The Series That Refuses to Quit ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Joy Quilt Project, #57)

So, last March as the pandemic began to take hold and my creativity took a most unexpected vacation, my cousin Helen suggested: start something small. Her advice fueled a series of 6โ€ square quilts dedicated to the (not so) small joys that brighten our days, no matter what the news headlines say. My coffee pot…coffee cup…first daffodil…well, you get the idea. By the end of 2020 it felt as if I needed to move on to something else.

I treated myself to everything I needed to learn needlepunch- such a delightful technique! (Go to Amy Oxfordโ€™s website to learn all about this adventure for yourself – – it is completely addictive as described in my previous blog post ๐Ÿ˜)

But…guess what showed up in my second, third and fourth needlepunch projects? Yup, you guessed it…yarn versions of 3 of my Joy Quilt Project series ๐Ÿ˜†:

Of course then I had to cross-reference by creating a quilted square celebrating needlepunch…

So, while Iโ€™m working on a large landscape piece, I am happily resigned to the fact that ideas are going to keep floating in and demanding to become squares ๐Ÿ˜‰. This week I read about cherry blossom season in Japan and the attendant celebrations … and am now receiving nonstop ads from Starbucks for their special Sakura drinks nonstop ๐Ÿ™„. While I may not be able to visit Japan, I could certainly create a branch of Sakura blossoms!

STEP 1- the flower

I looked up a copyright-free image of the 5-petaled flower, placed it in Procreate and edited it until I was pleased with the shape-

Note that it is filled in so that my Cricut Maker can โ€œreadโ€ it correctly. Next I sent it to the Cricut to cut-

It is super-easy to duplicate shapes…I added a few more before smoothing Mistyfused pale pink batik onto the Fabric mat, and away it went-

STEP 2 – the background

As with each Joy Quilt Project square, I fused a 6 1/2โ€ sandwich of background (sky blue batik), batting and backing.

STEP 3 – layout

Using Heidi Proffettyโ€™s precision tweezers, I lifted each flower from the cutting mat and arranged in a branch-like direction. Hand-cutting a few green leaves and buds (darker pink), I carefully sketched in branch patterns with a fine point fabric pen and fused to the background. A Fabrico pen (love them ๐Ÿ’œ) in Bubble Gum came in handy to ink in the darker centers of each flower.

STEP 4- stitch!

Time for the Bernina! Stitching the centers of each blossom with dark pink thread, then lifting each petal gives the piece a 3-dimensional quality. (I carefully stitched the branches in between the petals as shown below.) Finish by stitching the background, trimming to 6โ€ square and zigzagging the edges.

5- paint

if you have not yet tried Posca Paint Pens, you are in for a treat. This piece called for yellow, white and pale pink pens to edge the leaves and suggest โ€˜pollenโ€™ in the centers. I used a fine point dark pink pen to mark the petals.

Here is a side view of the piece:

Hereโ€™s hoping for joy in YOUR day! ๐ŸŒธ ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

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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