Eye of the Beholder

original applique patterns inspired by the world around us

Majestic Options

The creative journey of Majesty, Medallion IX by machine for Island Batik continues.  As is true in life, so its true in quilting. We often need to seek and find new possibilities.  Each challenge provides the opportunity to challenge our expectations and lead us to arrive at a more majestic option.

When creating a piece I have a vision that I hope will realize in fabric.  Sometimes it goes as planned, but sometimes not. Its usually better than expected.  But even this is a fun, stretching experience.  All part of the creative process...the creative fun.

Design traced and fused onto wrong side of top fabric.

Design traced and fused onto wrong side of top fabric.

It was decided that I would remake Majesty, Medallion IX, after the first machine version didn't work so well.(See blog-Majesty for Machine ends in a Sunrise).

Back to the digital images to select another combination.

I wanted to use the same top fabric...so bright and cheery dotted with bursting sunflowers. Truly a Flower Field.  To ensure a sharper contrast.  I chose the bright Bluebird fabric for the background.

The fabrics arrived and I began as before with Majesty machine #1. After pre-washing my fabrics with my color catchers and ironing them, I traced the design onto the paper side of my Soft Fuse, ironed it onto the wrong side of my top fabric, cut out the shapes and then ironed the whole piece onto the background fabric.

Take a look. Hmmm!

Batiks are rich in color and the colors wash over the top in a varied sweep.  This piece, though, had much more yellow than I expected, and spots where the purple and yellow blended to make brown. It changed the character from what I was expecting to see with the beautiful Bluebird background. Perhaps the problem is my expectation.  Mentally I began brainstorming about thread colors for the stitching and binding.   

Auditioning binding fabrics.

Auditioning binding fabrics.

I layered the top with batting and backing in preparation for Appli-quilting...machine applique and quilting in one time-saving step, then gathered up my piece and trotted off to my local JoAnn's for thread. I auditioned several before settling upon a bright lime green to tie the piece together while making it pop.

Once done, it was time for the binding.  I originally planned to bind in the Bluebird.  But in my opinion, it wasn't working.  It needed something different.  I contacted Island Batik and they graciously sent some different options...lime green, bright orange and a yellow.  

 Eureka!  As I auditioned them all, I decided this piece needed a special binding treatment.  2 framing strips before the actual binding. This sequencing of fabrics kept it piece bright.  Yet you could see the individual components of design-pattern, fabric & color-, while also pulling the piece into a cohesive whole.  In the end I left the yellow fabric out, and chose the green, orange and then more Bluebird.

1st frame, green, gets stitched on.

1st frame, green, gets stitched on.

Finishing Touches

The 1st frame: Green.

I cut 4 strips 1 1/2” wide x 36 1/2” and ironed them in half lengthwise.  I aligned the raw edge of the green framing strip with the raw edge of the quilted piece and sewed it with a 1/4" seam.  I did this for all 4 sides. (See picture to the right.)


2nd frame, orange, gets stitched on.

2nd frame, orange, gets stitched on.

The 2nd frame: Orange.  

For the 2nd frame I cut 4 strips 1" wide x 36 1/2” long and ironed them in half lengthwise.  I lay this on top of the green, aligning raw edge of the orange frame with the raw edges of the quilted piece and sewed it with a 1/4" seam.  I did this for all 4 sides.


And finally the binding gets stitched on.

And finally the binding gets stitched on.

Binding: Bluebird

Next I made my binding out of the Bluebird fabric.  I cut 4 strips 2 1/2” x WOF, sewing them together at a 45 degree angle to make a continuous binding strip.  I ironed it in half lengthwise and then stitched it onto my quilted piece with a 1/4" seam, mitering the corners.  

I always put my sleeve on now.

Then I picked up needle and thread and headed to my favorite stitching chair.  I hand stitched the folded edge of the binding to the back, and stitched down the bottom edge of the sleeve.

And Majesty, Medallion IX is done!

It turned out different than I expected. Better than I expected.

Such are the surprises and pleasures of the creative journey.  As is true in quilting, so its true in life.

End results of frames and binding.

End results of frames and binding.

Sometimes you need a new perspective.  And with that new perspective comes a new way of doing something, be it a skill or a technique.  Then we can approach our life, our quilt, in a new way, and both are transformed into something whole and complete and beautiful.

Majesty, Medallion IX.

36" x 36"

Brilliant! Blue bursts. Exploding it's revelation and hovering over a field of joy!