Allie Aller and I agreed to a swap several months ago. She made me a CQ, "Barbara's Door", one of her lovely and extra-special house quilts, which I have hanging over my sewing machine for inspiration and mojo. In exchange, I am making her a Madonna Quilt.
I began with an image from Flor Larios, who sells fabric transfers of some of her painted images. I love the innocence of the figures in her work, plus the baby Jesus in this picture reminds me of my son Alex when he was a baby. He had the same round face and heavy black hair. I framed the image with a vintage napkin, which I strategically cut and pieced in order to get the parts of the rose print that I wanted.
I used the left-hand and bottom ribbons in the final composition. Allie sent me the woven ribbons, and the bottom one, which says "philosophy: believe in miracles" came to me with some wonderful bath salts from my daughter Allie. I've been saving it for a project like this. I also found the bit of lace in my stash. It's the perfect size for a wreath or crown for the Madonna.
I look these pictures with my phone, so they're not so crisp, but I used some textured fabric samples to piece half-square triangles for the outer border.
This is the rough mock-up of the piece. I must confess that I got stalled for a long time at this stage: there was something I didn't like about the composition, and I couldn't put my finger on it for awhile. In the meantime, I sewed and ripped out the pieced border in multiple configurations, several times. Finally, I successfully wrestled it to the ground. Next I'll show you the final composition and some embellishment.