The Joy Quilt Project…Anatomy of a Square

So when I began this project as a way to spark my creativity during pandemic days, I had no idea that I would become so happily committed. I cannot seem to work on anything else; the siren song of 6” pieces celebrating daily joyful moments continues to lure me. As you can see…

I thought it would be fun to share the process of yesterday’s piece, from original photo to Procreate sketch to fabric and thread.

Step 1- take a photo of something that makes you happy. In this case, a red house glimpsed through the trees while on a walking trail with my canine buddy was the spark – I simply love the red/green/blue color trio.

This may also inspire a future, much larger quilt. For now, I had to think of how to simplify the scene for a small-scale piece.

Step 2 – Procreate is my favorite go-to app for creating line drawings of complex objects…or, as in this case, tracing the key elements and simply playing with how to work the scene:

(These playback videos are an automatic feature of Procreate – simply click the wrench icon, then click Actions and Video. The first time I discovered it, it was like magic ;)…)

So, as I sketched and played in Procreate, it became clear that I needed to really simplify…the squirrel had to go.

Step 3 – Choose fabrics to interpret your scene. My base for these squares is 6 1/2” square cuts of Windham Fabrics’ blender fabric collection “Bedrock” and my favorite batting, Quilters Dream. For this quilt, I used a blue background and fused a rich emerald green “grass” layer on, then began to build the scene. As always, the fabrics are the fabulous Lava Solids from Windham Fabrics/Anthology Batiks – ❤️.

These projects are, of course, much more fun when you have already Mistyfused your fat quarters!

Step 4 – Stitch! I love to assemble my thread palette first; here were the Aurifil spools lined up:

The order of quilting is determined by the scene…here I did the red house and the green grass, then worked outward on the layers more in the foreground. As always, I keep Superior MonoPoly in my bobbin, and Superior’s Topstich 90 needles in my Bernina.

Finished and ready to join the lineup 😉

I am thrilled to have an upcoming article about this project in the autumn issue of one of our favorite magazines…and will continue to ponder how I might combine the squares as I create more. Next up, a butterfly 🦋 on a coneflower!

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