Mardi Gras Embroidered Wall-Hanging

A few years ago the theme for our annual guild challenge was “Carnival.” As usual, there were lots of great entries. Immediately, my mind went to “Mardi Gras”.

Mardi Gras 4

I started by making a couple masks and embellishing them with various trims and glitz. The black on dots that you see on the black mask above are actually black swarovski crystal glitz.

Mardi Gras 7

I quilted the background in the center of the piece with some wavy lines to accentuate the wavy vibe of the fabric.

I hand stitched fireworks on the black border using shiny embroidery thread and beads.


Mardi Gras 6 I used the embroidery machinge to make 3-D flowers and to applique some cocktail drinks onto the piece.

I attached a few Mardi Gras beaded necklace by hand.

Since I was working on this into the wee hours of the morning on the day the challenge was due, I ran out of time to do a proper binding. So, I pulled out the serger and the metallic thread and  finished the edge of the whole piece with using a serged edge. Oddly enough, I think it worked out better than the solid black traditional fabric binding I had planned. Here is the finished piece.

Mardi Gras wall-hanging by Melanie Watson

Mardi Gras wall-hanging by Melanie Watson

The photo just doesn’t do it justice. The colors are much more vibrant in person. You can see the colors a little better in the close-up of this flower.Mardi Gras 5

For the center of the flower, I used a bead that I took took off an old purse that I bought at a church rummage sale. I think I paid 75 cents for the purse..

Vintage Beaded Purse


The whole purse was covered in beads. Yes, I did cut every bead off, one by one.  Well, not every bead. The handle was made of 2  metal stringers that the beads were threaded on. I left the handles intact. You never know when you will want a beaded handle to accessorize a homemade purse!



Things that make me smile:

  • Pretty beads at a bargain price!
  • Meeting fellow quilters, in person and online.
  • Checking out great blogs. Most recently, and
  • Paula’s donuts! They are the best in Western New York! They even made BuzzFeed’s list of “33 Doughnuts You Have to Try Before You Die.” BuzzFeed mentioned their Frosted Angel Cream. My personal favorite is the Strawberry Shortcake, which combines the angel cream filling with strawberry jelly in one donut!

Let’s go spread some sunshine!


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