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Friday, October 28, 2016

Collage Quilt a Sugar Skull - Tutorial

It's Halloween time and making crafts. quilts, and even foodie treats  for the season is a love of mine.
(who am I kidding, we all know I really don't like to cook)
One thing I haven't made is a sugar skull and I've always wanted to.

Today I did it, I made a sugar skull and here is how I did it.
I call this technique collage applique, but someone told me it's called broderie perse.
I'm pretty sure this isn't what the early quilters had in mind for broderie perse....
Although it is a lot of flowers.

First step is to find a skull drawing.  I found one on the Internet and traced it with a permanent marker onto my light weight fabric.  

Update:  I have drawn a skull with the heart eyes and the jpg can be found HERE free.

I chose to use pink because I used lots of pink flowers.  This fabric is what Walmart calls quilting cotton.  It's super, duper thin.  The eyes are modified with hearts.  I just drew them on.

Next fuse Heat N Bond Lite  or your favorite paper backed fusible to the back of various fabric flowers and cut them out.
I used all kinds of floral fabrics from Tula Pink to Moda to Art Gallery.
Start arranging the flowers on the skull.  I peel off the paper as I go.
  (I have fused a few papers down before so trust me, peel the paper off as you go!)

He looks like he has a beard...lol

I like to use a few birds and butterflies in my designs.
This is what it looks like when the design is covered and the flowers are bonded to the fabric.

Turn the skull fabric over and cut out the design.  If there is a design you want to keep on the outside of the skull, cut it out first on the front, then cut the rest from the back.
Here is mine all cut out.

Baste the skull to your final background fabric with basting spray.  I use Spray n Bond Basting Adhesive but you can use your favorite.

Stitch around the skull with a zigzag, straight, or I used a blanket stitch.  Stitch in the eyes and the nose too.  Next make your quilt sandwich with batting and backing fabric and quilt as desired, but it must be tight quilting stitches over the skull to catch the edges as much as possible.
 Matchstick quilting or a free motion small meander stitch works really well.
I used Aurifil 50 wt  in black - 4241 for the background 
my favorite "go to" Aurifil light grey - 2600 for the sugar skull.

This sugar skull is a 16" pillow cover, so I finished it with an envelope back.

If you have any questions about this process, just leave me a comment and I'll get back to you.

I'm so excited, I'm ready to make another one with a white background.
And maybe a quilt too!!!

Have a happy weekend!


Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts said...

You have real talent! I'd love to have you link up to Finished or Not Fridays each week!

Ariane said...

It looks amazing!! Love it!!

Paula Louceiro said...

So nice tutorial. Loved it.

Vickie said...

Very Cute!

Needled Mom said...

That turned out beautifully! The colors are so pretty.

tisha @ quiltytherapy said...

Wow! The skull looked really complicated when you first looked at it. That actually seems really easy. It's stunning!

Carol Swift said...

This was the best tutorial I've seen that made me think I could do this...love it! Your skull is amazing!

Genevieve said...

Great idea. Thinking I should try something like this. I've made a few wall hangings with the white skull and appliqued very colorful fabric around the skull. I'm going to enjoy decorating the skull instead. Thank you for a great tutorial.

Anonymous said...


How difficult would it be to enlarge the skull to make a wall or lap quilt?


laughing gas quilts said...

That skull looks like so much fun! Our retreat is this weekend and I think some of us are going to be putting our heads together to make....skulls. Thanks for sharing.

Mary T. said...

You are the sweetest thing to give a tutorial on your sugar skull! I’m following you from now on! Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?

Cynthia's Creating Ark said...

What a fun idea. I have a couple of friends who would love something like this. Thank you for sharing how you created this skull project with us.

Margie Fox said...

I love your skull wall hanging. Do you think you will ever consider selling an
already enlarged pattern of it? I would defenitel buy the pattern.

Simple joys said...

Thank you for sharing your pattern. I'll try and get one made and post you the puc.

Lianne makes stuff said...

This looks great and not as scary as my first impression well done you!

lynn said...

This totally looks like fun. I love it. Thanks