My Design Process: Musical Flowers, part 1

Musical Flowers – that is the current name, but it may not stick.

I have joined a quilt design contest.  Design 30 blocks or quilts in 45 days or so.  I am at design number 20 and we are not quite to 15 days yet.  I plan to keep designing throughout the challenge, no matter the number that I finish.  I need to post those that I have already designed, but that will be another day.

One of my designs was this:Musical Flowers - inspiration.JPG

I posted it on Instagram and marked it as number 14, designed on 2/14/18.  I loved the idea and knew it would need to be paper pieced.  Then I went on designing other ideas.

A local event, Jazz Night, is this coming Thursday; it is a fundraiser for the music boosters at Othello High School.  I have been talking with one of the organizers about ideas for it.  She brought me a personal invitation and I felt like I needed to do more.  I asked if I made something for it if she would be interested.  Of course!  I explained that I can’t promise that it would work out but it started the wheels rolling in my head.

This design came to me.  I realized that music based fabric as the center would be a great way to force me to try out this design.  Only one problem – I have no musical fabric.  I texted about 6 quilting friends and asked for any fabric that was musical themed, only 1/8 of a yard was needed.  One replied that she had some left over from a musical quilt and I could have it!  WOOHOO!  Thank you Linda C!  Here they are:Musical Flowers - fabric choices.JPG

I needed to draw the design “real size” and not just 1″ tall on graph paper.  I drew it with the help of a circle ruler and added the “eyelashes.”  Then I made 6 copies at work.  It was about 8″ tall and 5″ wide.  When all 5 petals are laid out like a flower it is about 16″ x 16″.Musical Flowers - size

I needed to start with a single prototype to make sure this would work.  I cut the eyelashes off and ended up with this to start paper piecing with.  I did a post on How To: Paper Piecing, check it out if you have never done it before or need a refresher.             Musical Flowers - pattern

After paper piecing the eyelashes in a black solid and “gold like” color I cut a piece of the red for the center.  Here is the finished prototype:Musical Flowers - prototype finishedI left off some of the ends of the eyelashes since they would be overlapping.  The colors together really turned out stunning and rich looking.  Othello High school colors are red, white and black.  I wanted to give a nod to them but not exactly those.  This was perfect for the effect I was working towards.  It has a strong music theme but not a specific instrument focused.

My thought was to turn this into a table centerpiece and possibly do a couple of mug rugs too.

After I posted the prototype on Instagram my 14-year-old son commented that they look like red eyes with eyelashes.  That is probably why I keep referring to them that way.  I did not see that until he said that, but it worked!

Now it was time to make the other 4 petals.  Starting with the eyelash paper piecing I worked on each of them consecutively.

Then I cut the red centers and ironed.Musical Flowers - ready to attach eyelashes.JPGAttaching the curved pieces together was something that I had realized a few weeks ago that I need to work on.  I knew this would be just the thing to help me do just that!  I had to ease in the red onto the paper side.  I left the papers on to make them keep the proper curve.  Your hands must multitask with one curving the paper pieced eyelash side one way while the other hand is easing in the red centers from another direction, see photo on left.  It creates a 3-dimensional finished piece, image at right.

After I set the seam and ironed the petal open they looked like this:Musical Flowers - 5 petals completeI really loved how they all turned out!  A few are not perfect but I may need that to help join them together.

I will work on the attachment to each other and the background tomorrow.  I KNOW I will need help from the design department: the Hubs with that task.



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