This block has quite a story. I knew I wanted my sorting hat to actually have lots of texture with folds and deep shadows. So I cooked up this idea to actually fold fabric rather than try to replicate it with paint or other techniques. To make that work, I knew I’d have to have textile that could tolerate the rough treatment and hold its shape. I came across this giraffe textured felt in the craft store and thought I’d give it a try. I thought it worked out well, except the felt only comes in the same brown as the background. Sigh. I thought about dye or paint but finally settled on putting something behind it. The POD’rs are doing a sorting hat with Crookshanks behind it. I don’t love old Crookshanks, but I do love Mrs. Norris. Scrawny brown Mrs. Norris. Double Sigh. So Crookshanks it is. Since Scabbers is just to the left of Crookshanks, I decided to make him thinking about taking the rat out. Much to my surprise, it has become one of my favorite interactions on the quilt. Two weeks ago – I would have told you there was NO WAY I was putting Crookshanks on there! Good thing I always reserve the right to change my mind!
The Sorting Hat
To make the hat I:
- Sized and printed an image of the sorting hat. I believe the image is a sorting hat magnet. I like the shape and the way the translated the the folds into 2D. It seemed like to would translate well into my version. I traced the contour lines onto a pieces of tracing paper and cut it out for a template.
- I prepared a piece of muslin with shape flex stabilizer ironed on to both sides of it. It was like a shape flex sandwich! I used my tracing paper template to put the contour lines on the shape flex sandwich.
- I sewed together two pieces of giraffe felt then started pinning it along the contour line. I followed the line pinching and folded where needed to keep it in the right shape. Once I was happy with the pinned shape, I put a wide zig zag stitch around the edge of the felt and removed all of the pins.
- To get the face, I sewed my paper template for the eyes and mouth right on to the felt with a free motion foot. Once they were in place, I removed the paper and went back and added the black felt in the space I made for it.
- I continued to work on the brim of the hat in the same manner. I went though the hat and pinched and folded the fabric in various places. As I made the folds, I tacked them down with a short tight zig zag stitch. From the back, you can see all of the little tacks and the outline.
- I cut out the hat by following the zig zag stitches on the outside and then added another very tight zig zag around the raw edge to finish it. The hat will be put on the quilt with snaps so it can be removed for washing. Here’s a close up view just before it was removed from the background I was sewing it on.
This project was really fun to do. You have to be open to just “going with it” and making decisions on the fly to accommodate the fabrics and the folds.
Crookshanks is raw edge applique with a paper backed fusible. I created a big of line art (download it printable here, sorry the alignment lines are a bit off, I didn’t fix them when I resized the cat. The drawing is still completely usable though). I really did just print, trace on to fusible, fuse, zig zag around all of the contour lines. I think this Crookshanks works simply because the fabric really works. I’m sure he would be successful in many prints, but this one just kind of follows his body nearly perfectly.
Want More? (and check out Crookshanks in context!)
Check out the TBZ’s Harry Potter Quilt index. It is full of links including a link to the original project and patterns as well as links to any of TheBoredZombie.com’s related posts and other custom blocks complete with downloadable embroidery patterns or applique templates. You can also see more about my machine and software in this post and take a look at my design process in this post.
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