BartholoMEW also says do not be afraid! If you have never tried fusible appliqué, now is the time.
He wants to give you a few hints he gave Yolanda when she was designing him.
1. First thing you should do is make a copy of the page his template appears in the Quiltmakers 100 block Vol. 15 magazine. That is because he considers these magazines very precious and he likes to save them carefully so he can try out many of the blocks in them. Bart is addicted to blocks. The more he tries out the better and then he makes them into pillows and gives them to his friends to squeeze, to hug, to sleep on, to chew on... whatever makes them happy.
2. Next thing you need is a piece of fusible web with paper on one side. At most what you will need for his block is two letter size pieces. You will find there are many brands available. Some brand names are Soft Fuse Premium Paperbacked Fusible Web, Wonder Under, HeatnBond Lite or Steam-a-Seam. All of them will work for this. Just make sure you get a fusible web with paper on one side because fusible web also comes with no paper backing.
You will trace Bart's half outline on one side of the fusible web (paper side up!) making sure you have plenty of room to trace his other half on what's left of the paper.
3. Next fold the paper backed piece of fusible web along the center line leaving the paper side to the outside. I use a piece of thin card stock to make the fold.
4. Now finish the full outline by tracing your previous pencil line.
5. Do the same with Bart's glasses and nose.
6. After fusing the web onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out all three pieces, the face, the nose and the glasses.
7. Fuse the face and the nose onto the center square. Then blanket stitch all around both BEFORE fusing the glasses in place. Once you have done that, stitch around the glasses too. Take the end loose threads from the blanket stitching to the back to hide them. I like the way blanket stitching looks but you can use a zig zag or a satin stitch to finish off the raw edges. It looks nice to match your thread color to the fabric you are edging.
8. Once you have finished with stitching the edges down you can complete the block by attaching first the side border pieces and the the tp and bottom.
Below is a picture of the back of Bart's block. Bart thinks Yolanda was a bit sloppy. But he puts up with her because she buys him really good tuna and also because she obviously really like him. While she was working on his portrait block she was also working on a complete fabric line in 12 color ways in his honor. Yolanda and he bickered a bit about whether the fabric collection would be called BartholoMEW or Kitty Kitty. Bart is a savvy cat though and he realized the marketing advantage of a more mass appeal. The collection in his honor was called Kitty Kitty and you can check it out more thoroughly here.
BartholoMEW wishes his fabric collection had been available when his portrait block was being put together. He has drawn up a proposal for it now since he now has all his fabrics.
Below is how he might commission his portrait now from Yolanda. However he admits to being very pleased with the block as published in the magazine. He made sure Yolanda picked his favorites from her fabric designs so the quality of the portrait was fully vetted.
BartholoMEW also has been thinking that there are others in the quilting world who should be honored with doing his portrait. One quilter he has in mind is Jane Sassaman. Both he and Yolanda are great admirers of Jane's art quilts and her fabric collections. Jane has a way of interpreting the natural world in an elegant geometrical style through bold colors and forms that are finely balanced to create serenity and excitement. Yolanda and Bart would travel anywhere to see her work and hear her lecture. Yolanda had the opportunity to meet her before Bart was born but they both have spent many companionable evenings pouring over Jane's books together.