June 2, 2010

Melinda Bula, author of Candy Cane Lane (our featured appliqué book from last August) is a master of fusing realism into her fabulous floral art quilts.


In this visually rich book, the author shares her process for creating colorful, shaded, detailed, realistic flowers in fabric and thread, and encourages us to start with our own photos of the flowers we’d like to render. “I want you to experience the same thrill I get when I create,” she says. “Everything you need to know about making Cutting-Garden quilts is in this book, and even if you don’t feel like you have an ounce of creativity in you, I assure you that anyone can make these quilts with amazing results.”

For those who’d rather start with some training wheels, Melinda includes five patterns to get you going, with easy-to-follow steps and a fabric key to help with color selection.

The book starts out with a gorgeous gallery for your inspiration. The gallery also serves to show the author’s progression through the development of her techniques and understanding of color and depth.


Then Melinda writes about the creative process (stop stomping on your own creativity!) and emphasizes the need for a place to work. Then, on to fabulous fusible appliqué, going through supplies, subject matter, making an outline drawing, enlarging it, creating a color palette, finding just the right fabrics, using the fusible web, making the appliqués, and putting it all together!


Look at all those different subtle colors that went into making white flowers!

Another thing that Melinda is fantastic at is threadwork as part of developing the fabric art. She tells you everything about it, from batting to presser feet (foots?) to thread choices to tension. There’s information on tacking down the edges of the appliqués, then moving on to adding shadows, highlights, and other thread details. (I can testify that this is a gorgeous part of the process, as I was lucky enough to be a quilt holder when Melinda came to speak at my guild, and oooh.)


Visit the author’s blog, Melinda’s Cutting Garden.

I have a copy of Cutting Garden Quilts to give away, courtesy of That Patchwork Place. Leave a comment by 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 6, to enter the drawing. U.S. and Canada only please (unless you’d be willing to pay the shipping).

To those of you who are subscribed by email, click over to the blog itself and scroll to the bottom of the post to leave your comment there.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie


30 Responses to “Fuse a fabulous Cutting Garden”

  1. Kathleen C on June 2nd, 2010 9:52 am

    Thanks for a wonderful blog with your links to applique artists and patterns. I’m currently doing a one-block-plus-borders hand appliqued wall quilt in red and gold. The pattern is a simple Princess Feather designed by Gwen Marston (but not liberated like her patchwork), based on an antique quilt.
    However, I’ve tried my hand at fusible applique and I loved that too–except that I need help.! Melinda’s book looks and sound lovely, as her “gardens” are.
    Thank you, Kathleen C.

  2. Sarah on June 2nd, 2010 9:53 am

    Oh wow, what gorgeous work! I’d love this book. Thanks so much for blogging about it, and mentioning Melinda’s site – I’m adding it to my RSS feeds right now!

  3. Cindy Davis on June 2nd, 2010 9:58 am

    What wonderful quilts! I would love to learn her technique.

  4. betsy on June 2nd, 2010 11:34 am

    Kay, thank you for the chance to win.

  5. Dana on June 2nd, 2010 11:58 am

    I am a HUGE fan of Melinda’s work! I watched her on The Quilt Show three times! I am so amazed by how real her flowers look. I hope to be able to take a class with her one of these days!

  6. Erin in MI on June 2nd, 2010 2:12 pm

    This looks like a gorgeous book – and on a technique I haven’t tried yet. Add me to the draw please!

  7. Nikki on June 2nd, 2010 4:06 pm

    Melinda’s quilts are amazing and I would love the opportunity to learn her techniques.

  8. Linda Hall on June 3rd, 2010 4:42 am

    Amazing work! Thanks for sharing

  9. SewLindaAnn on June 3rd, 2010 5:38 am

    I’d love to win a copy. Her work looks wonderfully detailed.

  10. Chris on June 3rd, 2010 6:30 am

    I LOVE to machine applique!!! I would love to learn how to create a design without sewing withing the lines.

  11. Nancy Day on June 3rd, 2010 6:34 am

    Have done flowers, mine look so flat! Would love to learn her technique.

  12. Barb Rohrmayr on June 3rd, 2010 9:16 am

    I have enjoyed Melinda Bula’s work for quite a while. I recently returned from a trip to the Mainland and was overwhelmed with the flowers. This would be a wonderful time to begin such a project under Melinda’s guidance. BarbR=!=

  13. Vera Nugent on June 3rd, 2010 1:23 pm

    The book is gorgeous! I’m sure I’ll learn a lot, like the many different shades of the white flowers. I sure hope I win! Thanks for bringing so much info to us all.

  14. Mary R on June 3rd, 2010 7:25 pm

    wow, that was a great post and it reminder me of seeing one of her quilts in person at Houston. So much talent, thank you.

  15. Leona on June 3rd, 2010 8:27 pm

    what awesome flowers. Love your site.

  16. katieQ on June 4th, 2010 3:57 am

    This looks like a fabulous book! How lovely of you to offer your readers a way to win it.

  17. Patricia on June 4th, 2010 9:43 am

    Thanks for sharing this book with us. Her flowers are stunning! I enjoy your informative blog and appreciate the chance to win her book.

  18. Sandi M on June 4th, 2010 1:09 pm

    Thanks for giving us another chance to win a great book. The flowers in the book are wonderful.

  19. Sandra Davidson on June 4th, 2010 4:29 pm

    I love your blog Kaye and all the things you share with us. I would just adore to have that book it looks so beautiful.

  20. Sarah Vee on June 5th, 2010 7:33 am

    Please enter me in the drawing, Kay. This book looks like wonderful inspiration with great instructions to push me into playing with some thread. Thanks for the chance and another great review.

  21. wes m on June 5th, 2010 10:31 am

    BEAUTIFUL!, As an avid gardner and quilter I truly appreciate and admire the quality of this applique method…I have to try it! These flowers look real enough to pick! I would love to win this book, if not…guess I’ll just have to buy it! thanks

  22. darla on June 5th, 2010 10:45 pm

    Kay – thanks for the great review of this book…looks very interesting.

  23. Edna/HandmadeDIVA on June 6th, 2010 7:42 pm

    I’m absolutely loving your applique blog. So many wonderful quilts, etc to see.

  24. anna lee on June 6th, 2010 11:50 pm

    Gorgeous flowers! I just told my daughter look at this book. maybe one of us will get it. mine never turn out this good

  25. kathy g on June 6th, 2010 11:53 pm

    lovely …what fun.. it only I can do it so well

  26. kate on June 7th, 2010 12:00 am

    My garden at the moment is as beautiful as the flowers on your bog..if I could can get them on fabric =sort of. yeah.

  27. kathy on June 7th, 2010 1:16 am

    i would love to try this
    the flowers are to die for…..

  28. Flowers for Betsy : All About Applique on June 7th, 2010 8:51 am

    […] winner of Melinda Bula’s Cutting-Garden Quilts is… drum roll… Betsy! […]

  29. 機場接送 on October 24th, 2012 4:50 pm

    A actually great submit by you my friend. We have bookmarked this page and will appear back following several days to examine for any new posts that you simply make.

  30. debi bryant on May 20th, 2016 11:35 am

    I am just discovering the “Flower Garden Cutting” teqniques and am jumping up and down to get a copy of the book! I paint and the idea Melinda uses…to paint with fabric… mind blown! Where have I been? Wonderful, beautiful, fantastic!