Letter applique quilt patterns are great for any skill level -- from the least experienced novice to the skilled quilting pro. There are thousands of fonts available free of charge on the Internet. Starting your letter appliqué quilt pattern search on a free font website is a good idea. Most font websites have their styles broken down into categories, which will make your search for your letter appliqué much easier. Are you making a quilt for your granddaughter? Look in the "curly" or "cute" category.
Looking for a boy-themed font? Try "old school" or "athletic" fonts. There are also western fonts that would be great for a cowboy or cowgirl themed quilt, movie fonts that would allow you to replicate a favorite movie theme, etc. Once you find the font you'd like to use for your letter appliqué quilt pattern, download it according to your computer's instructions. If you've never downloaded a font, most computers have instructions on how to do so.
It's usually as simple as clicking on the "download now" button on the font website. A popup window will ask if you want to "open" or "save" -- choose open. Once you've opened the font file, select "extract all files." The next popup window will ask you where to save the file. You'll need to put it in your font folder in order to access the font later. That's all there is to it.
Once you've downloaded your font, you can get back to your letter appliqué quilt pattern. Using whatever program you generally use on your computer, type the letter you want to use for your appliqué quilt. Select the letter by highlighting it and change the font to your downloaded choice. Alter the size to fit your needs for the letter appliqué quilt pattern and print out the letter.
That's your pattern. Iron on a fusible webbing to the back of your selected fabric. Use your print out to cut the letter from the fabric.
Now the letter can be iron onto your quilt top. There are a number of wonderful products on the market to help control fabric fraying. Check with your favorite craft or fabric shop and pick one. Adding an anti-fray product helps to insure a long-lasting professional finish to your letter appliqué quilt pattern! Once your fray inhibitor has been given sufficient time to dry (usually 15 to 30 minutes), you will be ready to move on to stitching. You may hand stitch, using a blanket stitch to complete your letter appliqué quilt pattern. With a sewing machine, you made decide to either zig-zag or run a satin stitch around the border of your letter appliqué quilt pattern.
Machine embroiderers who also digitize have another option available. Upon sizing the letter to use for the appliqué, highlight the letter and choose to add an outline around it. A four to eight point outline generally works best. While the letter is highlighted, change the inside color to "none." This will leave only an outline of the letter.
Complete the digitizing process and the embroidery machine will do most of the work. Machine embroiderers won't need to use fusible webbing or cut the letter out of their selected fabric. Instead, they'll simply lay their fabric on top and the embroidery machine will stitch an outline that will attach the fabric to the quilt. When they remove the fabric from the machine (but not from the embroidery hoop!), thim away excess fabric, then add a fray prevention product.
Leave it to the embroidery machine to complete the applique with the stitching the machine embroiderer selected during digitizing. Whether you create your letter quilt by hand, sewing machine or embroidery machine, letter appliqué quilt patterns are one of the best ways to give a unique, personal gift. Don't forget to observe copyright laws when using free fonts. Some font authors don't mind and others will allow you do to sell products featuring their fonts if you contact them to ask permission.
Penny Halgren http://www.TheQuiltingCoach.com Penny has been a quilter for more than 26 years and enjoys exploring all aspects of quilting sharing her knowledge with all quilters.