JoAnn Belling created a completely imaginary flower for this pattern called Dazzling Carsidium. This unusual flower has a dazzling beauty from spring until late fall, never losing its brilliance. The Carsidium is made from strips of nine different fabrics and the leaves are veined with unusual red threading. Sew this rare and wonderful flower in your own quilt garden!
In the March 2012 article, “Colorwash Strata for Fantasy Flowers,” JoAnn Belling explains her process for creating the fantasy flowers featured in her Dazzling Carsidium pattern.
To begin an art piece like Dazzling Carsidium, I usually sketch a rough pencil outline with a few notations pertaining to color, procedure, and products. These may or may not be included in the final product. Better ideas may arise as the work progresses, so I prefer to keep an open mind about the size or arrangement of the sections. My main objective in color and design is to create a work visually stimulating, beautiful, and easily read from a distance. Upon drawing the viewers to a closer inspection, the minute details of execution give added worth and tidbits of surprise.
Choice number one involves the background, for example, I have selected the ochre or mustard dyed fabric from Janette Viliano. You can audition your own border and binding possibilities.
When choosing fabrics for the flowers, always gather more than necessary and give yourself a wide variety of color, pattern, and density. Fabrics need not be of the same color family, made by the same manufacturer, or of the same vintage.
Making the Strata
After choosing the fabrics for the project, place them in the order desired for the strata. Cut a strip of each. The widths of the strips should vary depending on the size and shape of the flower. Be sure to cut wider strips for the top and bottom of the strata. Vary the widths of the remaining strips in the sequence.
Join the strips in the desired order. Press all seam allowances in one direction. Turn under ¼” along the top and bottom.
Place a line of the 9 degree circle wedge ruler along the top and bottom of the strata. Cut the excess off the left side. Cut on the right side for one wedge. Rotate the ruler 180 degrees, align the same line before with the bottom edge, and cut. In the same manner, continue cutting for the length of the strata. Tip: You may wish to experiment with other rulers or free cut your wedges.
Sort the wedges into two groups – those cut with the wide edge at the top of the strata and those with the wide edge at the bottom.
From the sorted wedges, choose those for each flower in your quilt. If you run out of wedges from one group, you may add some of the other group as I did for Dazzling Carsidium. Since the colors are similar, the change is hardly noticeable.
Preparing the flowers
Sew the flower wedge sets together with ¼” seams, staggering the wedges to fit the flower shape. To prepare the stitched wedges for applique, press under ¼” on all raw edges except those that will be covered by the base. I like to face and turn the base so it will better hide the bulk and raw edges of the flower. To do this, trace the flower base pattern onto the wrong side of the base fabric. With right sides together, cut two pieces for each flower – one for the base and one for the base lining. Make a 1” slash in the middle of each base lining piece. Place matching pieces right sides together and stitch close to the edge all around. Clip inside curves and trim points close to the stitching. Turn right-side out and press.
Using clear thread, machine applique the flower to the background. Using your preferred method, prepare and applique the stems. Applique the base over the flower and stem end. Add leaves as desired. When machine quilting your creation, stitch straight lines from the top to the base of the flower petals and veins in the flower base and leaves.