strip of 1” wide fusible in the center fold. (The fusible side gets folded out so it will be touching the fabric. The paper gets folded against itself.)

Making the Binding
Making the Binding

Applying the Binding

Each strip of binding gets ironed over one edge of the wall hanging. This is a close-up of how I fold over the edge at the corner to make it look finished. Not shown is a small piece of fusible I slipped into the corner after taking the photo to hold it in place.

Applying the Binding
Applying the Binding

The Hanging Envelope

Here is a close-up of the edge of the hanging envelope on the back.

The Hanging Envelope
The Hanging Envelope

Finished!

Here it is! My Great Egret is finished and ready to hang.

Great Egret Finished
Great Egret Finished and Ready to Hang

Try It Yourself

If that looked fun and you’d like to try it yourself, the pattern for this project is available on my Etsy shop in both a Standard Edition and Cricut Edition. Thank you for your interest!