Linda 3-20-09:  After several attemps, I finally came up with a design which I think will work.  I have divided the circle into 12 wedges. I used an 8-sided point-to-point spiral, two 4-sided Nesting spirals which are mirror images and one 4-sided baravelle spiral.  There are also several filler pieces to complete the design. This is still a work-in-process.

RaNae: Linda, this is a beautiful design.  Did you draft it in EQ or some other program?  

Linda mandala-1a Are you pretty set on this design or are you still experimenting?  Given your aptitude for this, I’m really curious to see what you would come up with if you escape from 4-sided shapes… 


Linda 3-29-09: I have worked some more on my design which I sent to you on 3/23/09.  I changed the center of the mandala and created a second wedge  which can be used with the first wedge or by itself.  From these two wedges, I have created the following mandalas.  I think I like the last one the best. 


This mandala uses only the second wedge.  The first two wedges are in the same direction, followed by two wedge in the opposite direction.  It created three different designs in the outer shapes. 


This mandala uses only the first wedge, in mirrored pairs. 


This mandala uses the second wedge in mirror pairs. 


 This one is my favorite and uses both wedges in mirror pairs. 


I saw that you were asking how to create the whole design in EQ6.  These designs are too complex for EQ6 make without some creative manipulations.  [Instructions for creating mandalas in EQ can be found on the disc that came with Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts.] 

If you think these mandalas are good, my next step would be to look at fabrics. 

RaNae:  Linda, I agree with you that the last design in the strongest, though the alternating black “mustache” and “ribbons” in the first design are really interesting as well.  Could you perhaps color the center of the first design more like the center of the last one?  Just wondering…  

How large you are going to do this?  Some of your spirals get pretty small, so you want to work in a size large enough to be comfortable for you.  

You’ve got some great designs and yes, I think you are ready to go ahead and look at fabrics.  ATAGIRL! 

Linda, 4-7-09: I had the same idea of using the outside of the first design with the center of the last design. I did some more manipulations and created this design. I am now looking at fabrics. I plan on making this block about 40-45 inches sq. plus borders. Anything smaller will become to difficult to piece. In some places I will use an add-an-eight ruler instead of an add-a-quarter ruler. 


I like Jinny Beyer fabrics and plan on using them in this design. I will graduate the colors in the fans and the red “flowers”. When I graduated the colors in the blue & green areas, the design becomes too busy. 

I plan on starting on this soon. Meanwhile, I will still work on other designs because I still want to make either a mandala or 8-sided figure with african animal prints. 

I will send additional pictures of my progress on the different areas of the quilt.  Linda 

RaNae: Linda, BRAVA!  This is gorgeous.  Among many other things, I love how the bright-colored ‘needles’ in the outer ring pick up the form of the star in the center. 

Linda 4-13-09:  I have started working on my mandala and have some of my spirals sewn together. I will send pictures later. 

Linda 5-22-09:  Thought I would send you some pictures of my mandala so you can see how it is progressing. The first picture shows all of my shapes before I started sewing.  [Click on the images to see them larger]  The next picture is my eight sided shape. There are twelve of them. Although the colors are all the same, there are 6 different colorings of these blocks. I finished all twelve and had to remake 2 of them because the fabric was in the wrong places.  (R.  One of the reasons I recommend marking your colors on the actual foundations that you sew to.) 

Linda M progress 1 Linda M progress 2  

The next two pictures are some of my other shapes. 

Linda M progress 3 Linda M progress 4  

The picture on the left is a partial quarter of the mandala and the last picture is the twelve 8-sided shapes. 

Linda M progress 5 Linda M progress 6 

Hopefully in the next week or 10 days, I will have all the shape pieced sewn and will be putting them together. I will send more pictures then. 

RaNae:  Linda, it’s so exciting to watch this come together!  Thank you for sharing your progress all the way through the process! 

Linda 6-17-09: I have finished my first Mandala. To me, it looks like calla lillies, so I think that is going to be its name. Here are some pictures. I am going to have a friend of mine do the quilting. 

Linda M mandala calla lillies 1 

Linda M mandala calla lillies 2  Linda M mandala calla lillies 3 

RaNae: Linda, it’s GORGEOUS!!!!!  Wow!  Beautiful work!  I’m so proud of you!  (Nice border too….) 


19 Responses to “Designing Dancing Calla Lilies

  1. RaNae Says:

    (Linda wrote this but it somehow it ended up in as a draft in my Posts. I’m moving it here for her. — R.)


    My name is Linda McGibbon . When I was in grade school, I began sewing clothes but quit during my college years. I moved to Beaverton, Michigan in 2003 and joined a group of quilters about 4 years ago. This was my first experience with quilting. I enjoy making paper pieced quilts and I use EQ6 to make my owe designs. I have already used “Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts” to make one table topper. I am very excited about working on RaNae’s new project.


  2. scowlkat Says:

    Wow, Linda! These are amazing! Thanks for the posting your work as it has progressed! I am having a difficult time getting the hang of this and think this will help me tremendously!


  3. DiannaK Says:

    Linda, Do you EQ? If so I have a few question on using the program. Dianna

    Dianna & Linda, would you please carry out this discussion on the blog so that everyone can learn from the process? You can do that here, using the Reply box, and it will show up in the Dashboard and in my email. I can then direct people to relevant information via my daily update posts. Thanks. R.

    • RaNae Says:

      Linda & Dianna, I’m sure there are others who would benefit from your discussion about EQ — would you share it online?

    • Linda M in Michigan Says:

      Hi Dianna, I created my designs using EQ6 . I have been using it for about 2 years and have done alot of experimenting with the program. If you have questions, I will try answering them. But why don’t you ask me the questions on the blog so others can follow our discussion. In my last email to RaNae, I did post some of my steps in getting complex designs into EQ6.

      Dianna & Linda, would you please carry out this discussion on the blog so that everyone can learn from the process? You can do that here, using the Reply box, and it will show up in the Dashboard and in my email. I can then direct people to relevant information via my daily update posts. Thanks. R.

    • RaNae Says:

      Please read the post entitled “Some thought on Electric Quilt” dated 4-8-08. If you have questions, please direct them to me. Thanks – R.

  4. Mary Ann in Wisconsin Says:

    Truly gorgeous, Linda!

  5. Betsy V Says:

    These are amazing! I have tried to draw a few sprials in one block and EQ crashes. Which block did you save as a jpeg? Can you give us some tips?

    • Linda M in Michigan Says:

      My EQ crashes frequently too. I do lots of saving to avoid losing my work. I will also get a message telling me that my design is too complex. When I cleanup my work by going back and deleting lines that have alot of partitions in them and replacing them with a solid line, this message goes away. All of those little partitions take up EQ’s memory. I also only work in one or two partitions.
      I have had several requests and questions on how I create these mandalas in EQ. I will try to put together some information with pictures over the next couple of days and send it to Ranae. When she receives it, maybe she can put them in a seperate category for EQ tips.

  6. Holly W Says:

    Linda, all I can say is WOW! this is great.

  7. Susan A Says:

    Thank you for the link to Jinny Beyer’s fabric–I will definitely put it on my list. I spent quite a bit of time searching the internet yesterday for a border fabric, with no luck. I think I’ll hit some quilt shops today!
    I like you last design too. Changing the inner symmetry to two intersecting triangles makes it much more interesting. These are all going to be beautiful when their done, aren’t they?
    Susan A

  8. Susan O Says:

    Linda, I finally looked up your 4-7 instructions per R’s suggestion and gave it a try. I had to brush up on the rotate and fussy cutting fabric tools but they work like a champ! Thanks!

    Susan O

  9. Dottie Lankard Says:

    Wow, love your latest designs. The birds are awesome! And I love your idea about creating your first block and saving it as a jpeg and using it as fabric and fussing cutting and rotating it to create designs, but, did I miss it, what does that block look like? Dottie

  10. Susan O Says:

    Hi Linda,

    I’ve been designing quilts ala your wedge-as-fabric technique. I’m having a %^& of a time trying to get a 60 degree wedge in correct rotation. The User’s Manual is pretty obscure on the advanced rotation fabric settings. I haven’t had any problems on the last several I’ve made but this one is driving me crazy. Do you have any hints or advice? Would you like to answer this off list? If so, my addy is

    Susan O

  11. Susan O Says:

    Linda, Never mind. I think I was having a senior moment. All is now well.

    Susan O

  12. Dottie Lankard Says:

    Linda, that is just beautiful! Wow!!! Dottie

  13. Betsy V Says:


    Your quilt is awesome. It’s so true to your plan too. Your work is inspring.


  14. valerie_y Says:

    It is very helpful to see the steps in your process. And inspiring to see a completed quilt. These are lovely. … Valerie

  15. kerrydi H Says:

    Linda, This is really wonderful and you are on to another one already, amazing. Valerie is correct it is very helpful to see your progress and I will use it in designing my own mandalas in the future.

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