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Personalizing Patterns

Quilt designer June Colburn shows how to create a square wall quilt featuring Japanese reproductions.

Quilt designer June Colburn created this versatile design with exuberantly curving lines that are suitable for almost all styles of decorating and types of fabric. The original 34-inch square wall quilt features Japanese reproduction cottons on a hot pink drapery-weight faille background.

Figure G

Materials and Tools:

For wall quilt:
There are nine ribbons—each cut from a fat 1/8 or fat 1/4 yard of fabric, so you can showcase a favorite collection from your stash.
You also need a few scraps to accent the "flip-overs," plus:
1 yard background
1 yard ribbon outline (optional)
1 yard back
1/4 yard binding

Figure A


1. Transfer the design from the pattern to light-colored fabric by placing the background over the pattern and tracing the design (figure A) with a pencil or permanent fabric marker. Draw the lines inside the printed lines. For dark backgrounds, trace the design onto tracing paper, thin clear tablecloth plastic, wash-away stabilizer fabric, or a dressmaker's tracing paper and tracing wheel.

Figure B

2. Make templates by tracing the ribbons onto freezer paper (figure B), adding 1/4 inch for any piece which goes under another piece.

Figure C

Mark 'UP' lines for directional prints and mark the piece number and letter (figure C).

3. "Audition" the fabrics by placing them on the background before cutting. Include dark, medium, and light fabrics, or use an "outline" fabric to define the ribbons. A flannel board/wall makes designing easier.

Figure D

4. Cut out the ribbons and secure them on the background with pins (figure D), spray fabric adhesive/ glue stick, heat fusible adhesive, or a combination of all.

Figure E

5. Appliqué (figure E): Begin sewing the ribbons that are under other ribbons. For nearly invisible machine appliqué, match thread to fabric. For multi-colored fabrics, use the most dominant color, or try a variegated thread that incorporates several of the colors. Use a narrow zigzag stitch, not as close as satin stitch. Try to sew all of the pieces that use the same thread at the same time.

Figure F

6. Broderie Perse: Cut out a bold-scale fabric motif (figure F) around the print. Once all the ribbons are sewn, place the motif over the raw ends and appliqué. Collage several pieces of fabric together to create the desired design, using pieces of one fabric or combining two or more fabrics.

7. Finishing: The original quilt was bound without borders. Add borders, backing and batting, and quilt as desired. The featured quilt was echo quilted.

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