When I doodled as a kid, I preferred drawing cartoons rather than realistic images. That may be why when I decided to make my Marching Ladies I didn’t try to make a “representational” quilt. My Marching Ladies are fabric “stick” people – You get the idea without the realistic detail. For all of us out there that don’t want to realistically recreate photos, fabric “stick” people are the answer.
Below is a somewhat sketchy step-by-step of how I made my Marching Ladies. Full disclosure – I’m a huge believer in “hands on” learning! No matter how much detail I explain here, the process is much easier to grasp in person. Teaching you and your quilting friends how to make your own fabric stick people at your local store or quilt guild would be so much fun – for both of us. For those of you in my local San Francisco Bay Area, I am teaching a Liberated Technique Class on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at Bay Quilts where I will be introducing the Marching Ladies and teaching students how to make their own. Contact me if you want to learn sooner!!
For those of you new to my style – I don’t work with patterns or follow quilting “rules.” Enter Liberated Quilting. As Captain Barbossa in Pirates of the Carribean says -“….the code (rules) is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules….” A liberated quilter thinks of something she wants to make and then figures out a way to make it.
So here’s where I started with my Ladies – a rough sketch, a picture of a quilt with women holding hands and pictures of two quilts from two different books.
The middle picture comes from the out-of-print Garden Club Quilts book which had a pattern that I used as a guideline for the piecing and figured out how to make the Ladies holding hands.
I worked in horizontal rows beginning with the dresses because that was a nice large piece of fabric to start with! I changed the angle on the ladies’ dresses, cutting the angle for each background and dress, right sides up, at the same time. Dresses, arms and hands, heads, legs and shoes were each made as a row and sewn together a row at a time.
The legs and the shoes came last. I used lots of pins when I sewed the row of legs to the shoes and then the shoes and legs to the dresses, matching the center of the dresses with the center of the legs.
Once I had the ladies assembled, I machine appliqued the ladies’ hats and my free-cut lettering.
Final touches – a bit of ribbon, lace, buttons and a few embroidery embellishments and the Ladies were ready to march!