Creative articles about quilting

Crystal Rain in Namaqualand – Looking back

Crystal Rain in Namaqualand – Looking back

Quite a number of people asked me how I created some of the elements that are on the Crystal Rain in Namaqualand quilt. Firstly, I’m going to tell you how I created the pebbles/rocks on the quilt. This is such a quick and easy way to add some interest in your work!


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Creating Pebbles 

For this, you will need:

  • Two layers of ‘rock’ coloured fabric. I find batiks work the best.
  • A layer of Loomtex batting
  • Matching thread
  • Foot #97D with the dual feed.

Placing Boulders and Pebbles.

  1. Cut the shape of the rock from all three layers
  2. Put right side of fabric together with batting on top.
  3. Sew a narrow seam all round twice.
  4. Cut little nicks out of the small seam.
  5. Cut a slit in the back but be very careful not to cut through both layers!
  6. Turn right side out and hand-sew slit shut.

Creating the Pink Daisies 

  • Use 100% pink cotton thread and ‘draw’ daisies on synthetic felt, using your machine as a drawing tool.
  • Soldering iron with a sharp point and singe around the edges of the daisies.
  • Silver metallic thread and foot #24 and sew the daisies in place using a circular movement.

Creating the Blue Daisies

You will need:

  • Two layers of pale blue organza
  • Avalon
  • Permanent marker
  • Pale blue 100% cotton thread
  • Yellow thread
  • Soldering iron
  1. Draw daisies on the Avalon.
  2. Hoop two layers of organza in an embroidery hoop.
  3. Thread your machine with blue cotton thread top and bobbin.
  4. Free motion stitch using foot #24 on the drawn lines.
  5. Soak Avalon out and wait for it to dry.
  6. Use soldering iron with sharp point to singe around the edges.
  7. Use yellow thread to stitch in spiral in centre to attach daisies to quilt.

I auditioned a couple of background fabrics to see what would work the best for me. I also placed some of the elements before sewing these down to get a feeling of proportion.

Auditioning Background Fabrics.

Putting the quilt together 

Someone also asked me how I put the quilt together. After the background was quilted on the Q24 to look like rain, I placed the green foreground that I created earlier from recycled threads and Avalon, at the bottom of the piece and I positioned the quiver tree. Using foot #73, I sewed the quiver tree in place. Once that was done, I stitched through the green foreground. Now that everything was in place, I could position my 3-D daisies. These I only pinned on as I was going to use Foot #21 and zig-zag stitch to couch the stems in place. Foot #72 and couching inserts and straight stitch made life so easy when I couched the foliage! Only after all that was done, could I sew the daisies in place. The aloes happened next.

Soaking Out Avalon

Once all the stems and leaves were couched on, I could sew the pebbles in the foreground in place by hand. All the elements were on the quilt and I could bind the quilt. I then sewed all the crystals in place and finished off the quilt by adding the label and hanging sleeve.

I hope you will be able to make use of some of these tips on how I created the elements on this quilt and use it in your art quilts!

Auditioning Placement of Elements.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment in the comment box below! You can also follow me on Instagram @tillydeharde and Facebook, Tilly de Harde for more interesting things that I create on my BERNINA!

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Time to Complete: A week or more
Used Material: 100% Cotton Fabric, Avalon, Batik, batting, Isacord thread, organza, synthetic felt

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