Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sunflower Quilt........In Progress

Sunflower progress.
Random size strips of sunflower fabrics pieced into 8 inch blocks. The piecing of all the strips was very therapeutic and I got in my "piecing fix." Sometimes we just want to sit at the machine and is good for the soul.
After most of the blocks were together, I put them up on the design wall in random order. The blue blocks were just begging to become the sky, so I moved all the blue blocks to the top portion of the quilt.
A vertical design wall is a necessity when designing your quilts. Get those blocks off the table, off the floor, and up on the wall. You will be amazed at how much your work improves when you can see it up at eye level.

When I was happy with the block arrangement, I pieced the top together and began adding the sunflower applique. I love the contrast of the sunflowers against the blue sky, they just jump off the quilt.
I began introducing batik fabrics in the sunflowers. I did not use batiks in the background blocks, but they were perfect for the flowers. The shaded colors of batik fabrics lend themselves well to flowers.
In this photo the sunflowers have no stems, they are just hanging in mid-air.
Click on each photo to enlarge it and see details.

A close up view of some of the sunflower heads. Rather than just use one fabric for the center of each flower, I chose 2 different browns to represent the middle of some of the flowers. If you look closely at a real sunflower, they appear to have an inner circle within the center.
I also turned the flower heads at different angles to give the impression that they are 3 dimensional and bowing their heads forward or to the side.

Close Up view of sunflowers with stems.
I used Steam a Seam Lite 2 fusible web. I like this product very much. Once the fusible is applied to the back of the fabric, you can place the sunflowers temporarily on the quilt and they stay there.......they don't fall off the design wall. The flowers stayed in place so that I could do the design work, be happy with all the placement, before I ironed them in place. This product is also very light and does not leave a stiffness in the fabric, or gum up your needle when sewing through it.

This quilt.......still in progress......measures nearly 100 inches square. The sunflowers are 7 feet tall. I plan to add a few more sunflowers in the lower portion, and add chickens at the bottom pecking around in the grass.
Right now I don't feel the quilt needs a border treatment. I think a border will close it all in.........I like the open feeling it has right now.
I will post more photos of this quilt as I work on it.
I hope to have the quilt completed in time to enter it in a show in September 2009.

I asked my husband if he could work me up a flowerbed in the yard so I could plant a few sunflowers. Later that day I arrived home from town to find a 100 foot long flower bed ready to be planted...........what a guy!
These are photographs I took of the sunflowers that grew. These became the inspiration for the sunflower quilt.
The blue sky in these photos inspired the blue sky in the quilt.

I kept these photographs close by as I was designing the quilt. They were a big help in determining what the flowers should look like, the shape of the leaves, the centers of the flower heads, etc.

Later in the fall, as we were cleaning out the flowerbeds, I cut the last remaining flowers and brought them into the house to enjoy.

Just looking at these photographs today transports me back to days filled with flowers and sunshine and warm weather. They make me feel a bit warmer this morning when the thermometer reads 30 degrees.

p.s. To see more Sunflower Quilts Click HERE

CLICK HERE to view My Quilts

Wishing You Flowers and Sunshine,


Vicki said...

WOW what an amazing quilt. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad you showed pictures of the progression of the quilt.

Karen said...


Mary said...

Sunflowers tell the world that you are splendid and I just LOVE your sunflower quilt!!! OMG!!! I am inspired to create sunflowers myself, but I am a painter, not a quilter. WOW!!! Your creativity is as limitless as the clear, blue sky! Keep up the good work!