Creating Waterlilies

Posted by Ruth on 28 January 2014 | 0 Comments


Around 12 years ago I designed a waterlily quilt which is very different to the waterlilies Helen Marshall teaches at the Academy. She takes the quilt further than the 2-dimension by adding 3-dimensional leaves with fluffy tassels inside the lilies. I find this a really interesting technique and wondered what made her think of doing this.

She explains:

"The idea of this class came from a challenge at my local Quilt Guild to only use one colour to make a small wall hanging. I decided to make a small panel of Leucodendrons using a paper pieced foundation for three dimensional flowers."

Green Protea

"Then I did a red version"


"As this was successful I went on and made another larger quilt using the same method of the three dimensional flowers and leaves."

Summer Surprise (shows closeup, full quilt at top left)

"The next quilt I decided to try to make Waterlilies and this is the method I used."


"The Waterlilies are filled with fluffy tassels inside the flowers and surrounded with three-dimensional leaves on a colourwashed background. It is inspired by the waterlilies that are growing in the large pond in our garden. As you make this project you will learn several processes, including strip piecing for a colourwash, three dimensional leaves and waterlilies, and simple tassels. The small wall quilt that we will be making will be approx 36" wide and 20"- 30" deep depending on which method of making the background is used. You will have a choice of how to sew your background strips. You may use fabric strips sewn in a drop down manner which results in looking as if it is on the diagonal or fabric strips sewn vertically in the manner of Bargello."

lily closeup

Wow, that's really interesting. It is amazing where a challenge may lead one's creativity. I must admit, challenges are a great source of inspiration. Learning the technique takes you further into producing some wonderful quilts. Are you anxious to give Helen's waterlilies a try? I sure am. I hope you'll join Helen in class this Friday.

For more information about Helen's Waterlilies class visit the Academy of Quilting: Waterlilies Class

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting

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