In March 2009 I was selected by RaNae Merrill to be one of the members of a special group called "Spiromandalas". Over the next 10 months we learned, designed, pieced, and finished a quilt for her second book, Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts. After that task was completed, the book was written, edited, and published in November 2010. It is a wonderful book :) I am very proud to have my quilt pictured in the design section on page 39, highlighting my unique approach to the task at hand. Here is my quilt!
I named it "Up, Up, and Away" because my focus fabric consisted of brightly colored hot air balloons.
I will now explain a little about the process. The quilt was designed using paper, pencil, ruler, and colored pencils. I used a program called Auto Sketch to help me draw my design. It follows the guidelines that were given to us by RaNae, and are spelled out in detail in her book.
After RaNae and I settled on the design I made a full size drawing on paper so I would know where the various colors of fabric belonged. I also used these drawings to create the foundations for each section of the paper piecing.
Then it was time to choose gradations of the various colors in the quilt. Fortunately I found most of them in my stash of bright colored fabrics :)
Then I cut them to the approximate length I would need, as paper piecing does not require exact sized pieces of fabric.
I arranged the pieces I needed for the six sections that consisted of blue, green, and yellow, so I would be sure to put them in the correct position.
The deadline was fast approaching, and apparently I was so busy sewing all those little pieces together that I forgot to take pictures! So here is the quilt laid out before the sections were sewn together.
I quilted radiating lines every five degrees to represent the ropes that hold down a hot air balloon.
I invite you to read more about the Magnificent Mandala Quilts! Click on the link below and it will take you to RaNae Merrill's blog. The right column on the blog lists all of the members of the group and gives details about how each quilt in the book was designed and constructed. At the bottom of that column you will find the section that tells more about the process I used to create my quilt, click on Susan Wood. Enjoy!