Wednesday, March 2, 2016

One More Mandala

In case you hadn't recognized my new trend...I am in madly in love with Mandalas!!  This week's Project Quilting Season 7 challenge, Through the Eyes of a Child, inspired me to make another Mandala quilt.

As a child, I fondly remember learning Crayon Scratch Art from my mother.  She showed us how to use wax crayons to color an entire piece of paper, and then cover it entirely with black crayon.  Using a pencil or coin, we could lightly scratch away the top layer of black crayon to reveal a colorful work of art!  I decided to apply this process to my new love of quilted mandalas.
Laying the Foundation for My Crayon Etched Mandala
I began by preparing my quilt sandwich containing four layers:
1.  quilt back right side facing down
2.  batting (dream cotton)
3.  colorful 1st layer right side facing up--I chose this fabulous swirled rainbow print
4.  added a layer of Kona black solid and pin basted through all four layers!

I used freezer paper to use as a guide for free motion quilting my mandalas--but stopped using it after completing the first  2-3 rounds and soon began to rely on reference points within my blooming mandala to quilt additional rounds.

I will confess that I had some doubts as to whether my plan would work.  So once I had completed my first round of free motion quilting, I pulled out my seam ripper and small curved scissors and ever so carefully cut away the top layer of black solid fabric to reveal the colorful swirling print below.
Tearing Down Any Lingering Doubt and Tearing Away the Top Layer of Black Fabric
There was a bit of a learning curve to slicing away the black fabric, without accidentally nicking the colorful print directly below.  I found it worked best for me to use my seam ripper at a very shallow angle (nearly parallel to the quilt sandwich) to create an initial slice just large enough where I could sneak peek a look to ensure I hadn't nicked the rainbow print.  Then I went in with my small curved scissors to trim along my stitched lines.  

For me, it was almost instant gratification as I revealed the beautiful color one pebble at a time, and totally loving it!  Now that all my doubts were eased, I returned to free motion quilting my entire mandala and background swirls/pebbles.
Before and After Cutting Away Sections of Black Fabric
Some friendly tips:

  • Use a slightly smaller stitch length.
  • Quilt larger motifs.  Most of my pebbles were approximately nickle sized or larger and were pretty manageable.  I did have a few smaller ones that were a bit more tricky to cut out.
  • Leave a few sections of black in tact as it adds visual interest.
  • Use a fun color of thread as its easier on the eyes and really pops on the black for yet another design element.  I used a bright pink 50-weight of Aurifil thread.
  • Slow and steady when slicing out the top layer.  While each newly revealed section of color was exciting, I had to remind myself to work slowly and carefully to avoid nicking through to the batting layer!
"Crayon Etched Mandala" finishes 18" x 19"
I love, love, love the finished piece and eager to make more!!  In fact, I may have kept an extra fat quarter of my backing print to use on a future Crayon Etched mandala?!?

I will be linking this up to the Project Quilting page, where online voting will begin Sunday, March 6th around 11 AM PST...hint-hint!!



24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Kim! I will admit that I was a bit stumped when this week's challenge theme was revealed...but I love how it pushed me to try something new and exciting! So thank you for the motivation!!

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  2. Beautiful and inspirational reverse applique project! I have been thinking about this technique recently so when I make something myself I will link to this wonderful project so people can see how cool can a project be with this fun technique!!

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    1. Thanks Alida! I would love to see what you create using this technique. Although I must warn you--I think it may be a bit addicting. I already have plans for more!!

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  3. I must try this. I love it! Thank you for showing it step by step and for the great tips.

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    1. Thanks Carla! It is surprisingly easy and quick to do. I started and finished it all in one afternoon/evening! I'd love to see what you create!!

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  4. I must try this. I love it! Thank you for showing it step by step and for the great tips.

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  5. Awesome!!! Another class perhaps? Very unique and so clever! And I see why you like dying fabrics... those colors can only be achieved by dyi.

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    1. Thanks KB...would certainly make for a fun class! Although I must confess the colorful fabric used here is a print and not one of my hand dyed fabrics. Although I do plan on using some of my hand dyes for future crayon etched mandalas/projects!!

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  6. This is amazing! I love how you recalled your childhood art experience, one that I loved to do too. And thank you for sharing how to do it. This is so beautiful!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Janie! It was fun celebrating my childhood memories with this challenge.

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  7. This is absolutely amazing!!

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    1. Thanks Hilary--I can't wait to make another!!

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  8. Mel, you are so talented. These keep building, one after another. What a series!

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    1. Thanks Ann--yes, I am rather enjoying this series and have plans for at least 1-2 more!!

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  9. Replies
    1. Thanks Pam--I am glad you enjoyed!

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  10. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your process. Love how much I'm learning through these Project Quilting Challenges!!No more just ordinary piecing for me (will always love that too! ). Love attempting some new techniques and learning from all these great quilters!♡

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    1. Thanks Irene--these challenges are the perfect opportunity to go outside our comfort zones and try new techniques! And of course, seeing all the amazing creativity of our fellow quilters!!

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  11. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your process. Love how much I'm learning through these Project Quilting Challenges!!No more just ordinary piecing for me (will always love that too! ). Love attempting some new techniques and learning from all these great quilters!♡

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  12. Sometimes I get so stinking JEALOUS at the fabulous projects other people make for PQ - and this week you almost sunk me before I started! AAAAAArrrrrgggg this is SO AMAZING!! :)

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    1. Thanks and sorry Trish. I too have envied many PQ projects---so much creativity and talent. I am so glad you finished your Capri the Cat, as it is so adorable and fun!!

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  13. What a stunning quilt. I loved crayon scratch art when I was little and love it still now I do it with my own little boys. You've not only captured that art beautifully but also created a truly beautiful mandala.

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    1. Thanks Paula--I am glad you are able to share your childhood art memories with your sons...they are lucky to have art in their lives. And I am glad you enjoyed my interpretation of that joy and my mandala!!

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