Monday, June 7, 2021

Making my cicada quilt, Cicadence, step by step


Cicadence, 2020, 24 x 24 inches

Here’s what I started with:  packet with fat quarter of this fabric, and a sheet inside with the rules.  Rules: must use recognizable amount of challenge fabric, no bigger than 24 x 24, and must have a wing in it somewhere.  The challenge was supposed to be for 2020, but we know how that went.  I had already started it, so I kept going, and hid the finished quilt for almost an entire year.  Since it was made in 2020, I had no idea about Brood X hatching this year, and what a timely topic it would be.  And this one is quieter!  No weird fungus, either, lol.


So, I started by enlarging a drawing of a cicada to the proper size, selecting fabrics, and making them fit on my drawing.  All the cotton fabrics are Kaffe Fasset Collective fabrics.  Eyes are a metallic knit, leftover from making danceline skirts.  Tried several different colors of iridescent organza for the wings.​



​Next, I found fabric for the parts of the legs, and cut those out, front and back, for each leg.

​Selected the organza for the wings, cut it down to a good size, and drew the wing lines on Solvy, which is a transparent water-soluble stabilizer.

Hooped the organza between the Solvy with the lines drawn on, and another piece.  Hooping on a machine is done so the fabric is flat against the machine bed, the opposite of hand embroidery.  Sewed over all the lines with 12 weight thread, so they would be more easily seen.  Soaked the finished wings in water to remove Solvy (rubbing gently with a washcloth helps).  Ran a line of fray check around the edge stitching after the wings had dried.

Attached all the pieces to the body, appliqued them with blanket stitch, then free motion quilted the head and body.

Turned the ends of six long floral wires using jewelry pliers so they would not poke through the fabric, and inserted them in each leg section, adding polyfil stuffing as I went along, and pinning together.  Antennae are wire wrapped with fabric and held on with glue.  Wavy wire is so I could sew it down and it would stay in place.


​Another view of leg assembly and stitching on the wings. I added a facing to the body, and left spaces to insert legs and antennae, which are stitched down inside the facing.  The wire legs are bent to form a T shape inside the facing, so that they can’t twist around or flop forward.

​Hung it up to figure out where cicada needed to be tacked to the window screen.


quilting detail
quilting detail
quilting detail
Got a generous gift certificate for placing, and a cute ribbon!

detail of finished piece​
detail of finished piece​
detail of finished piece

​Next year’s fabric is also Kaffe, so stay tuned.  It’s due June 1, 2022, and I have ideas already.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 6, 2021

2020 Roundup

 In My Mind's Eye, 20 x 20 inches

Woven Rainbow (pieced in 2019, quilted in 2020). 60 x 60 inches

What's Your Excuse?  33 x 37 inches

Rainbow Leaves (SAQA Benefit Auction donation) 12 x 12 inches

Cicadence 24 x 24 inches

The Very Grungy Caterpillar, 32 x 46 inches

Baby Quilt 30 x 41 inches