After I had all the building blocks ready, it was time to figure out how to put together the quilt. I laid out the backing fabric on my cutting table. I have a very large cutting island it the center of my sewing studio. I love this because I can lay out a large wall hanging like this quilt and walk all the way around it. It really helps me decide how I want things to look and where I want them to be. Sometimes just looking at something at a different angle is all you need to get a fresh idea. Some of my best ideas have come from looking at a quilt upside down.
Looking at this quilt upside down is what gave me the idea to make some of the flowers double stacked.
After I got everything where I wanted it, I look a picture (the picture that is above) and I walked away for a couple hours. I looked at the picture of the quilt with fresh eyes to be sure I was ready to commit to this layout. For this particular quilt, I did like this first layout but I have often changed a quilt over and over before committing. I take a picture because the picture gives me a new prospective of the quilt, just like walking around it on the cutting island does.
Once I committed, I pinned and fused the pieces down (remember, I had Soft ‘n Sheer extra on the back of the pieces). This is also when I determine the actual size of the quilt and cut the background fabric. I now layered the quilt top, the batting and the backing. I used Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray adhesive to baste the quilt layers together and I began quilting/appliqueing the pieces down.
When choosing threads for my quilting, I almost always use a variegated or Sulky Cotton Blendables® thread. As David Taylor says, “Life is just too short for single-color thread”! I love the dimension that variegated threads give. I actually look at color over type of thread as well. That means I often use a mix of cotton, rayon and polyester threads. For this quilt, I did the stems in Sulky 40 wt Rayon #2131 Vari-Khakis and the flowers in Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Blendables #4010 Caramel Apple. It is important to pull a fair amount of thread off the spool and lay it on top of what you plan to sew on to audition the thread. Threads, especially Sulky Cotton Blendabes Thread, often look very different off the spool. I used Sulky prewound bobbins in my bobbin for everything. It’s nice to not have to switch out the bobbin thread even though the top threads were different weights.
As you can see in the picture at the top, I left my flower points loose to add some extra dimension to the quilt top, but beside that, I just basically went around every edge.
For the rest of the quilting, I did echo quilting. I was afraid to do echo quilting for years. It just looked so hard. the truth is, with a walking foot and a little patience, it’s a piece of cake! I used Sulky 30 wt Cotton Blendables thread #4040 Biscuit (my very favorite neutral thread!) and I just used the edge of my walking foot as my guide.
I am so happy with the final results of this quilt. I named it “My Dresden Garden” and it will hang in my quilt guild’s quilt show this weekend.
Have you made anything your own recently? If so, what? Share by commenting below.