Cutting-Garden Quilts - Fabulous Fusible Flowers

by Melinda Bula
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A simple paint-by-number-style process is all it takes to create these breathtaking floral quilts! Melinda Bula shows how to combine a layer-and-fuse technique with color-placement tips for stunning results.

  • Five how-to patterns feature a rose, pansies, clematis, coneflowers, and apples; a photo gallery provides even more inspiration
  • Easy fusible designs feature numbered color charts--they'll help you choose the perfect hues
  • Learn how to use machine quilting to "paint" with thread, adding extra dimension and detail to each project

by Melinda Bula
8.5" x 11" printed on your home computer
Format Description:
full color, PDF digital download
Product Code:
Publication Date:
December 3rd, 2007

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from Kay Mackenzie,

Melinda Bula is a master of fusing realism into her fabulous floral art quilts. In this visually rich book; the author shares her process for creating colorful, shaded, detailed, realistic flowers in fabric and thread, and encourages us to start with our own photos of the flowers we'd like to render. "I want you to experience the same thrill I get when I create," she says. "Everything you need to know about making Cutting-Garden quilts is in this book, and even if you don't feel like you have an ounce of creativity in you, I assure you that anyone can make these quilts with amazing results."

For those who'd rather start with some training wheels, Melinda includes five patterns to get you going, with easy-to-follow steps and a fabric key to help with color selection.

The book starts out with a gorgeous gallery for your inspiration. The gallery also serves to show the author's progression through the development of her techniques and understanding of color and depth. Then Melinda writes about the creative process (stop stomping on your own creativity!) and emphasizes the need for a place to work. Then, onto fabulous fusible appliqué, going through supplies, subject matter, making an outline drawing, enlarging it, creating a color palette, finding just the right fabrics, using the fusible web, making the appliqués, and putting it all together!

Another thing that Melinda is fantastic at is threadwork as part of developing the fabric art. She tells you everything about it, from batting to presser feet to thread choices to tension. There's information on tacking down the edges of the appliqués, then moving on to adding shadows, highlights, and other thread details. (I can testify that this is a gorgeous part of the process, as I was lucky enough to be a quilt holder when Melinda came to speak at my guild, and oooh.) 

From Sylvia Landman, Sylvia’s Studio

Having taken Melinda's two day workshop on flowers and thread painting, one can see that she is not only in love with color but has a serious passion for thread as well. Melinda's style captures the beauty of painting with thread rather than brushes and paint with nothing lost. Focusing on design, she is generous in teaching readers not only how to quilt, thread paint and use color lavishly, but how to design original floral quilts. Full color photos illustrated in the Photo Gallery of the book include both stylized and realistic blooms, leaves and fruit.

After becoming totally inspired, the next section of this book delivers what she describes as the Creative Process. Following this, Melinda presents her supply list with special attention to one of today's most popular notions, fusibles, and tips for using them. The author suggests you begin your original floral design by taking photos of real flowers. She provides all the steps needed to make your own outline drawing and how to transfer it to fabric easily. Painting with thread plus tips on how to applique and machine quilt the layers together in one step are easy to follow given Melinda's instructions, along with wonderful color photos we have come to expect from Martingale.

The last half of the book offers specifics on how to create flowers, from cornflowers to pansies and clematis to roses. The peach rose pattern is particularly exquisite. All patterns include entire drawings and their individual applique shapes, plus helpful "fabric keys" to help you choose, cut, layer and stitch to assure your success.

The tone of Melinda’s book conveys the enthusiasm she exhibits personally as a talented designer and teacher. Never hesitate to take a class with her whenever possible.

from Barbara Rhoades

I notice that fusible web is being used more and more to make quilts. CUTTING GARDEN QUILTS is no exception. This book makes beautiful flower quilts using fusible web. They are extremely detailed and use thread painting to detail the flowers even further.

Melinda describes her working area and I can only wish I had something similar. A 6' x 4" cutting table is a dream of mine, right down to the 15 drawers to keep things organized and the ability to raise and lower the sewing tables. She also describes what tools/supplies you will need She is very detailed about how to get from a photograph to a quilt with the descriptions of making an outline drawing, enlarging it and choosing colors for the fabric. She includes information on painting with thread to make your quilts pop.

There are five quilts in the book, complete with the outline drawings ready for you to enlarge. Each project has a descriptive paragraph about the quilt subject. Then there is a materials list, assembling instructions, thread detail instructions and how to finish the quilt. A fabric key is also given which shows which color fabric and how much of that fabric is needed.

These are quilts that will take you more than a weekend to complete but will be a beautiful wall hanging when done.

Melinda Bula

Melinda Bula has sewn since she was a little girl and made her first quilt at the age of 19. Her background is in art and design, and she is a true artist at heart. Her company, Melinda Bula Designs, sells hand-silk-screened fabric and wallpaper nationwide. Her designs have appeared on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens and in several books.

Melinda's gorgeous quilt "Splendor in the Grass" won Best in Show at the 2009 International Quilt Festival/Chicago. She finds nothing as enjoyable as sitting down and making a traditional appliqu(TM)d quilt. Known for her painterly and dynamic style, Melinda loves to turn her designs into patterns.

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