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3-D Explosion: Rosie's Rainbow Flower Quilt

Create this colorful 3-D Rosie's Rainbow Flower quilt by repeating the scroll shapes.

Instructions provided by quilt artist Cara Gulati.

Materials and Tools:

3-D Explosion
freezer paper
light box

Cara Gulati's instructions provide an overview of Rosie's Rainbow Flower demonstration, but are written so that you can create an original three-dimensional design. For complete instructions for Rosie's Rainbow Flower pattern, consult Gulati's book, 3-D Explosion.


1. Draw "S" shapes with extra curls at the beginning and at the end of your "S" shape on paper.

2. Put a point on the page and draw straight lines from the edges of the curved shapes to the perspective point*. If you meet a curved line along the way, end your straight line there — do not cross over. * A drawing technique used to create depth as in 3-D objects.

3. When satisfied with the drawing, take it to a local copy shop and enlarge it between 200 to 400 percent.

4. To reverse your drawing, use a felt tipped pen and trace the printed drawing on the back of your enlargement from the copy shop.

5. With the traced side of the drawing facing out, attach it to the design wall. Lay freezer paper on top of it with the rough side out and trace the drawing in pencil. Include markings that will aid in putting the design back together:

  • extend straight lines
  • add registration marks on points
  • number the templates
  • indicate which templates will be stripes and what direction you want them to lay

6. Cut the templates apart. Keep the outside (background) of your freezer paper as a guide for arranging the pieces back on the design wall. When putting the templates back up on the design wall, make sure the shiny side is facing out.

7. Use a straight stripe fabric and a gradation fabric to represent your solid color. The gradation fabric provides an illusion of light.

8. Iron the shiny side of the templates to the back side of the fabrics and cut the fabric around the outside of the template shape leaving a quarter inch of fabric all the way around. Place the fabric-covered templates back on the design wall and check your design. Make any changes at this time.

9. Glue the straight edges under for the cup and cone shaped templates.

10. To prepare your sewing machine, thread invisible thread on the top thread spool and the bobbin of the sewing machine and set to zigzag stitching; loosen the top tension and set to a small zigzag stitch.

11. Place your first two templates on a light box, line up your seam and tape it with masking tape to hold it together, matching up the edges of the templates. Sew that seam. Continue until all the straight seams are sewn. Then glue one side under on the spiral seam and sew it together.

12. Glue the outside edges of both halves of the scrolls under (except where they sew together) and then appliqué one half on top of the other.

13. Appliqué the design on top of the background fabric. Cut away the back underneath the appliqué. Place wet towels on the paper for easy paper removal. Layer and quilt your design as desired.

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