Our painted fabric is now ready for the next stage where we will define the different areas of the flower with color and stitches. Remember that any number of these blocks could be created for a larger project, such as a quilt.
Look at your project and decide where you would like to divide the various sections, i.e., the center, the petals, the surrounding areas. This should be easy to do since the salt would leave some of the defining areas mottled. With a sharp chalk marker, draw around the center section, the petals, and the outer areas. Of course, your wall ornament may be completely different from mine, but I think you get the idea.
Cut batting and backing a little larger than your project and sandwich together using 505 spray or whatever method you prefer. Prepare your sewing machine for free motion quilting, making sure the feed dogs are lowered.
For the center of the flower, use a light colored thread that coordinates well with your fabric. Free motion whatever design you like in this area. I began by sewing around the perimeter and then working towards the center.
Thread your machine with a darker thread and use a different motif to free motion quilt the next area. I used navy thread and the garnet stitch, making circles and ovals with my needle. Remember, it is the contrast of colors and stitches that gives this piece its visual interest.
Now return to a lighter color thread and begin outlining your flower petals. Add a little dimension to the upper petals with three or four short lines of stitching radiating outward.
When your petals are compete, thread your machine with a darker thread and once again free motion quilt with a new motif. I used a meandering stitch in this area.
Continue in this alternating pattern until you finish your quilted project.
Dimensional objects in fabric painting can reward us with spectacular outcomes that open up new avenues of creativity. I hope you will think of this tutorial as a mere starting point.
N. Rene West