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Designing a Whole Cloth Freemotion Quilt

Motifs and Symbols Provencaux

(The first draft combining the symbols and motifs into a continuous design.)

Through the ages the people of the southern regions of France in Provence and Languedoc, have revered and celebrated the generosity of the light and the natural beauty of their land. These colours and images have been immortalized in various art forms. The repertoire of motifs and symbols that has develpoed through local traditions is vast and covers many areas of nature (flowers, trees,fruits and veg, animals, etc.) , as well as objects representing sentiments of life (hearts, stars, crosses, etc.).

When recently designing a quilt, whose main focus was to be a "sanglier", or the wild boar found in the thickets and brambles of the French countryside, I chose designs that would likely be found in these regions. The centre motif is a very large "Sanglier". He is surrounded by scrolls and vines of thistles, artichoke blossoms, acanthus leaves, ghekos, cigales, etc., all held together by the ever symbolic "fleur de lis", the emblem representing the whole of France.

Once the research has been done, I begin the process of drafting the pattern. The first step is gathering and drawing the images that will be used. Wherever possible, I use my own photographs as a guide an inspiration. Once the rough images have been drafted, my husband enters them into his computer aided drawing program, refines the images and re-sizes them to my requirements. The last step in this initial stage, is to trace the resized and refined drawing onto vellum, which will be the pattern used to trace the design onto the fabric.

(Rough drawn symbols and images. These images are then connected to the "fleur de lis" to make a design that can be sewn in a continuous line. (photo at the top of the blog entry) )

(Image - Refined and resized with CAD.)

(Final tracing onto vellum. This tracing will be used on a light table to trace the pattern onto the fabric)


  1. Great entry! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow...I'm speechless. The wholecloth tablecloth turned out beautifully.

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