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Ladybug Love: A Beginner-Friendly Collage Project!

A few weeks ago I met a woman who shared an experience that inspired me to make this little project, and I'll share it with you here! 

Six years ago, Sharon (not her real name) had an adult daughter (Emily) succumb to breast cancer.  During her treatments with chemo visits and hospital stays, Emily always carried a tiny glass ladybug in her pocket that had been given to her by someone who was hoping to bring her some cheer.  Ladybugs became Emily's "token".  Her mother Sharon would think of her daughter anytime she saw cute ladybug socks or other small item, and was happy to give her ailing daughter a gift with a ladybug to remind her of the tiny things in life that can bring us joy.

One night after Emily had passed, Sharon was grieving and reflecting on her daughter.  She wanted so much to recall the sound of Emily's voice and to see in her mind the face of her beloved daughter.  Try as she might, her memories were beginning to fade and it was unsettling to Sharon.  She prayed to God that He would help her to remember what her daughter looked like.  She arose from her prayer and was dismayed to feel like God didn't hear her prayer because she still couldn't recall the details of her daughter that she was seeking to remember.  With a heavy heart she climbed the stairs to head to bed for the night.  She flipped on the bedroom lamp and was humbled to see that there was a ladybug crawling on her bedding!  Sharon knew then that God was aware of her and that He had provided her with this simple miracle as a token of His awareness of the prayer and the pain that she carried as a grieving mother.  

Well, of course, hearing this tender story touched me deeply.  As a mother, the fear of losing a child has to be the greatest vulnerability we have.  I so much wanted to lift Sharon's burden, in anyway, if at all possible.  Her story also hit home to me because my own daughter is MY ladybug!  Ladybug has been my knick name for Amelia since she was a baby. 

I resolved that day to make a little ladybug treasure for Sharon!  And I invite you to join with me as I teach you how to make this project.  Perhaps there is someone you know who needs a little ladybug love in their life!

This is a simple project to complete, and will provide a great introduction to textile collage.  

Here is the schedule for this small "Quilt Along" project:

Week One

Prepare your work surface

I like to use a piece of foam core covered in felt.  Foam core is sold at craft stores like Hobby Lobby, in the framing section and can be cut to any size about 12" x 18" is good!  Tape or staple wool felt (or cotton batting) to the top of the foam core.  

Gather supplies- 

Good fabric scissors (I love my 6" Karen Kay Buckley scissors); 

• Parchment paper (baking paper, sold at grocery stores); 

Ladybug kit (includes fabric, pattern AND Lite Steam a Seam 2) OR use the pattern from the Garden party pattern and select your own fabric.

•Trace the template onto parchment paper

•Prepare fabric with Lite Steam a Seam 2

•Watch Emily's live collage demonstration

•Start collaging your ladybug on the parchment paper

Week Two

•Peel the ladybug collage away from parchment and apply to background fabric (included in the KIT).  

•Create a composition, add fussy cut elements if desired.

•Watch Emily's discussion about creating a pleasing composition and quilting.

Week Three

•Make a quilt sandwich, quilt the pillow top

•Pre-recorded quilting tutorial

Week Four

•Make a pillow cover with the quilted ladybug. Pillow inserts available HERE

•Share your progress in the Collage Quilter Academy Facebook Group!

•Watch Emily's Monday Live Video (now recorded)