Strata Flower Quilt

Strata Flower

Rob demonstrates how to transform strata stripes into the easy applique Strata Flower Quilt using Missouri Star Quilt Co’s Large Orange Peel Template for 10″ Squares and Small Orange Peel Template for 5″ Charm Packs, fusible interfacing, the Color Strata Book by Rob Appell for MSQC. and 2.5 inch strips of precut fabric (jelly rolls). We used Cotton Couture Fiesta 2.5″ Strips
by Michael Miller Fabrics for Michael Miller.

Get the supplies here:

Video Transcript (Download the PDF Here):

I love springtime almost as much as I love my new book Color Strata. So today’s tutorial we’re combining the both of them. Let’s get started.

We’ll be following the recipes for creating the strata in my book, Color Strata. And for any of the supplies you may need in today’s video will be in the description below. So we are going to make six piles of strata using one of the 2 ½ inch strip pre cuts from Michael Miller. Now what I first did is I took that strip and I cut it down into 22 inch lengths. And let me slow down, I get so excited about my color strata. We’ve got a really cool quick tip that shows you how to make all of this step by step so that you can get to the point where I am at right this second where I’ve got all of my base fabrics ready to make the flower behind me. So real quick we have six styles of strata using first one inch strips, ok? We also use 1 ½ inch strips. We have 2 ½ inch strips all sewn together. Notice all the color order has stayed in the same recipe. The 2 ½ inch strips we’re going to literally set aside. I used this entire strata to create the binding on the quilt you see behind me, ok? The last three piles we have are basically about the same size but they use a variety of different sizes of strata. You can see the strata sizes coming in out of change as they go through. But that makes piles four, five, and six. And that’s where I get most of the large petals from that I created for the flower behind. So let me show you how to do that.

We’re going to use some fusible lightweight interfacing to kind of make these so that these are finished edge. This is not a raw edge applique trick. So I’m going to use the MSQC, Missouri Star Quilt Company, large template and medium. They have a mini as well but I’m afraid that would get a little small for today, right? Ok, and then this is what that fusible interfacing looks like. And with the fusible interfacing you need to kind of rub it to tell where you’re working because there’s a smooth side and there’s a bumpy side. And the bumpy side we’re going to consider our right sides today because we want that bumpy side on the back as the glue. It will make more sense here in a second.

So first of all we need to get a bunch of our strata petals created, ok? And we’re going to make some small ones and large ones. So this is where we’re heading. We’ve got a fusible interfacing stitched to the back side or the right side I should say of a strata petal, ok? And in order to do that I made several of the small and several of the large. And when I’m cutting my interfacing I just do it in a big old stack, no problem because it doesn’t shift around and it’s very light. However when I’m cutting my actual strata itself, what I like to do is just do one piece at a time. And if you look, follow me to the quilt behind here, if you look in the quilt you can see each individual petal has its own character. The way the stripes are running. And I did try to place them so the strips were pleasing. But we’re going to position our templates so that we’re getting our cuts just the way we like. So if I want all of my straight lines that way. And you can see this is how I change the angle in the stripes in the finished petal. Now I can’t tell you how to predict it. I can just tell you that’s what I did, right?

So you’ll also need a good sharp rotary cutter when you’re cutting against your templates. And so I’m going to go ahead and put a little bit of pressure down here in the middle. And I’m going to cut off from this edge. Now if you have a lazy susan at home, a lazy susan cutting mat, not just a lady named Susan who won’t get off the couch, but a lazy susan cutting mat at home that you can spin this so that you’re not cutting backwards under your arm while speaking in front of the camera and making sure you don’t cut off any parts of your body. But fortunately I survived that cut. Not the way I want you doing it at home especially if you’re new with a rotary cutter. That was dangerous and bad teaching, ok? So ya, use yourself a lazy susan. But I wanted to make sure that my template was cut accurately because I also have accurately cut my interfacings, right? So now let’s go over this interfacing thing again because I want to make sure you get it correct.

This is the right side of my strata. Here are the bumps under my thumb, it’s smooth on my finger side. So those bumps are going to go right down against the right side of my strata to make sure that I am right sides together. And we’re going to sew 100% of the way around here and we’re going to slice this open to get back to our finished product. Ok, I’ve got a quarter inch seam allowance set up on my machine. And for these arc style templates I like to start in a nice big smooth run out here not in one of the corners. And I’m just going to sew around. I’m not concerned about backstitching because I’m going to come right over the top of that thread again. But when I am stitching with interfacing against fabric I really like to have the fabric on the feed dogs because I feel that the interfacing may shift a little bit. And this way I can kind of keep track of what’s happening. The fabric is not as likely to shift. So I’ve got fabric against feed. Interfacing against my presser foot itself. And then I often myself just do a couple of little stitches straight across there and then back down. So you’ll need about seven of these large petals. And I’m hoping I have that right because I’m not looking at the quilt behind me. I’m hoping there’s seven up there. Oh no she’s counting again. The cameraman is actually a lady and she’s actually counting again. We have eight of them. We have nine of them. Fantastic. We have a team. We’re so creative we don’t know how to get all the way to ten with our numbers. I love it. Well that will be in the blooper reel, again. Fortunately we bought ourselves enough time to get around that interfacing. I love it. And I guess it’s a great time to say, thank you very much for all of the people that are working behind the scenes that you all can’t see. These folks are sweating bullets right now. Sorry team! Ok so here we go.

I’ve got that stitching all the way around. And again you can see that I did this the same for the small. I like to use a seam ripper. And I’m just going to pinch now at my interfacing. And I’m going to get in here. And I need to make about a two or three inch little cut. And a lot of times the interfacing has got a little bit of a grain to it so it’s going to kind of tear for us like this. Ok, at this moment let’s slow down and not pull too hard. Because if I pull hard I’m going to rip the stitching out of the interfacing. Or I’m going to rip open that center way too big. And I’m just gently turning it out. And also because the interfacing is fused we will not be able to iron this to make it look tidy. We’ll be ironing it down to the background but we can’t iron it or we’ll accidentally fuse it to our ironing board. So as we work through here I want to be gentle. And then I’m also going to use like a purple thang to push out along the edges. So once I get my majority of the work done with my fingers, being real careful on that stitching, ok? Come in like this. And then I’ll use something like the purple thang and I like the square end of it. And then I’m going to come up here and what I’m really doing is I’m putting that up against the seam and I’m pushing the fabric. I’m not pushing the interfacing. So I’m just kind of making that nice and crisp like that. And you can see there’s a couple other parts and pieces we’re going to make. They’re all made the same way but there’s a little bit of a different technique. So let me talk you through one of those circles here in a second. So we’re just going to keep working this. And I’ll also talk you through the stem. And the stem is really fun. And I also have some fun videos about curved piecing and curved cutting and piecing that might be something you need to check out for the way I did that stem if you need a little more detailed information, ok? But there is one of our petals. Fantastic. Let’s set that aside. And make a little bit of room here. Ok.

Small petals will work the same way. They’re just a little smaller so you need to be a little bit more delicate with them, ok? As I said earlier I made, over here on the quilt you’ll see I’ve got the big center circle. And I purposely used the one inch stratas for that so that it had a nice, I got to see a lot of the colors in here. You can see all the way from the turquoise to the purple in there. So I really like that. And this is what it looked like. And yes it has the interfacing stitched around. The bumps are touching the, the finished edge. That’s perfect like that. So I’ll turn that out as well. Ok.

And then to make the stem, this is actually one of the sides from the stem that I created. But what I want to talk about real quick as I said in the petals and said in the circle, I cut the interfacing individually and then I cut the fabric off the template. But to create the exact same curve in the interfacing and the strata, first I took two of those medium size strata and I joined them together. So right here you can see where I went from the yellow-orange into the turquoise  back from the turquoise back out to the yellow-orange. So this is piece one, this is piece two that was joined together. The second thing I did, I took my interfacing when it was a rectangle and my strip when it was a rectangle and I laid them together perfectly. That way as I was cutting my curve they were cut exactly the same so that when I was done and I turned the right sides back out, this is the remainder of the stem that’s on the quilt behind me. So as I turned them right sides back out, you can see that that interfacing hugs the curve while we’re working. But you can also see all of these parts and pieces might have a little bit of an issue with the interfacing showing around the edges as we get ready to press. Quick little side note they make this interfacing in white or black. I chose white because it’s a brightly colored quilt and the white won’t be seen on the couple of pieces behind where a little bit snuck around where I wasn’t paying attention. If you were using a lot of dark fabrics of course I would recommend the black, ok? Side note over. We’re back in the tutorial. So with that when we get ready to press I want to have my purple thang handy again.

And now the key to pressing these down onto our background is to get our iron really nice and hot. So I’m going to turn that on, ok? I have it full of water and we’re going to use a high, high heat and steam setting because it’s the steam that really works through the fiber and gets everything dialed in. Now for the background we’ve got a solid piece of cotton couture. It’s a fun charcoal gray color. And it’s the 45 inches wide and it’s about 60 inches tall, ok? Of course this is a fun do and design it as you go quilt so you can make this any size. You can add as many petals as you want. Obviously I have no idea how many are even on the quilt. And so you can just kind of play as you go. So my quilt size behind me is roughly 45 by 60 or so. And that’s just because I forgot to measure before we started rolling camera today. So we’re having real fun with this tutorial. And I stalled long enough that my iron is blazing hot. And we’re getting ready to go ahead and press this down.

So look real close, what I’m doing is making sure that I don’t see any of this white rolling around the edge. And then what I like to do is I like to start on one side. And I’m going to let this sit for quite a while. And I’m letting it sit and I’m heating, as I come around the edge, heating as I’m coming around the edge. Ok. And that really secures. You can see the steam coming off of there. And then as I roll to the other side, that’s when I can start to make sure that I have my purple thang if I need it handy. Or I use the tip of my iron to make sure that I’m kind of pushing the white part under. Pushing the white part under. And you probably can’t see very well because the iron is now in your way. But I can push and roll, push and roll. And if you also had any other adjustments you ever needed to make you could certainly do that during the quilting process, ok? You can stitch it, because we are going to topstitch all of these down anyways. But that ironing and that heating, you can see how long I’m spending because what I really need to do is I need to make sure that that glue from the interfacing bonded the applique to the quilt back because I get all of my design done. And then I get ready for the quilting process.

So let’s journey back into the quilt and check this out. So step one for the quilting process, starting in the middle, is topstitch around all of your applique pieces, the center. The big petals were put into the flower. The small petals were put in for like leaves along the stem. The stem is topstitched down. So everything applique is stitched down. Then I took my ruler and a quick chalk pencil, of course I’ve got some cool, I think they’re cool, tutorials on free motion quilting and marking. So I did some very simple markings of the lines to represent the rays of the sun coming down. And then look closely, this is that rainbows gone wild quilting that I like. It’s basically an easy half clam shell. But if you look close it’s smaller up here, hopefully the stitches are the same length. But smaller up here and larger motif down here so that it gives a real feel of movement. I was originally thinking of calling this something like April Showers but then you wouldn’t know what quilt it is if you’re looking for it when you’re searching through YouTube. So this is the Strata Flower so you know what we’re talking about. But as you follow that quilting, you also see there’s some hidden flowers down in the bottom which just brings to life that whole message. And that is one of the fun things about free motion quilting is you can really add a lot of interest and character and hidden story into your quilts just through that stitching process.

So this is a fun way to play with your strata. This is not a recipe that’s in the book for the actual quilt because this happened after I created the Color Strata book. So I wanted to present it to you today so you can enjoy other ways to play with your color strata. And that means, now again, I’ve got to go make one more fun tutorial at home while you’re doing this here at Man Sewing.

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