Sonia Ruiz – Series #3 – Complementary

Complementary Sugar Skull
For the complementary red/green theme, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.  I first started gathering red and green fabrics, then began eliminating fabrics until I was left with some interesting pieces.   For the Sugar Skull, I used scraps of a red fabric with roses on it.  I collaged the red fabric on some heat and bond that I had drawn the skull on and ironed it to fuse the fabrics.  Once fused I cut my image out and I continued  to prepared it to be appliquéd onto the background.
I auditioned lots of fabrics for the background but nothing caught my eye until I found a sheer polyester fabric that was from my moms stash.  I like texture so I began playing with the sheer fabric trying to figure out how to place it that would be pleasing to me.  I finally decided I wanted folds and pleats, so on a dark green background I lightly sprayed some basting spray and then started manipulating the fabric into different fold and pleats.  I liked the result but I wasn’t satisfied yet. I removed the sheer and began cutting into a lime green piece of lace and began adding it to the dark green background.  I liked the contrast and texture.  Now I was ready to reattach the sheer over the lace with the folds and tucks.
In the previous abstract quilt we were ask to incorporate fabric which we will be using in our complementary quilt, well I am using the same green and red colored fabric of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that I had used in the eyes.
Once the background was how I wanted, I placed the skull appliqué and the images of Our Lady Of Guadalupe and fused them down.  I covered the appliqué with black tulle and then couched the skull with a black thin cording with a zigzag stitch.  I trimmed off the excess tulle and simply quilted it following the folds and pleats of the fabric.  I embellished with some pearls, a ribbon cross on the forehead and for the mouth, a piece of a strap of my daughters old flip flops.  The binding is made from a sheer lime green 1 inch ribbon from my recycled ribbon stash.



Close up view:


Other pieces in the series:


  1. Wow, love your interpretation it certainly compliments your series, well done.

  2. Very creative use of fabrics which is very effective. A great end to your series.

  3. I really like your choice of colour and how you have treated the background.

  4. joanbrailsford

    You created a very interesting background of manipulated fabric that really highlights the skull design to good effect. I like the way you have carried your motif through this series . Well done

  5. Well done. Creative work! It has an ephemeral quality. The sheer fabric is very effective.

  6. The lace and the folds of the sheer makes it a very interesting background. I love how you keep using your scraps and even a piece of your daughters old flip flops. A very Mexican series.

  7. The background gives a wonderful sense of movement and depth, I love your series. Bravo.

  8. Love the way you build up the background and it fits perfectly with the red skull. Think you realised a nice piece to complete your wonderful series.

  9. I agree with the others that you created a beautiful background. A nice Mexican series!

  10. studiociboulette

    Incredible Sonia. I absolutely love it. So much movement….it’s alive….


    The outlining has created quite a scary sugar skull candy. Thank you for the details on the trials and errors of creating the stunning background.

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