You will need fat-quarters of different fall-colored fabrics, batting, backing and any sort of small embellishments you'd like: beads, charms, cords, ribbons, floss, Angelina fibers, etc.
This is a sketch of the central part of the quilt with the embroidery. You can follow our sketch, or make your own. If you like our sketch, you can download it, print it out and enlarge it on a copy machine.
Using the sketch, make templates for the parts of the background. Transfer the templates to fabric and cut them out with a seam allowance of 1/16". Place the pieces onto an iron-on medium weight stabilizer and fuse them in place. Overlap the edges a little bit (1/16"). Try to choose a light-colored fabric for the background of the face and the forearms with hands.
Then, make the embroidery over the pieced background. After the embroidery is finished, make the templates for the dress, transfer them to fabric and applique them in place. Use Steam-a-Seam to make the process easier.
Finish the raw edges of the pieces with narrow and sparse zig-zag. We also couched a gold cord over the borders of the pieces.
You can leave the quilt top this size. If you need it larger, add borders. All our borders are of different fabrics and curved. We felt that straight lines would not look good on this quilt.
Now the top is ready for quilting. Make the usual sandwich out of the top, batting and backing. Quilt in a free-motion style.
Press with heavy steam. Finish the raw edges. Our quilt has an irregular shape. To finish the edges, we followed the recommendations of Vikki Pignatelli in her book Quilting by Improvisation. We recommend this book to anyone who's interested in innovative quiltmaking.
Now the quilt is ready for further imbellishment. We embroidered a lot of FSL Autumn Leaves and Maple Leaves. The FSL leaves were embroidered on water-soluble mesh and the maple leaves were embroidered on organza and water-soluble mesh.
Scatter the leaves all over the quilt. Pin. Topstitch, using invisible thread.
To add some sparkle to the Lady's red hair, we used red Angelina fibers.
Use your creativity and imagination, and you'll get beautiful results.