Sparkling Vases: Section 1
If you've ever aspired to make an art quilt but didn't know where to start, this is the project for you. Here is section one of six in this inspirational quilt design.
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If you've ever aspired to make an art quilt but didn't know where to start, this is the project for you. Designer Tom Russell breaks up the process in six simple sections with this stunning wall art design called Sparkling Vases—a quilt that's sure to bring out the quilt-lover in those with even the most contemporary of tastes. We're just getting started with the first section of this six-month project, so join in the fun.
Materials and Tools:
ombre ribbon - 1-3/8" width and 7/8" width in gradated green for leaves
color-coordinated, variegated thread
applique template material - paper, plastic, card stock or cardboard
- vase - two coordinating colors
- accent squares - scraps of three colors
Draft and cut applique templates for vase, stem and leaves, referring to the image at the right for a guideline. Some may find it easier to cut and piece the panel first, then return to draft the applique patterns in order have a better size perspective.
- Vase - Start with a 4-1/2" x 14-1/2" rectangle of template material. Cut away a convex curve shape along the left side of the 14-1/2" length so that it’s shaped like the lighter portion of the vase. Label as template 1a.
- Stem - Cut a curved stem shape from a seven-inch square of template material. Label as template 1b.
- Leaves - Cut three sizes—approximately one-inch long, 3/4" long and 1/2" long. Label the larger one as template 1c, the medium one as template 1d and the smallest one as template 1e.
- From background fabric, cut:
- 1-1/2" x 8-1/2" rectangle
- 9-1/2" x 7-1/2" rectangle
- 3-1/2" x 10-1/2" rectangle
- 2-1/2" x 14-1/2" rectangle
- 3-1/2" square
- 1-1/2" square
- From darker vase fabric cut 4-1/2" x 14-1/2" rectangle.
- From lighter vase fabric cut one applique vase piece (template 1a).
- From table fabric cut a 2-1/2" x 9-1/2" rectangle. Reserve the remaining fabric for other panels.
- From each scrap of accent fabric cut 1-1/2" square (three squares total).
- From stem fabric cut one applique stem piece (template 1b).
1. Join a 1-1/2" accent square to right end of 8-1/2" x 1-1/2" background rectangle, creating a strip.
2. Join the strip to top of 9-1/2" x 7-1/2" rectangle and set aside. You will add the stem to this unit after bottom of panel is assembled.
3. Join two 1-1/2" accent squares, with a 1-1/2" background square to make a strip. Add 3-1/2" background square to bottom of strip. Add 3-1/2" x 10-1/2" rectangle to top of strip. Set aside for step 5.
4. Position the vase cutout (template 1a) on the right side of the 4-1/2" x 14-1/2" vase rectangle as shown in. Join pieces using your favorite applique technique. The quilt designer used fusible webbing.
5. Join the unit made in step three to the left side of the vase. Join the 2-1/2" x 14-1/2" rectangle to right side of vase. Add 2-1/2" x 9-1/2" table rectangle to bottom of this unit.
Stem, Leaves & Assembly
6. Position the top panel half above the bottom panel half, overlapping seam allowances to form the block. Place flower stem cutout (template 1b) on top panel, aligning the outside edge of stem with curve of template 1a cutout. Applique stem in place.
7. Cut six large leaves (template 1c) from 1-3/8" wide ribbon. From 7/8" wide ribbon, cut five medium leaves (template 1d) and five small leaves (template 1e). To make the leaves look dimensional, get as much gradation as possible by placing the templates on a portion of the ribbon that has the most color variation. If preferred, make dimensional leaves from the ribbon, or use purchased silk leaves.
8. Position leaves evenly on both sides of stem. Adhere using fusible webbing, then blanket-stitch the raw edges of leaves and stem with variegated thread.
9. Join top and bottom halves of panel.
Flower & Beading
Because it’s difficult to quilt around existing embellishments, you’ll add the dimensional flowers and beading to the panels in section 6, once the project has been quilted. For now, this panel should look like.
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