My new nephew, Jordan, was born at the end of March. I knew that they were using Wizard of Oz for the baby's room, and asked my sister, Jenn, if she'd like me to make him a quilt. She was most excited about the Emerald City and the poppies. I refrained from asking for too much input and confirmed that she trusted my judgment. ;-) There are some beautiful appliqué Wizard of Oz quilts as well as many versions made with licensed Wizard of Oz fabric. I knew I didn't want to go either route. I also knew that Jenn really appreciates dense, decorative quilting.
The hardest fabric to find was the poppies, but I finally found this perfect panel on Etsy. I trimmed it and positioned my Emerald City buildings in such a way that I covered up the trees on the panel. That also dictated the size of my center section.
I started by designing an Emerald City, and I ordered the Kona Wondrous Woods bundle of green fabrics. I did decide to appliqué the buildings in place. I used my paper templates to cut my fabrics with a 1/4" seam allowance and pressed under the edges, using a little Best Press. Then I machine appliquéd them in place one at a time, cutting out the background fabric as I went.
The back (in progress):
I decided that since I didn't want to do a lot of appliqué, I could represent each of the main characters with a fabric that related to them: blue gingham for Dorothy, straw for Scarecrow, grey solid for Tin Man, and a dark brown to represent the Cowardly Lion's fur. I also ordered yellow brick road fabric. When I ran across the rainbow lollipop fabric I knew it would be perfect backing.
I used reverse appliqué to piece the yellow brick road through the poppies. I kind of made it up as I went. ;-) Then after a thin green border I added the yellow brick road. Again making things up as I went, I mitered the corners on this border since I thought the lines of the bricks would be distracting otherwise. I used the character's fabrics for the final border, adding poppies in the corners.
Then the real fun: all the quilting.
I knew I wanted to do dense quilting on all the little buildings. I purchased six different colors of green thread so my quilting would blend with each fabric.
The rainbow was quilted across the sky.
I filled the rest of the sky with a meandering switchback motif and used square spirals on the yellow brick border.
For each character border I wanted to use a motif that was a nod to that character, and in each I quilted an icon that represented the character: Dorothy's slipper, a patch for the Scarecrow (hard to see in the photos), Tin Man's heart and a crown for the Cowardly Lion.
I quilted the quilt using a whopping seventeen colors of Aurifil 50 wt. thread. Just before I started quilting this project I received my copy of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson. I found it hugely helpful as I chose which motifs to use.
In total I used 24 different quilting motifs on the Wizard of Oz quilt (plus cursive writing, and quilting the icon for each character). A number of these were directly from or inspired by the book. I used a variation of Angela's square spirals (p.62) in my yellow brick road border. I took inspiration from Christa's loops and hearts (p.81) for quilting stipples and hearts in one of my buildings. Her telephone cord quilting (p.81) is essentially what I did for my rainbow. I used Christa's double swirls (p.82) on another building. I really liked the swirl hook (p.96), but muscle memory took over when I started the section for the cowardly lion and I ended up just doing swirls. I used Christa's ribbon loops (p.125) in my Dorothy section. I also used her not touching wavy lines (p.133) and small square spirals (p.133) on my buildings. This project was great for trying out a number of new-to-me quilting motifs on a small scale. It reminds me of the first project that I free-motion quilted, where I used a different motif in each square of the quilt.
I love the side-by-side versions of each quilt in the book where Angela and Christa each show their take on how to quilt the same project. As a domestic machine quilter, I found that I could take inspiration from both Christa's and Angela's quilting designs. There are over 50 different machine quilting motifs in the book as well as 10 complete quilt patterns. This will be a go to resource for me and I've already used it on other projects!
My kids and I got to deliver the quilt in person when we traveled during spring break to meet Baby Jordan. Here are a couple pictures my sister shared of him with his quilt. I think he likes it. :-)
I'm linking up to Finish It Up Friday and TGIFF.
This is outstanding, Sarah! I love it! You incorporated so many parts of the story, and I'm happy you left out the witches. What a beautiful work of art!
Thank you, Ann-Marie. I had a great time designing it. I'll enjoy continue to see pics of him with it. :-)
Oh Sarah, this came out absolutely amazing. I love how you appliqued the abstract Emerald City (it really does look like the Emerald City!) and the rainbow is the perfect touch. I'm sure it will be well loved!
Thanks, Jess! The Emerald City is my favorite part! :-)
Amazing amount of work. Glad baby J likes it! :)
Thanks, Amber. Evan kept asking me "how long has this taken you?" and I kept answering "I don't keep track!" (safer that way)
Dena T Kaufer
What a fantastic quilt!
A fantastic quilt sarah that will be much loved . Great idea to trim the poppy print to suit
Thanks, Helen. There weren't a lot of poppy fabrics to choose from and I just didn't like my options until I found this one! I think it was the last fabric I purchased. (The shopping process was a slow one for this project.)
Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!! Thoroughly enjoyed your write-up on what steps were taken to make baby Jordan's quilt. The pictures of baby Jordan at the end were a nice surprise! This Wizard of Oz baby quilt was so worth the wait. Thanks for sharing!!
Thanks, Bo. It was a long time coming, and then it kind of took me forever to get the post up about it. ;-)
M-R @ Quilt Matters
What cuteness! And not just the baby. Love the layered Emerald City with the different quilting motifs on each one. Beautiful! Thanks for linking up with TGIFF!
Thank you! And thanks for hosting TGIFF! It's so great to have a post to link up after quite a while without a finish to share. :-)
This is really good, i like your "independent" way to make this quilt.
The wizard of Oz ist not very popular or well known in Germany, but i read it to my son and he loved it. Your quilt captures the story so well!
Thank you, Jana. I didn't realize how much my sister has always loved the story. Since my kids (nearly 4 and 6) have seen the baby's room and knew about the quilt they got interested and we just finished reading the book which they really enjoyed. I hadn't read the book since I was 7. It was fun to read it again. Now, I can't wait to watch the movie with them!
This looks amazing!! I loved seeing your design process, all the fun accent details & quilted texture fun!!!
Thanks, Mel! :-)
First off, Sarah, it's an amazing work of art so obviously filled with love. The little touches like the borders for each character and the icons you quilted absolutely delighted me. I also very much appreciate your statement about refraining from asking for too much input and proceeding with your vision for this quilt. I definitely plan to buy The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting based on what you wrote and how useful this book was to you. And finally, it's obvious based on the photos of Jordan with the quilt, that you are not the only artist in the family. I really enjoyed reading this blog post. Take care, Mary.
Thank you so much, Mary. It was so hard not to share on the blog/IG as I worked on it. It was good to have a few friends to share near peeks to so I didn't go crazy. :-) Enjoy the book. It's full of great inspiration and tips.
It turned out wonderfully and thank you so much for sharing the design process. I like especially the representation of the main characters in the fabric borders. And Jordan is adorable of course.
Thank you, Lisa. :-)
Abigail @ cut&alter
Just stunning Sarah!! I love everything about it and great to hear how you went about creating it. I haven't come across this book yet but will keep an eye out at the Quilt Show I am visiting in a couple of weeks.
Thank you so much, Abigail.
Sarah, I think this is so darling and original. I love how you captured the characters and they're desires. Love all the quilting, so much variety. This is just lovely. My favorite would be that rainbow. Great job on this quilt!
Thank you, Stephanie. I just love the rainbow, too. I'm so glad it came out as well as it did.
What a fabulous quilt! I love all the detail shots showing how you quilted the different areas with different motifs. This makes my day!!
Thank you, Christa! I had a great time!
Your Wiz of Oz is a work of art, it's amazing.
Thank you, Mary.
This is just wonderful. You found the perfect fabrics to create the story within this quilt. The poppies are so pretty and they way you did the yellow brick road is great. Love the thought that you put into the quilt motifs and how you included as many parts of the story as you could. Just all around excellence!
Thank you so much, Bernie! It was a bit like a scavenger hunt.
Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
This is such a sweet quilt, but to see it with your nephew really just melts my heart. That poppy panel is so perfect, and well done on making the Emerald City to cover the trees.
I also have to admit that I was worried I had accidentally "unfollowed" your blog the other day and checked to make sure I wasn't missing your posts; I've missed your voice in blogland (so this is my way of saying I hope all is well).
The blog has been on the back-burner for the last while. Thank you so much for your message. It means a lot to me. Thanks for visiting!
Really lovely quilt, you put so much thought into it and it shows. My favorite part is your quilted rainbow across the top - great touch!
Thank you, Laura.
Sarah @ 123quilt
Holy wow! Sarah!!! This is amazing. I think my favorite part is the nod to the characters. You put so much thought into this. I'm sure it's going to be very special to your nephew in the years to come.
Thank you, Sarah. I really had fun with it. Such a fun theme to work with!
Sarah, I was wondering if I could commission this quilt from you with a few minor changes and how much would it cost?
Lianne, thank you so much for your interest in my work. I do not make commission pieces, though you are welcome to point another maker to my blog post for inspiration. If you find someone else to make the quilt for you, I'd love to see it once it is complete. Best wishes!
This is such a cool quilt! Hadn't seen it before!
Thank you, Sarah. It was so fun to make for my nephew. :-)
Andrée G Faubert
Hi Sarah, I really love the way that you FMQ the rainbow. It's a great idea and looks slightly transparent. Well done!
I'm not sure how I came up with that, but I was really happy with the effect. Thanks for visiting, Andrée.
This is such a special quilt. What a treasure for Jordan. I loved seeing your process making it.
Thank you, Marti. It's unbelievable that he is 4 now. It's fun for me how much he appreciates my quilts. (His house has the largest collection of my work.)