Thursday, September 23, 2010


At Quilt Bee a couple of months ago we were all given a half a yard of this crazy, bright fabric and were challenged to make something no bigger than 18X30 using at least one piece of recognizable challenge fabric, and any other fabric we desire.

The gorgeous bright colors gave me the idea to make a table runner for my sister-in-law, who is a parrot and macaw lover, so I decided to place an appliqued parrot right in the center of the table runner on a black background, and then use fabrics of matching colors to make the rest of the runner.  I found a photograph online that I copied, to use as a pattern for the bird.  But, appliqueing something this complex on the machine was turning into a REAL challenge!

So, on to Plan B!  Back in the early summer I had purchased some fabric inks online.  I decided to cut the parrot out of white fabric and use Seam-a-Steam to attach it to my black center square.  Then, since I have always loved to paint, using the fabric inks on the bird was a breeze!!!  A LOT easier than trying to sew down all those individual sections of bird!  You use clear Aloe Vera gel as the fixer for the ink, and after you apply ink to each section, you heat set it with an iron.

This is my black square with the parrot cut out and attached in the center on-point.  I used red ink to color these areas of the bird and heat set them.  Then I went onto another area, heat set again.  At the end, details were added with a black ink marker with a fine point and used it as well for shading areas.... and again heat set.
This is the parrot when I finished!  I will now hand-applique the bird around the outside edges using an embroidery stitch. There will be updates on this project as it takes shape!  I also plan to make my sister and brother-in-law two placemats to match though they are not part of the challenge.


  1. did a beautiful job on the clever to think of doing it like that.