This is the second in our series of posts describing the projects in the Spoonflower Staff Quilting Challenge. 


Anne: I originally thought of creating a mandala design because it is something I do for fun and relaxation. Coloring is a form of meditation and I find it as soothing and rhythmic as breathing. I love mixing up all the colors, and seeing what comes out is always a surprise. Every mandala in our quilt comes from a book called Coloring Mandalas 2: For Balance, Harmony, and Spiritual Well-Being by Susanne F. Fincher.


After getting approval for entering the mandalas as our design theme, Beth and I picked about twelve. Originally, we wanted to scan in each one but at 10”X10” they were too big for a traditional flatbed scanner. Beth prudently decided to take photographs of each image and upload them into the computer that way. She then fired up Adobe Illustrator with a 36”x36” canvas and each mandala sized as a 9”x9” square.


Beth: To keep the designs somewhat consistent, I did need to run a filter to make them more painterly. I then used the color dropper tool to select colors from each design for the borders and sashing.


Kimmie: At this point I joined the team of Beth and Anne in my second week at Spoonflower to round out their group. (They’d been the only team of two before I started.) The three of us finalized the block layout and Beth spun her magic to adjust color saturation where some neon colors did not translate well between the original, the photo, and the digital filter. We also put together a backing design by picking a mandala and putting it in a repeat pattern on a solid background.


We loaded our two finished images into Spoonflower, chose the organic cotton sateen, and pushed go! Then we waited with everyone else to see our fabric printed and delivered!


Anne volunteered to pin and sew the quilt. She’s been a busy bee sandwiching, sewing, ripping out stitches, re-sewing, trimming, sewing some more, shepherding our quilt into its final state.  She finished up by embellishing with shiny beads and sewing a hanging sleeve on the backing for easy wall hanging.


As I was working on our last photos, I flipped back through Anne’s book.  Our center square mandala–chosen by chance–reads, “Layer upon layer of flower petals open around a center that, when left uncolored, suggests a gateway through to changes yet to come.”

I for one can say that the last few weeks have been full of change as more of us join this happy, crazy team at Spoonflower. Everyone is looking forward to an exciting 2013.  May we all remember now and then to take a breath and share some laughs with a cup of tea or cocoa.