Happy New Year! At least I hope it is. I’m taking this first day of 2022 to show you the last quilt of 2021 that came off my frame yesterday – a Lotus Flower quilt, with a mandala.
I bought the pattern for the lotus flower but only used the petals. The original pattern called for a pieced striped background but I had this gorgeous ombre fabric I bought a while ago that I knew would be just perfect for this quilt. If you’d rather watch a video about the process, scroll down to the bottom of the post.
The Lotus Flower Design
I designed and made this quilt for a friend who does a lot of yoga and meditation. For a big impact, I decided I wanted to put a mandala behind the flower. I probably did it the hard way, designing the mandala after I appliqued the lotus flower petals. If I had to do it over again, I’d design it on the background fabric first and then add the flower petals. Live and learn, right?
Anyway, it still worked. I sewed down the petals and then began adding circles and grid marks. The first few circles hid mostly behind the flower but then appeared as they began to widen.
I freehanded most of the circle grids, but I did use a stencil for the inner three circles and then I double checked the width of the wider circles with a makeshift compass. I pinned a tape measure in the center and then measured the width of each circle from side to side and top to bottom. While not entirely accurate, it did the trick.
Quilting the Lotus Flower Quilt
If you are quilting on a home sewing machine, you almost always start at the center of a quilt, but usually with a longarm machine, you start at the top and work your way down. But sometimes, it’s better to start in the middle no matter how you are quilting, so that’s what I did with this one.
It did mean I had to do a lot of rolling up and down, but it’s not that much trouble.
I had no idea of what designs I would use where in my circles. I just did what came to me. Once I felt the circles were big enough, I filled the background with what I call double circles.
After it was finished, I had to decide on a binding. The last quilt I did, I used a facing, but I wanted a binding for this one. It’s tricky to choose the right binding if there is such a difference in the colours on the quilt – in this case, the shading changes all the way down. So I chose to cut strips of the background fabric that was more middle-of-the-road in shading, and I think it was the right choice.
So, there we have it – the last quilt of 2021 and my first blog post and video for 2022.