This gorgeous art quilt uses colorful batiks and a black contrast fabric to produce an effect similar to stained glass. It is instantly eye-catching, and makes a great accent to your home.
We used the design Birds in a Tree for the commercial size hoop. The size of the embroidery is not crucial to this project, so you can just as easily use the large hoop (5" x 7" / 130 x 180 mm) or mega hoop (6" x 10") version of the design.
The finished size of the quilt is about 25" x 30". If you use smaller stitch-outs, you will probably want to make your quilt smaller than that.
Besides embroidery thread (either polyester or rayon), you will need
For the background we recommend to use batik. You can choose any coloring, depending on what mood you'd like to create in your quilt. Consider early morning or dusk, a burning sunset, a bright summer day in a green wood, etc.
We choose 2 watercolor batiks for a late summer mood. The paler batik is for the background, the brighter is for the borders.
There are 2 files for the Birds in a Tree design. Choose the file without the frame. Embroider it on the background fabric. Use light-weight tear-away stabilizer for embroidery.
After the embroidery is finished, flip the design in your machine. Mark the position of the mirror image on the fabric. The second stitch-out should not be directly next to the first stitch-out, make it a little bit higher and slightly angled towards the first stitch-out.
Tear away the excess stabilizer around the embroidery.
If you're having a hard time putting both stitch-outs on one piece of fabric, make them on different pieces, then sew the pieces together to create the angle you want. .
Making an Applique Trunk:
Position a piece of tracing paper over the stitch-out. With a graphic pencil trace the distance between the stitch-outs. This is the outline of the tree-trunk. Draw the lower part of the trunk.
Cut out the template.
Using the template, cut the trunk out of black fabric. Using adhesive web or Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 and following the manufacture's directions, adhere the trunk between the branches.
Trim the working piece to the size you like. We trimmed to 19 1/2" x 24 1/2".
Cutting the Borders:
Out of the bright batik cut 2 strips measuring the shorter side of the quilt. In our case it's 19 1/2", and we made the borders 3" wide. So we cut 2 strips measuring 3 1/2" x 19 1/2".
Out of black fabric, cut 4 corner squares measuring 3 1/2" x 3 1/2".
Out of the same batik, which was used for the background and out of the batik for the borders, cut similar strips 3 1/2" wide and as long as the fabric allows.
Place the strips, face up, one over the other. Align the edges. Using a quilter's ruler and a rotary cutter, cut them into slanted strips, not less then 1 1/2" wide. Narrow pieces would just be too tough to work with.
Alternating the bright and pale pieces, make up 2 new strips.
Sew the pieces together. You will need borders as long as the long sides of your quilt. In our case that's 24 1/2". Press the seams.
Sew the borders to the left and right edges of the quilt.
Sew the black squares to the ends of the 3 1/2" x 19 1/2" strips.
Sew the borders to the upper and lower edges of the quilt.
Quilting and Finishing:
Now place the backing on a flat surface (table) face down. Cover with batting. Spread your working piece over it.
Pin all three layers together with 1" pins and start quilting.
A great thread to work with batik is Sulky Blendables, a thread for sewing and quilting.
We quilted in a free-motion style all over the quilt.
After the quilting is finished, press the work with heavy steam and square the work -- all corners should be 90 degrees and opposite sides should be of the same length.
Finish the raw edges with the binding.
Your wall quilt is ready. Enjoy!