My Adventures in Fabric

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Funky Flowers

61" x 76"
Hand-dyed Cotton fabric, 80/20 batting

1st Place - 2010 Edmond Quilt Guild Show
1st Place - 2010 State Fair of Oklahoma

This is officially the largest quilt I've made. I've wanted something large enough to fit my bed. This one pretty much covers the top surface of the queen-size bed without hanging down over the sides, and it proved to be about as large as I can handle. I'm not sure how people make king-size quilts - There's no place to spread it out to work on it! It was difficult even getting it spread out enough to run the lint brush on it without it getting onto the floor and picking up more lint!

These quilt blocks are done with raw-edge fusible appliqué using fabrics that I hand-dyed. My favorite part was selecting the various shades of fabric to make up these flowers. Appliqué stitching and details were added to each flower with 30-weight Sulky Blendables - absolutely, my favorite decorative thread!

The appliqué patterns are from Piece 'o Cake Designs. I completed each block, then sandwiched and quilted it.

Inspiration for the quilting designs on the sashing and cornerstones came from the appliqué flowers. I started with those flowers and added flowing vines and leaves, then digitized the designs and stitched them on the embroidery machine. This allowed me to get the smooth flowing intricate lines of the flower designs. The cornerstones and sashing pieces were embroidered in the hoop as complete quilt sandwiches so the quilting goes all the way through to the back.

After all the blocks and sashing pieces were completed and quilted, construction was done using The Cotton Theory quilting method with my own variations to achieve the effect I wanted with the sashing blocks and cornerstones.

The back of the quilt is solid black so all you see is the outline quilting of all the blocks and sashing. Around the binding is a decorative stitch in variegated thread to bring the colors out to the edges.

Work proceeded slowly on this quilt. I would work on it until I ran into difficulty, then get frustrated and put it away for a while. I completed the blocks in 2008, worked on the sashing blocks in 2009 until I ran into issues with digitizing the quilting patterns, then finally got it assembled and finished in 2010. I finished it just days before it was due to be delivered to the Edmond Guild quilt show.

When this quilt was on display at the State Fair, a friend told me she overheard two ladies looking at it and wondering how I'd found Ultrasuede in so many colors. She told them she was pretty sure it was cotton - they informed her that she was mistaken - it was indeed Ultrasuede. I took that as a great compliment to my hand-dyed cotton fabrics!

I'll probably work small for a while until I get up the nerve to try another larger piece or get a longarm machine!


© - Don Lusk
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