Thursday, April 23, 2015

Everything I Learned About Letters I Learned in Junior High

Who would guess I would learn something in a junior high, one semester art class that would last me a life time and  be used continually.  Thank you, Miss Burks. 

Miss Burks was a soft spoken art teacher in the junior high I attended.  Although Miss Burks was in my life only for a short period of time she gave me confidence and skills that have endured all of my crazy life.  She was a quiet woman, never married and had the responsibility of taking care of her aging mother who lived with her.  As far as I knew back then Miss Burks was fairly old herself.

Looking back, all my teachers seemed old to me but I was young and everyone older than me was old.  Now as an old woman myself I wonder just how old she really was. 

All of Miss Burks students entered a poster contest of some kind.  The poster was to be completed on a half sheet of black poster board with an image and title painted on with....of course, poster paint.  Now when I smell poster paint it takes me back to my time in Miss Burks junior high art class. Although, now poster paint is not my medium of choice, it is cheap and probably worked well with her school budget.

Her method of making the letters was so simple  everyone learned to make pretty letters.  Not everyone was able to stay in the lines when they painted them but they started off looking great. 
I have taken this skill for granted until my daughter said, "You never taught me that."

Although in Miss Burks class we drew the letters and painted them now I use the same concept and cut my letters in fabric which I use to customize quilts, purses, and other fabric projects. 

The concept is simple.  Most letters are symmetrical therefore can be easily cut from a small folded rectangle.   "A" as on the left is horizontally symmetrical while "O" on the right is symmetrical both directions horizontal or vertically. Most letters fall into one or the other category. 

The asymmetrical letters are the most challenging but even those letters are easy when you apply the simple concepts I learned in a junior high class. 

So I wrote up the instructions and made a PDF for anyone to download and keep.

To download the PDF go here.  It is free.  No obligation to buy is just free for anyone. 

Once you learn the concept of a simple letter you can easily customize the letters and get as fancy as you want.  It is so easy even the children can do it. 

 Customizing quilts is fun and easy. 
I use fabric stabilized with a fusible interfacing.  Instructions in PDF.
Here are two of my quilts made for grandchildren.  Patterns for these quilts are available in my Craftsy store.(Link on right.)