Friday, February 26, 2016

Corona de Flores

I can finally talk about my latest book adventure! Over a year ago, my friend  Casey York of Studiolo asked me to quilt her quilt top for her next book. That book has been released, so I can now share the process I used to quilt it for her.

First things first, the book.....

When you buy your copy, check out page 14, 122 and 124 to see pictures of my quilting! The name of the quilt is Corona de Flores.

When Casey first showed me the quilt top, I was super excited to see all that negative space and my mind immediately started designing the quilting. Casey wanted it quilted in a medalion style, modern quilting, but with a little traditional thrown in.

My process begins with laying the top out and soaking it in for a few days.

I decided to treat this as a Round Robin Whole cloth, designing each "row" individually. To keep the quilting cohesive, I incorporated key elements through out the rows. The appliqued flowers were the focal row and inspired the center and corner motifs. I drew out this pattern while traveling one day and, after meeting with Casey and sharing ideas, got to work quilting.

I used painter's tape to mark out the rounds and also as a quilting guide. This way I knew where the rounds should be without extensive use of a marking pen.

I used two layers of batting, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 and Quilter's Dream Wool. The top layer of wool adds dimension to the quilting and the applique. I used my favorite thread, Glide by Fil-Tec. Bobbin Central

The center motif is based on the appliqued flowers. This flower motif is repeated in the corners.

To complete the designing of the center flower, I placed a sheet of Quilter's View Film over the quilt and used a dry erase pen. The curved cross hatching has a more modern feel. Micro stippling will make the flower pop.

The next round was the space between the center square and the flower ring. Casey liked the idea of clam shells. I gave them a modern twist by quilting them in decreasing rows.

The center is quilted with the curved cross-hatching. I changed my mind, and instead of micro-stippling behind the flower, I used my version of water.

I almost stopped here, with only the curved arcs, because I loved the motion it added to the quilt. Obviously the cross-hatching won! Then came the decreasing rows of clam shells.

Finally, the flower round. I used monofilament thread from Fil-Tec to outline every flower. I also quilted through the appliques to add dimension and to anchor each applique. With the amount of quilting in the other rounds, the applique would have puckered without it. Stippling around the flowers completed the round.

The corners that square off the flower round contain Greek keys and more clam shells.

 Each corner in the final round has a flower, water background fill and curved arcs. It took a little mind work to remember to 'spin' the arcs in the right direction in all four corners. I've started the piano keys in the final border. That wide, unquilted border will be filled with Greek Key.

And lots more pictures, just because I love how this quilt turned out!!!


I may quilt my piano keys a little different than others. I know I will be quilting half inch keys. I know that piano keys 'suck' in fabric and often shorten corner fabric. I marked 1" lines with a blue water soluble pen on the batting. I started on the outer corners and quilted the 1 inch lines on both ends, anchoring the fabric corners. I then quilted from the side to center on 1" marks and then from the other side to center. I then quilted the 1/2" lines. I also quilt my keys from off the quilt in and then straight back out, so they are double stitched. I repeated this on the sides. It may seem like extra work, but it helps me keep the quilt border width from 'shrinking' unevenly with the quilt's center.

Off the machine and ready for binding!

I'm glad I finally was able to share this quilting journey with you. It was sooooo hard to not share! I hope you have been inspired by my quilting and will try some of the patterns/ideas from Casey's book. I have some Kaffe fabric that I can't wait to use to make ME one!

Happy Quilting