Lesley Coles describes how to translate your drawings into an appliquéd quilt
To prepare for sewing by Lesleys method you will need a foundation surface. This can be StitchnTear Vilene, very lightweight Vilene, very soft washed calico, old sheeting or even household greaseproof paper. The greaseproof paper and stitch and tear are removed, but all other foundations used are left in the finished piece.
The image you work from will be in reverse. If you used a projector or a computer and reversed the image then you carry on with this reversed image. If you have drawn the design the way it will appear when finished, it needs to be reversed at this stage. If you are using your enlarged images with no additional drawing, trace from these using a light box. Alternatively, tape it to a light window with masking tape, drawn side down, blank side up. Using the image you have enlarged or drawn, trace onto the foundation. Use a fine line, black waterproof marker, (0.8 is a good size) or a Pigma pen, so that you will be able to see and sew over this line. Check that you have drawn all your lines!
Most people are happy with straight or even curved bindings, but you may want to have a different look to your piece. On Eden: The Big Build each appliquéd picture was made as a complete unit. When the appliqué was finished, it was cut to the shape required, with a 1⁄4in seam allowance. Cotton wadding was tacked to the WS of the picture and cut to the same size.
A backing fabric was pinned and tacked to the right side of the picture. Using a walking foot, the seam was sewn all around the outside 1⁄4in from the edge. The wadding was trimmed almost back to this seam and curves were carefully clipped. Two cuts were made in the backing fabric across the centre back in a cross, just big enough to turn the picture through. Once the picture was turned, the edges were rolled and pressed and the layers tacked together for quilting (which is through all the layers). Each picture is sewn to the base quilt by hand.
In Eden II Reflections each panel is sewn with a curved edge at the bottom. After all the appliqué was complete, cotton wadding was tacked to the back of each panel. The linen used for the background was cut to size using the base line drawing, as you would use a dressmakers pattern, with a seam allowance. This was placed RS together with the picture, pinned, tacked and sewn across the bottom only. The wadding was trimmed almost to the seam line and the curves clipped. The linen was then turned to the back of the work, right sides out, leaving a little of the linen backing showing at the front of the work. This was top stitched in place along the seam line.
The three layers of the panel were then tacked together to be quilted. After quilting, a straight binding was added to each side. The top was turned under last, to create a hanging sleeve at the same time as finishing the top of the panel.
The Eden Project is a global garden for the 21st Century, a gateway to a sustainable future and a dramatic setting in which to tell the fascinating story of mankinds dependence on plants. This living theatre of plants and people is a vibrant reminder of our place in nature and is a living demonstration of regeneration. In a couple of short years the team have transformed an exhausted clay pit into a stunning lost world reminding us of what we ordinary people can do once we set our minds to it. The Humid Tropics Biome you can experience the sights, smells and sheer scale of the rainforest in the worlds largest greenhouse. In the Warm Temperate Biome you can travel to South Africa and California and walk amongst orange and lemon trees, old olive groves and gnarled vines. And in the Roofless Biome the crescent shaped terraces tell the story of plants that have changed the world and which could change your future. Visit the website www.edenproject.com for more details.
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