I made it back home from San Francisco late last night and finished up my 5 x7 “Cilantro” piece today.  
“Cilantro” by Christina Fairley Erickson
Freehand machine embroidery, decorative stitching and freemotion quilted
Since I already had the machine embroidered cilantro done, all I had to finish up was the background.  For this, I started with stitching the name “Cilantro” as I had with my other Salsa pieces.  To do this, I printed the word on a piece of paper-piecing paper in a funky font and then just stitched the letters out and tore away to paper.  Then I chose a few different decorative stitches to start with.
Cilantro freemotion quilting design

Next, I wanted to fill the middle space with freemotion quilting.  I drew out this design which I based on cilantro leaves.  I like how it looks and was ready to try it out.

However, I then lay my machine embroidered Cilantro on top of the drawn design.  I don’t think it was complementary at all!  I’d like to try the leaf pattern somewhere, but this wasn’t the right place.

Cilantro freemotion quilting design with cilantro machine
embroidery on top

Background getting filled in with cubing

So, I decided to check my favorite resource, Leah Day’s FreeMotion Quilting Project, and thought that I could slightly modify her “Cubing” design.  I worked the design at an angle or on-point, as well as putting in a lot of rectangular shapes, rather than mostly all squares.

After that, I only had to applique down my machine embroidery.  Due to the thin stalks and ruffled edges of the cilantro, I decided to cut the embroidery along the edge, color in the edges and machine applique it (rather than hand-applique as I did on the others.)  I did put a minimal amount of trapunto batting under a few leaves and left some of the edges loose, so it has a more 3-D effect.

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18 replies
  1. Sam
    Sam says:

    Great choice in free motion design. I really like your leaves design but you made a good choice with the play on cubing. Great colours, I love everything about this piece.


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