FREE Tutorial -How to Create a Sugar Skull Flower-Collaged Art Quilt

This is my first tutorial, and I really hope it inspires you!

If you would like to buy the pattern, you can pick it up at my shop at tallpoppystudios.etsy.com

Last week I posted on etsy and Facebook my completed sugar skull flower-collaged art quilt. It got an amazing response, and even sold within 12 hours!

People love these beautiful skulls. We go to Mexico almost every year to get away from the cold Montana winter. Everywhere you go down there, you see these skulls, made to celebrate Day of the Dead (la Dia de los Muertos).

Well, as a Christian, I don’t want to seem morbid, and I certainly don’t want to promote a pagan holiday. So, for me, these beautiful skulls represent Golgotha (meaning “place of the skull”), the name of the skull-looking hill where Christ was crucified. The flowers represent  his resurrection and the eternal life we have in Him, alone.

Here is “Golgotha” hanging on my fence:

 

 

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Are you ready to make your own? Ok, let’s do this!

Here are the supplies you will need:

1 Yard of thin muslin

1 Yard of background fabric

About a dozen fat eighths and fat quarters of floral fabrics

4 or 5 yards of Lite Steam-A-Seam 2

basting glue (optional)

1/3 yard of fabric for the binding

1 yard of backing fabric

Black Sharpie pen

Applique pressing sheet

Batting and threads

Here’s how I made it:

1.) Take a large sheet of paper, I use end rolls from the local newspaper, but you can tape together butcher paper or whatever you have. Now, using a pencil,draw a skull….yes, you can do it. It may take you a few tries. When you have one side of the skull looking good, fold the paper in half vertically and trace the good-looking side onto the other side so that it is symmetrical. Then go over it with a Sharpie.

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2.) Take your pressed muslin and lay it on top of your drawing. Trace it. I used a Frixion pen, but it disappears when it is exposed to heat, so you can also use a Sharpie.

3.) Take your dark fabric and on the wrong side, adhere the Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 with you iron and applique pressing sheet (so you don’t get sticky stuff all over your iron and ironing board). Take your paper pattern and cut out the eyes, nose and mouth. Then trace them, wrong side up, onto the paper backing on your dark fabric. Then cut them out and remove the paper and stick them onto the corresponding place on the Muslin.

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4.) Now it’s time for the flowers. Press the Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 onto the back of your floral fabrics using the applique pressing sheet, and cut each flower out (leaves, too). TALK ABOUT FUSSY CUTTING! Girl, find a good Netflix movie and cut in front of that…it’s going to take a while!!

5.) Now start placing the flowers onto your skull shape on the muslin, sort of like a puzzle. The fusible allows you to stick it down and then remove it and then re-stick it. So you can “interview” each flower, like my friend Diane says.

You can see here that I interviewed quite a few different layouts.

Then it started coming together!

6.) Fill in the entire skull with flowers and leaves. I also added a butterfly!

7.) When your skull is filled in and how you like it, press it the final time. This will stick down your flowers for life, so make any adjustments beforehand!

8.) Cut out your skull. I cut around a lot of the flower shapes to make it more organic looking.

9.) Place it on your background fabric.

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I love this beautiful teal batik fabric!

10.) Cut Steam-A-Seam 2 and put it around the edges of your skull. Center it on the background fabric and press it.

11.) Now make your quilt sandwich and quilt it with a tight quilting pattern, so you can catch all the little petals and leaves into the quilting.

I used a colorful variegated thread and quilted loops, flowers and leaves all over.

Don’t you just LOVE it?!?

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If you have questions, just ask. I’m happy to help!!

If you just want to purchase a skull quilt or the pattern, just go here.

 

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New Design

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I’ve been working on this adorable sewing machine art quilt this week. It’s been in my mind for months!

It’s been a little bit tricky, because I wanted to use black thread to thread sketch around the main features, AND I want to use some thread play all over it, as if the thread spool is unraveling and loops all over to make the vines which the flowers are coming from.

The dilemma is which comes first: the thread work or the quilting? So, I chose to thread sketch with black first. My next step (after I position the flowers JUST RIGHT) will be to quilt it with a subtle design and then finish it off with the green “thread vines.”

This art quilt will be on my etsy site before the week is out. And a pattern to make one of your own will be available SOON, as well.

tallpoppystudios.etsy.com

The other struggle with this one, is that she needs a fabulous name!! Any ideas?