Well, that's the name I came up with for this project! A while back I made a wall hanging at a workshop given by Heather Ridley and she named the project Sheer Magic Mosaic (check out my blog post here for photo of that quilt) using Australian native floral fabric as a feature on a mosaic background. I loved how it turned out and so did my step-daughter, Kymberley. Now the lovely Kymberley is married to Scott, who is Canadian (and we didn't hold that against him, hehehehe!) after meeting in Ireland while travelling. Around 6 months ago they moved to Canada and Kymberley said she would love something similar to hang on her wall to have a little bit of Australia in Canada.
Happy to help, my only problem was that the fabric I used was naturally out of stock everywhere, very frustrating as it was lovely too. Never mind, luckily a second series of fabrics in the same range (Under the Australian Sun II) came out and I used one of those.
To start I need to make my mosaic background and luckily I quite a few leftover squares from the first one and only had to add in a few more. These are fused onto black background and appliqued with fancy stitch (or in my case a not so fancy stitch as I have an old machine!) Ta da! This is what you get:
A nice way to practice a bit of free motion, you then stitch some designs onto the coloured squares to add a bit of interest and show through behind the flowers.
Then the really fun bit, apply fusible web to some wildflower fabric and then fussy cut. Now when I made mine the flowers were larger and easier to cut out. These were much smaller and needed lots more cutting but this is what I ended up with:
Quite a good selection really. Then it was a matter of playing around with placement until I was happy with the layout and then I peeled all the paper off and fused them all into one piece on top of some baking paper.
Now before these get fused to the background I cut some sheer fabrics out into leafy shapes and as a kind of shadowy background. Unfortunately I neglected to take a photo of this stage. Lack of forward thinking there on my part!
Then you iron the flowers on top of the lot and stand back and admire your work, followed closely by the realisation that now you have to stitch it all down! That was the time consuming bit. Out with the lovely shiny embroidery threads and into free motion mode and away I went. In this shot you can see some of the stitching. I really like the way the bottle brush flower came out. (please ignore the loose threads, I hadn't pulled them through at this point!). You can also see some of the stitching I did on the mosaic squares.
In these shots you can see some of the sheer fabrics used behind the flowers:
Then once the embroidery was finished, I added a peeper border, followed by a wide border and it was time to sandwich and quilt it. Fortunately it didn't really need lots of quilting but I find the quilting after the embroidery is done really makes the larger flowers pop and appear more three dimensional. When it was all done, this is how it turned out:
So there we are! Now to pull through all the threads and attach a hanging sleeve and it is done and ready to post to Vancouver for Christmas! Its hard to see here but some of the sheer fabrics had a bit of sparkle to them which will sort of add to the whole Christmassy feel I hope! The timing will be great because Kym and Scott have just moved into their own place after staying with Scott's parents for the last few months!
Now I know its unlikely that you might know Kymberley and Scott but if you do, Shhhh - Mum's the word. Please don't tell them its coming! I have avoided Facebook like the plague with photos of this one for that very reason so I'm looking forward to being able to share it on there soon.
Phew, that's a big project out of the way and now I can finish off the other three projects I need to do before Christmas (plus some others if I can get these done but if not, oh well, there's always next year!)
Thanks for reading my blog today,