Friday Flashback – Floral Windows Collection

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Welcome back to another Friday Flashback, taking a look back at some of my favourite classic collections.

This week I am bringing you the Floral Windows Quilt collection.

The Floral Windows quilt collection is actually designs by an amazing Australian artist – Dianne Johnston. She created the quilt for needle turn applique, which is her passion, and very kindly allowed me to re-produce the quilt for machine embroidery.

I came up with the idea of working with this quilt through my mother. She purchased a cushion kit for me one Christmas, and after having it sit in my sewing box for a couple of years, I really loved the cushion design, however I knew that I would never be able to do the needle turn applique.  I contacted Dianne Johnston and asked about licencing the design for machine embroidery, and she agreed.

Then began the fun of creating the designs. Remembering that this was 2006, the standard hoop sizes was 5×7.  I wanted to keep the grandeur of the designs intact, so I was determined to keep the sizes to Dianne Johnston’s original 18” blocks.

Working one block at a time, I began re-creating the designs, using applique for the flowers, and gorgeous satin stitches for the stems and details.

Some of the issues that I faced when I created the Floral Windows collection was in creating the templates. I needed a template for the entire 18” block.  Whilst I found a software programme which would allow me to do this, all printers behave differently, and we had to give strict instructions to print the template at 100% with no scaling, allowing for different paper sizes from around the world.

The next issue that I had was in finding gorgeous hand dyed fabrics that would work well with the designs. A girlfriend and I at the time decided that we would try our hand at dyeing our own fabrics, and spent a couple of weekends creating gorgeous hand dyed fabrics (I still have some in my stash that I use for applique).

I love using the Floral Windows design as a teaching block. It shows participants how to merge designs to create a larger design, looking at placement, templates and accuracy.

For me the Floral Windows collection really was a labour of love. It was the first quilt collection that I completed, and I love the fact that as well as using it as a quilt, you can also break up the flowers with your software and use the individual elements for clothing etc.

Whilst it has been out in the market now for more than 11 years, Floral Windows Quilt Collection is one of those designs that people still ooh and ahh about. One of the most common questions I get is can I re-jig it for the larger hoops.  This is a difficult one for me (as it would be for any designer), as despite what people think, it is not that easy – it would actually mean re-designing the entire quilt from scratch.

Initially we gave away a single peony design HERE as a freebie with the Floral Windows designs. As a thank you to all of our loyal customers, for the next week we are also offering an Iris, Rose, and Pansy design as a free download.  Simply click HERE to collect your copy.

Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me, I hope you have enjoyed looking at this collection, and that it has inspired you to stitch for a loved one.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

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