Saturday, May 07, 2016

Floral Fantasy Wholecloth Quilt

It's finished and now hanging at the CTQG So full of love quilt show this weekend. If you're in Ottawa, I hope you'll consider attending. We have very talented quilters. It should be a great show.
Almost finished Floral Fantasy Wholecloth Quilt

I didn't take a final picture of this beauty before it left home because the deadline for handing in the quilts was Tuesday at 6 pm. At 5:40 I was still beading. Thank goodness an extra hour wasn't a problem, but there was no time for pictures.

I've added a couple of pictures at the end of the post, now that I've finished volunteering at the show this afternoon.

This project is based on Cindy Needham’s Machine Quilting Wholecloth Quilts on Craftsy. One of the topics in her course is making a medallion wholecloth quilt, using a variety of stencils and free motion quilting (FMQ). I've used many of her techniques and advice in the last two years. This my second project based on her class - the first one was another wall hanging with tons of FMQ, but all made by following the printed fabric at the back of the quilt. It sounds weird but is so cool! This is a technique that I actually want to make again.

Figuring out what to do with the centre
Here's the process I followed:
  • I drew the stencils directly onto the fabric then added the batting and backing. It was nice not to do any piecing!
  • To be honest, I had no idea how to quilt this thing. I FMQ around the medallion using a relatively heavy King Tut variegated cotton thread.
  • I then outlined the border and added metallic thread through the bobbin. That was relatively easy to do since I only had to stay in the centre(ish) of the outline. 
  • Finally it was time to outline the butterflies and add metallic thread to their body. 
I still had no idea what to do with the medallion, so I ignored it. I knew that sooner or later I would figure it out!

Before adding pebbles to the circles of the flowers
I then proceeded to FMQ in straight(ish) lines around the design. I believe these are called match sticks. Since there are many angles to this piece, I just tried to be consistent when changing the angles of the FMQ.

When that was done, I still didn't know what to do with the medallion. I started by FMQ pebbles with metallic thread in the centre circle. I then echoed every second flower with the same variegated thread. Since the flowers that weren't echoed were standing out too much, I FMQ inside them, following their outline. As you can see in this picture, it was starting to look good, but I felt that the circles in the quilted flowers stood out too much so I quilted pebbles.

What I learned:
Floral Fantasy Wholecloth Quilt at the Sew full of love quilt show
  • I really wanted to block this quilt as Cindy Needham recommended, but I ran out of time. It really could have used it since the medallion was quilted last and was less densely quilted in some areas. Not good practice but if I had waited to quilt the medallion first, the quilt would still be a work in progress (WIP).
  • As usual, this project wasn't planned - not because I didn't want to but because I didn't know what to expect and what to do next. Now that I have some experience, I'll choose my next stencil pattern more carefully, based on how I'll be quilting it (I hope).
  • I liked the beads and may add a few more once I get the quilt back.
  • This was one of the first times that when I quilted the outline of the border, I should have taken the time to tie off the thread. It was a good quality polyneon thread but it tended to undo. Since I have quite a bit of this type of thread, I will try to remember to tie off my ends.
  • I wasn't as careful as I should have been when I FMQ the corners of the quilt. I actually had to go back and sew a few more lines on two of the corners. This happened because I was quilting them at an angle. I'll have to watch out for the corners next time.
  • I'm so happy that the next CTQG quilt show is in 2 years! I need a serious break from deadlines.
In front of my art quilts at the Sew full of love quilt show

I have linked this post to the following Linky Parties:

I have linked this post to Sarah Goer Quilts - Show Me Something with Solids.


  1. well done.I enjoy seeing your work on line

  2. Hello Andrée,

    I have enjoyed reading about this quilt, especially the lack of planning. That is a method I can really relate to!

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv

  3. Hi Muv, I think that our lack of planning makes us more flexible and creative since we usually have to figure out what to do next, or get out of trouble :-) On the other hand, it does make some projects more stressful than they need to be!


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