Saturday, January 11, 2020

Challenge 11-1 Project Quilting - Flower of Life

Challenge 11.1 of Project Quilting is due tomorrow morning. The theme is Notably Numeric which includes geometry. The Flower of Life is part of what is known as Sacred Geometry. It's all very intriguing stuff.

Flower of Life

I'm not mathematically inclined, but geometry, especially if I don't have to calculate anything, can be quite beautiful. In fact, geometry is the basis for traditional quilting. Although I don't do much traditional quilting anymore, that's how most of us learned to quilt.

Flower of life - a series of circles or orange peels
Since I love free motion quilting (FMQ) I hoped that I would find something to make that would involve this particular skill. I discussed my choice and some of my process in my last post (see Related links below). When I wrote it, I was psyching myself up to cut binding on the bias and bind the quilt.

Minor frustrations

The cutting of the binding went relatively well. Not perfect because I had mostly scraps of this lilac Kona fabric left, but it did the trick. I thought that I would increase my skills by sewing the binding together at an angle. That didn't go so well because I was trying to join two pieces of binding that had already been sewn together. I kept stitching the right side to the wrong side!
Minor puckering around the edge
I thought that sewing the binding to the quilt went really well since I was sewing it with a walking foot. Unfortunately I didn't account for the binding being on the bias! I must have pulled too much since the binding really wants to pucker around the edges. I added another circle about a ¼ inch on the outside of the first stitched circle. It helps to smooth out the edge a little.

Finally, I decided to add beads in the middle of the circles (where the orange peels meet). It does draw the eye away from the infinite pattern of the circles going on, but it adds to the finished piece. In the image below I was auditioning various size and colours of beads. I was going to sew a few of the different beads to try them out but finally I went with the top two on the left -  I think they're perfect.
Auditioning four types of beads
Now comes the difficult part - taking good photos at night. I could wait until tomorrow morning but since they're calling for more rain (yes, rain in January in Ottawa!) I didn't think it's worth waiting for.
Flower of Life
What I learned

  • Cutting bias really isn't difficult. There are lots of great tutorials on YouTube that you can check out. Using scraps is a little more difficult but what I got was obviously on the bias, so it went well.
  • Sewing the binding pieces together was a challenge. Although I usually love sewing with solid fabrics because it doesn't matter which side is the top, in this case, it made it more difficult to sew those pieces together properly.
  • When sewing on binding that's cut on the bias, DON'T stretch the binding when you're attaching it to the quilt.
  • Using a walking foot is a lovely experience 😊 and adding that second line of stitching on the edge helped somewhat.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up this finished Flower of Life to Project Quilting, Challenge 11.1. Let's go see what everyone has made! I will also be linking up to many fun linky parties. Off The Wall Friday, Beauties Pageant, Show Me Something Purple Link-up, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Peacock Party, Design Wall Monday, What I Made Monday, Colour and Inspiration Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Put your foot down, TGIFF, Free Motion Mavericks with Muv.

Project details


Flower of Life
12½"
Techniques: free motion quilting, beading
Materials: Kona cotton, beads

18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Kathleen. I guess it't time to plan the next one!

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  2. Once you've done bias binding and realize it isn't all that difficult, it's actually kind of fun. A walking foot is a thing of delight, I think! I love mine!

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    1. Hi Wendy - after this bias experience, I'm even looking into bias applique! Nothing like diving it :-)

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  3. It is beautiful! The beads really add interest without taking away the geometry.

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    1. Thanks Shasta, I'm glad that it turned out that way!

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  4. This is lovely! The beading makes it special. I need to get more familiar with my walking foot, I think. It is clunky and kind of scary!

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    1. Thanks. I agree that the walking foot is kind of scary but I recommend that you try it the next time that you're adding binding to your quilt. It really is amazing!

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  5. New skills added to your quilter's tool box and gorgeous texture! Win-win!

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    1. Thanks Mel - and even an affirmation that my math skills aren't too bad :-)

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  6. You did great! Love this piece and loved that you learned from it too!

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    1. Thanks so much for hosting this great event. It's been lots of fun. Now on the the next challenge :-)

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  7. Have you tried gluing your bias cut binding strips prior to sewing them? Works wonderfully. You can also glue your binding to the quilt prior to stitching. Your quilt looks beautiful. Thank you for linking up to Put your foot down.

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  8. This finished up beautifully - well done!

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