Applique racoon flag – I

This month’s craft project is an appliqué flag I’m making as part of a neighbourhood art installation for a food bank fundraiser
 (Daily Flag for DailyBread). I will be blogging as the project progresses to avoid the mega-blog at the end.  

The design shows four raccoons having a Christmas-time romp atop the iconic Leuty Lifeguard station in my neighbourhood.

Mockup: Original

I’ve used the fantastic open source graphics tool Inkscape to create the layout and appliqué pattern. As a start, I created a layout using images from the internet. This required finding raccoons in various attitudes. In Inkscape, I use the “Clip Mask” feature to clip out pieces of the raccoon pictures that would not feature in the final design. This is what the mockup looks like:

BeachRaccoons_baseImageIt’s a Christmas-time romp, hence the santa hats.

Mockup: Silhouette

The next step is to convert the image into coloured polygons, which is what the appliqué will look like when it is complete. The finished image in Inkscape looks like this, you can see the fabric colours are selected: finished_colours

 Appliqué pattern

With the polygons above, I created a second graphic to make the outlines which would serve as appliqué patterns. This is used for cutting the pieces of fabric, fusing etc.,


You can see the pieces are now “outlined” (Fill:none, thick black stroke of 6pt, but 4pt would probably have been good enough) and numbered. The numbers also reflect the grouping of the pieces (the lifeguard house first, raccoons next etc.,). IMPORTANT: This is when images with direction should be “[f]lip[ped] horizontally”. The fusible webbing step creates a mirror-image of the design, so we need to correct for that now.

Finally, I grouped the pieces in 8.5 x 11 chunks (there are five). The lifeguard house was  too big for that (35in by 11in), so I used Posterazor to tile it. [Note:The default setting in Posterazor scales the input image down to fit a certain number of pages. I realized this after I had cut out a too-small version of the lifeguard house. Be sure to set “Size in percent” to “100%” at step 4.

So now we have an applique pattern. Next week I will share the making and layout of the appliqué fabric. Bye for now!