Making an Applique Wallhanging from Coloring Pages

With my daughter’s room redecoration, she wanted a Hello Kitty picture over her bed. I’m okay with posters, but wanted to make something a little fancier, so I started poking around for Hello Kitty pictures I could adapt to a quilted wallhanging. The good news is that Hello Kitty has very simple lines, and there are a plethora of coloring pictures available.

The first thing I did was find a picture I wanted to use. I just Googled “Hello Kitty coloring pages” and scrolled the Google image search until I found one I liked.

A word about copyright: Sanrio owns the Hello Kitty image. Since I am making this for personal use, and will not be selling or seeking to profit from it, I felt it was okay to use this image. If you want to do something similar for yourself to sell, you have to use public domain images.
I do my “graphics” work in Microsoft Powerpoint. It’s not a graphics program, but it does give you the ability to print a single page as a poster; i.e. – it blows the image up from a single page to fit 2 x 2 pages.  And since I’ve used Powerpoint since Moses was an undergrad (as they say at Georgia Tech), it’s relatively easy for me. There are better graphics programs that also have this same enlarge feature, so adjust your work accordingly.
Once I blew up the image and printed it out, I had to tape it together and figure out what colors I want.
Original Drawing
Here is when you can have your assistant of choice help color (such as the child you might be making this for). I chose to do it myself, lightly coloring in with colored pencils so I’d know which fabrics I needed to pull from my stash. Once that’s colored in, I traced all the individual shapes onto a paper backed fusible. Now, tracing the image like this means that when I fuse the pieces on, they will be in a mirror image. Since my image is fairly symmetric, this doesn’t bother me. It’s most important to reverse images when tracing letters.
Here are my chosen fabrics with the cut out, traced pieces of paper backed fusible:
Applique Pieces
After fusing all the applique pieces to the fabrics, I trimmed them carefully on the outline and sorted them by location, i.e. – all the flower parts went together, all the kitty pieces, and all the bushes/house pieces go together.
I chose to fuse together those groups of pieces into large applique shapes using an applique pressing sheet. You can fuse them onto the background individually, but I feel like doing the groups gives me a little more control.  Here’s I’ve laid out all the kitty pieces onto the sheet after peeling off the paper backs:
The benefit of using a coloring page is that the black lines are really thick and easy to see through the pressing sheet. If you’re lines aren’t that thick, you can use a lightbox, or what I call a “redneck lightbox” (holding it up to the window). Press these pieces to fuse them together, and then peel the whole thing off the pressing sheet.
Once I got all the pieces fused into groups, I then fused them onto the background piece (I pieced together a piece of green for the grass background with a piece of mottled sky blue to make the total background piece). I knew I wanted to use the zig-zag stitch to secure the pieces, and I decided to let that double as part of the quilting so I didn’t stitch any of the pieces down at this point.  The one exception is the bubbles, which I created using a double layer of tulle and an overlay of fusible vinyl. Those I stitched down before sandwiching the quilt.
I added a small inner border, and then an outer border of simple squares.  Sandwiched with cotton batting, basted, and voila! I was ready to quilt.  I zig-zagged the outlines of all the applique pieces, and then FMQed the rest.  Here’s a close-up of the center (I used the flash to show the sheen of the bubbles, but that made the rest of it super bright):
Hello Kitty Wallhanging Close-up
And here’s what the whole thing looks like from afar, hanging over my daughter’s bed:
Hello Kitty Wallhanging

9 thoughts on “Making an Applique Wallhanging from Coloring Pages

  1. You are so Talented and Quick. I’ve been catching up on your podcasts the last month and bit. I can’t believe how much you acomplish. Great Job.

  2. Looks great! Can you tell me how you blew the image up in PowerPoint? I’m more familiar with that program than I am other graphics editing ones and have a project in mind that I need to do this. Thank you!

  3. Hi Katie-
    In Powerpoint, I clicked the print button, and then next to the printer selection drop-down box, I clicked on Properties. I have a Lexmark 4200, so I have Print Layout options, and can choose “poster” size, which will double the size of the image if I select a 2×2 layout. If I chose 3×3 layout, it would be triple in size.

    The alternative is to print out the image in normal scale, and blow it up on a copier,

  4. I just typed a comment, but it seems to have disappeared. Anyway, I love the Hello Kitty wall hanging. Thanks for the step by step. It is a great idea to use coloring book pages for applique designs. What fabric did you use for the bubbles? Did the fusible behave the same as on cotton?
    Thanks again for sharing the project.

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