Flowers are one of the most popular motifs in art, and quilting designs are no different. From antique quilts to the most contemporary quilt design, the flower often takes center stage.
|Flowers by Barb Forrister.|
There are as many ways to make a flower quilt as there are flowers: piecing geometric quilt designs into flower shapes, fussy cutting commercial fabric motifs and fusing them to a quilt base, free-motion stitching a flower pattern, painting, or hand embroidering—and that's just the beginning.
I like to see really dimensional flowers on a quilt, and was intrigued when I saw Barb Forrister's demonstration of how to make a flower quilt using a many of these techniques together.
Here is how Barb creates fabric flowers that pop out of her quilts like crocuses on the first warm day of spring.
To make the flowers:
1. Begin assembling a sandwich starting with a layer of sheer fabric, a layer of Mistyfuse and a layer of white cotton.
2. Drizzle thread and fiber snippets over the white cotton to create a textured surface for your flower.
3. Place another layer of Mistyfuse followed by a top layer of sheer fabric and fuse the layers together. This side will be the top portion of the flower petals.
|Free-motion quilting the petals.|
4. Flip the sandwich over and continue layering with Mistyfuse and an additional layer of sheer fabric. Fuse layers together. This will be the underside of the petal.
5. Transfer the pattern for the petal onto a piece of cardboard and cut out the template. Lay the cardboard template on the side that has snippets of fibers showing.
6. Transfer the petal shapes to the fabric using a disappearing ink pen. Each flower has 5 petals.
|Stitching the petals together.|
7. Free-motion quilt the outline of petals and their pattern as shown on the template. For this step, the feed dogs must be in the down position and the bobbin thread should match the back of the petal. For the top thread, choose a color that shows up against the sheer fabric.
8. Finish quilting the petals by outline stitching once more. Cut out all of the petals and rinse them in cold water to remove any marks from the disappearing ink pen. Let dry.
9. Using white fabric paint, add the white design to each petal, referring to the template. Add texture by painting small dots of three-dimensional acrylic paint along the inside edge of the white design. Follow up with an additional outline of dots just outside the white area, as shown.
|The finished quilt.|
10. Edges may be finished in one of several ways. They may be satin stitched either by machine or by hand using embroidery floss. Another alternative is to paint the edges using a 1:1 mixture of matching fabric paint to clear gel medium.
Barb demonstrates her technique for her quilt designs, making the flowers, attaching them to the quilt, and putting it all together on the Quilting Arts interactive eMag In Stitches, Vol. 5.
Like Barb's flower creations, In Stitches gives you a three-dimensional look at quilt designs and techniques through video, slide shows, PDF printouts, and more. You can download it now—no reason to wait for spring.
So, are you thinking spring yet? What quilt design motifs remind you of spring? Leave a comment below.