I was inspired to make this quilt when I saw a picture on Pinterest of a large coneflower blossom appliquéd project that was attributed to Gillian Travis Textiles. I’ve searched the actual site but I can’t seem to find it there, so I don’t know if hers was a whole quilt or just a mini with a blossom like the photo I saw.
However, while I’ve adapted the idea to my own style and quilt project, I do like to give credit when I can find the name of a person who has made whatever shows up in a Pinterest photo when I use it for inspiration. She has many other lovely projects on her site that might also interest you.
The idea for the text print background behind the flower was also inspired by a photo but its whereabouts have long escaped me. I can’t find it in anything I’ve saved, so I’m guessing I saw it in passing somewhere and stored it in my actual brain!
Coneflowers don’t grow anywhere near where I live, but years ago when I was doing a lot of stamping and card making, I had a large stamp from Stampin’ Up! called “Inspired by Nature” that included a coneflower and some large grasses. I used it often because I enjoy working with natural looking flowers. The cutesy ones are fun too, but my preference is for those that look closer to real ones.
I cut the petals by hand in a random fashion, one at a time, to get the shapes and the curves just the way I wanted them, and trimmed them here and there as I was placing them on the background until it looked like they went together well.
I chose batiks for this project so I could get several natural color variations in each piece to enhance the look of the petals and the centre of the flower without having to do a lot of extra piecing. Batiks don’t fray out the same way other fabrics do and, while I often like the effect of the frayed raw edges on scrappy appliqués quilts, for the style of this particular quilt the lack of fraying is a welcome feature.
Thread painting is such a fun way to embellish appliqués with texture and detail, and my Magnifico thread from Superior Threads does a lovely job of this.
When I got to quilting the background, I wanted to use a blending coloured thread so that only texture would be obvious. I got the result I was looking for using So Fine 50 from Superior, but it was definitely a challenge to quilt with thread I could hardly see as I was moving around the quilt! The light print was enough to hide my stitching lines from me so there were a two or three stop and pick out places, but thankfully they were each noticed as soon as they happened and only involved a few minutes of extra effort.
There’s something dramatic about this large lone flower standing out against the soft background and although it was designed to be for sale upon completion, I’m enjoying having it hanging up on my design wall for the time being! I’m not a wall quilt person myself; I think they are lovely but I actually don’t hang a lot of any kind of art in my home, and my own quilts are for cuddling. But I do appreciate how something like this can certainly add a special element to the right space.
Hmmm … now I have to figure out what to do with this one! LOL