Salt Lake City, Utah has a great quilting show every year in May. It’s called the Home Machine Quilting and Sewing Show. The show has lots of classes with National Teachers, a large vendor mall and a large, wonderful quilt competition with incredible quilts. In 2004 I took a class by Sue Schmieden of The Quilting Connection called Color Magic. This is where I learned to make Spring Flowers. It was a very informative class with step by step instructions. Sue Schmieden was an excellent teacher. She had colored instructions and lots of hands on examples that we could see and handle. Over the next year I designed my quilt and with Sue Schmieden’s instruction booklet I made my award, winning quilt, Spring Flowers.
I had never entered a quilt in any competition. But I got up enough courage to enter my quilt at the Home Machine Quilting and Sewing Show in 2006 and I won 2nd place in the Whole Cloth catagory.
Here is how I made it:
First I drew up a design. This is when I desided what colors I wanted in my whole cloth, color magic quilt. I used bleached muslin for my quilt top. I cut a piece that was 100 in. x 100 in. Using a blue water soluble marker I drew my design onto the muslin. When that was done I loaded the muslin onto my longarm quilting machine with a polyester, high loft batting (16 oz). No backing. Using Superior’s Vanish thread I quilted everywhere on the quilt that I wanted it puffy. Like the feathers and around the boarder. I did not quilt the detail quilting, only the puffy parts that I wanted on my quilt. When that was done I took it off the longarm quilting machine and very carefully cut away the batting I did not want on my quilt. I left the batting where I wanted it fluffy. I left the feathers and the boarder parts.
You can see the feather and underneath is the batting. This is before I trimed the batting really close.
Here is on the back side after I trimed very close.
I gathered everything I needed and prepared it.
- I found the ribbon that I liked for the flower vase. I made sure I previewed my ribbon behind my bleached muslin to make sure it still looked pretty. If the muslin is too thick it won’t show the colors thru the fabric and that’s what you’re looking for. Once the ribbon is behind, up against the fabric, it will be like magic. I weaved the ribbon.
- Felt. I cut and prepared it to fit my design. I used pink and green. Make sure to preview the felt behind the muslin.
- Silk flowers. I used pink, purple and yellow. Preview the flowers behind the muslin. The flowers can be found at any craft store. You will need to take the flower apart and discard the plastic stem. Test the flower to make sure it won’t bleed on your quilt.
- White batting. Use a thin batting.
- Bleached muslin for the backing.
Here are examples for the silk flowers, ribbon, felt and batting.
Here are the examples with the bleached muslin over them. Notice, you can still see the colors thru the muslin.
Finally, I was ready to prepare the quilt top. Laying out my quilt top, wrong side up, I started pinning my flowers and felt in place. I pinned from the top (front) of the quilt so I could remove the pins as I quilted. It was awkward getting everything pinned. So, if you can imagine, I pinned from underneath. Very awkward. But at last, it was ready to quilt.
I loaded my quilt onto the quilting machine. First, I loaded the bleached muslin backing, which was bigger than the front. Then I loaded my white, very thin batting on the machine. Then layed my quilt top on. Wrong side down. I checked again to make sure all pins were pinned from the top of the quilt. No pins inside the quilt layers. Then I heavily quilted my quilt. Each time I rolled my quilt as I quilted I checked to make sure everything was laying flat. I again checked for pins and made sure I was not going to quilt one that was hiding in a quilt layer. I also removed the pins on the area I was ready to quilt.
After quilting it I put my Color Magic quilt into a front loading washer and ran it thru a short rinse cycle to remove the blue water soluble maker I used for drawing on my design. This is when the color really pops!!! Its great to see all the color because you don’t see it until now. It’s like magic.
I blocked my quilt and then bound it. A lot of work but very rewarding.
Hard work pays off!