To help raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis the option was there to purchase a set of Mandala templates from Maureen Russell of Beautiful Embroidery Designs. This also gave you the opportunity to be entered in the raffle.
I am working on a Mandala design anyway, so this was a great opportunity as well as benefiting a good cause. Our local Quilt Guild has thrown out a challenge to create a Mandala quilt of about 50 -60cm with any quilting technique allowed.
So, I did purchase Justin's Magical Mandalas from Beautiful Embroidery Designs, however did not use them as yet, as I had started doing my own Mandala design using Cindy Needham's Ultimate Stencil.
The stencil is 12.5in and I think Cindy is now selling it with a transparency to go with it so you can draw your designs on it and just wipe it off. I have a smaller paper master template that I could draw on but given that my Mandala had to be bigger that did not work for me that well. In the end I had to draw it out at the size that I wanted it, about 20in. For this I had to extend the stencil. I dreaded this a bit, but as it turned out this was very easy to do and works well. I use paper from Ikea for drawing...it is nice and thick and comes in a big roll. I drew the stencil onto the paper and then extended the lines out to the desired width. As I did not want to get my brand new stencil dirty I used the blue marker to draw it which was easy to do as the marker pen fits right into the slots...this worked also well for me as the blue lines were not so distracting as I started to draw. When using the paper template I found that I sometimes just get overwhelmed with all the lines. I think everybody has to find their own way of what works best for them with these stencils and the more you use them the easier it gets. They are unbelievably useful and I was actually quite amazed at how easy it was to draw my design.
This is my Mandala design...rough doodle of what it may look like. Started off very disciplined in the beginning, but lost focus in the end and just doodled...
Actually not that simple to make a design for freemotionquilting...while you are drawing it you also have to consider what areas do you want to recede and what areas do you want to stand out and what that might look like in relation to other elements. I was also thinking that I could use different colours to stitch, but we'll see...as you can see I have started to fill in some areas with some stippling and very rudimentary grids...I think that will work really well. A little bit more work required but definitely stuck on the design.
Linking up to Quiltshopgal's Bee Creative Linky Party to show of my WIP. I hope that other bloggers will consider donating a small amount of money to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by purchasing the downloadable Mandala collection. Nice resource to have and endless opportunity to fill them in with FMQ designs as demonstrated by Wendy Sheppard this week.