In a previous project I paired larger triangle shaped beads, that had big holes, with a metallic yarn threaded through them for a “seaweed” effect.
When it came to beading the rays I found these delightful square orange beads. Since the square beads had big enough holes to do the same thing, I quickly searched my yarn/cord bin to find a piece of gold braided ribbon. It was thin enough to pull through the quilt top at the ends to finish each ray, and stitching it down with the beads was great fun (note: the fine pins are holding the beads in place as I stitch).
Once the sun itself was embellished, I felt it was time to add more rays in the sky. If I beaded them through the wool batting, I would lose the trapunto effect I wanted behind the sun. So, before I beaded the extra rays in the background, I trimmed the batting away behind the sky.
At this point I realized it would be difficult to machine quilt around the lines of beads once they were stitched in the sky, so I layered the top with backing and a thin batt, and straight pin basted it together.
Next I took a photo of the beaded sun with my iPad. I’m able to “write” on the screen with my “iPencil”, so I used it to audition quilting designs. There are phone apps that allow you to do this using your finger as the pencil; or the image can be printed, put in a plastic page protector, and drawn on with a washable marker. Here is the design I liked the best. I’ve also done this with Glad Press and Seal™ (click here for a post on that technique).
I drew similar lines onto the quilt top with a sliver of soap and quilted around them, leaving a path for the beads. Then, to make the trapunto batting under the sun “poof”, I meandered in the background.
Even though the sun itself had been quilted already, it needed to be quilted through these new layers. The quilting didn’t need to be as heavy, but even doing just a bit presented the problem of the beads being in the way. To make it work I quilted over some of the existing arcs and lines with a zipper foot. Where there’s a will, there’s a way 😁.
The beads in the sky were added, the quilt was faced, and voila… my sun quilt is done!
I’m working on making this into a 3 hour class. If your guild is interested – let me know 😁.