I love the feeling that you get when you figure out that you are finally on the right track! As soon as I found the arrangement that I wanted for my lava fabric blocks and had them loosely tacked to the raspberry-colored background fabric, I knew that this quilt was going to be about embroideryfloss quilting, not at all about beads. I removed the beads that I had already stitched onto four of the blocks. Better already!
Here's how I finished up the quilt, which now has the name Kīlauea, since that was the site for almost all the lava photographs used in this piece.
1. Iron a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing (not shown) to the back of the background piece of fabric. Make sure to cut the background about an inch larger than you expect your piece to end up. Pin to a piece of batting and cut it out a bit larger than the background fabric.
2. Pin the blocks into position and stitch in place. I used a blanket (or buttonhole) stitch.
3. When all the blocks are stitched down, even up the edges a bit, still leaving them a little larger than planned.
4. Pin the piece to the backing fabric and cut it even with the top.
5. Quilt through all the layers, using embroidery floss (I used 2 strands).
6. I used more rows of quilting around blocks that had more space, with graduated colors similar to the lava blocks.
7. The quilting pattern included a diagonal line that ran from bottom left up through the top right in the middle of the quilt.
8. With such a large amount of quilting, the piece is likely to shrink a bit, and may even shrink up a little irregularly. Remeasure carefully before cutting to even up the sides again. This is why you want to leave the background a bit bigger than the final plan would call for. I used blanket stitch again all around the outside to finish it off. I'm still a bit surprised that it didn't end up with any beads on it, but I am very happy with it!
Copyright 2013 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.
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