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!

Published by neonkittyquilts

Laurie is a fiber artist who combines her passion for animals and quilting by producing pet portraits though a technique she calls "Pet-lique." A frequent teacher at IQF's Open Studios and The City Quilter in NYC, she has been published in Quilting Arts magazine and The Canadian Quilter. Her art quilts have been juried into special exhibits in Houston and the National Juried Show of the CQA. She sits on the board of the Quilt Alliance and is an enthusiastic member of SAQA. Laurie lives in NYC and Connecticut with her husband, their two angelic German Shepherds and three mischievous felines.

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