My Design Process – Musical Flowers, part 2

Yesterday I started in on this adventure of turning one of my quilt design from paper to a reality.  Today I finished the project!  Check out the beginning of this adventure here.

Today I started by taking the paper off the backs of the eyebrows on each of these 5 petals.  They looked like this:Musical Flower - all petals complete

I picked about 10 different backgrounds and tried the petals on each.  I started with black – too dark, followed by gray – still to dark or if it had a pattern it was too distracting.  I tried a solid white – too washed out.  Next was a cream but same problem as the white.  I decided on this lovely little fat quarter I picked up in Montana while on a family trip.  It was the perfect pattern – not to loud or busy, and it accentuated the others without overpowering them.

I made it a quilt sandwich and over pin basted.  I was VERY nervous about how to attach the petals and did not want ANYTHING to move after I arranged, rearranged, and moved them again to find what looked like the perfect placement.Musical Flower - quilt sandwich pin basted

This is the backing:Musical Flower - backing

I started with a raw edge applique just to keep the petals in place and then looked up options on how to attach.  Since I planned on it being a table centerpiece I did not think that raw edge was the final step.  It needed to be more secure.  I decided to be brave and practice some satin stitching.

I found a quick explanation from an AWESOME quilt designer, Paco Rich, that runs a Facebook group: Life’s A Quilt.  She explained about the top tension versus the bottom tension, how it “should” look and to write down what you starting numbers are so you can return to them (invaluable info).  See my practice tension options below.  I finally was ready to try it on the real thing!Musical Flowrs - satin stitch practice.JPG

This is what it was turning out to look like.  Not bad for a first attempt but would need more practice in the future.  I really debated in my head about the color of the stitch on the red but finally decided to keep all the stitching the same color instead of changing.Musical Flower - first time satin stitching

I left all the centers until the end and was not sure how to arrange them.  It did work out but next time I work this pattern I will leave a much larger ending piece to attach.  More is always easier to work with than not enough.  This was barely enough to cover the center here.Musical Flower - satin stitch detail

I then did stitch on the ditch quilting (see How To post here) between the red and the eyelashes in a cream thread to accentuate just a bit of the petals.

I had planned on some FMQ on the background fabric but decided to try an echo quilting instead in the same cream thread.  Musical Flower - echo quilting edges

I ended with this beauty!  It was very stunning and I was happy with all the fabric choices.  I just needed to pick a binding – my hardest part!  Here are the audition contenders:Musical Flower - binding auditions

I had thought all along that the same golden color from the eyelashes for the binding but it was not working here.  I asked my 8-year-old daughter, a fashion diva, which she thought and she voted for the gold.  I had to text a photo to my design department (the Hubs) and he voted black.  I had to agree.

I texted a photo of how it was turning out at this stage to the organizer of Jazz Night and she liked it and wanted it as a live auction item!  Yea!  I still planned on making mug rugs that coordinated but that will have to be not today!  I need to make cookies with my princess.

Here is the finished product, it measures 18″ x 17″:Musical Flower - complete!

I am really glad that I had an excuse to make this design and to try this pattern, even though it was a challenging one.  I do have a goal of making some of my designs.  I was a little out of my comfort zone on a few items but scary things are good to try, at least one in a while.



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