While we art quilters, or at least this one, would like to think all our work springs fresh from our creative minds, sometimes already made sources give us a head start. Like cheater cloth, fabric that mimics the look of patchwork but only needs quilting, I have used a tea towel and motifs from a bedsheet to do the heavy lifting for two of my current projects.
Because I follow Clare Youngs, a talented collagist and print maker, on Instagram, I learned she had designed a tea towel for Werkshoppe, a company that prints original artwork on products like puzzles and tea towels. Even though I find the company’s name painfully precious, I ordered a few towels and set about to translate one of Youngs’ motifs into a border.
Youngs uses a flying geese type pattern a lot in her work, so I thought a wonky version would make a good border. To keep the long pieces straight I created a freezer paper piecing pattern and used my tutorial for construction. It’s a good thing I could refer to it as I had forgotten a few steps. I scrapped my original plan for a double border when it became apparent I didn’t have enough fabric bits. I always underestimate the amount of fabric triangular paper piecing takes.
For the back I dug out an old unfinished top that was partially disassembled and will add solid strips of orange fabric that’s been in my drawer for too long to bring it up to size. I am thinking of a traditional binding in black as I may use this on a table.
My other assisted start project came about as an effort to use my fused fabric scraps. That’s right, yet another scrap collection. A friend had given me pieces of a sheet that was printed with stylized birds. I had attached fusible but never used them. I picked out any fused scraps that could represent leaves or flowers, found a blue piece of a tablecloth I used under painted fabric, and started composing with my scissors.
Next, I got creative with Fabrico fabric markers (I have had them at least 9 years) to touch up stems, leaves, and petals. I plan to quilt it to the piece of black felt shown in the photo above and call it done. My working title is “Three Little Birds,” a tribute to the Bob Marley song. I mean, you can’t get more upbeat than that.
However, all quilting will have to wait for my injured left hand index finger to heal (I am a southpaw.) You should see me trying to type – slow and inaccurate.
I am linking to Off The Wall Fridays.
“Photo Memory Quilts” Book Review
It’s been a long time since I reviewed a fiber art book here, partly because I haven’t found ones I thought were interesting enough and partly because there seem to be fewer craft books published these days. Thanks to my library I came upon Lesley Riley’s latest book, “Photo Memory Quilts,” which I really could have used a year ago when I was making my unknown family quilts.
The book combines discussion of why you would want to make a memory quilt, ways to get ideas for one, and nuts and bolts of constructing one. It has examples of quilts made by Lesley and others, so you’re presented with many different approaches.
Lesley begins with how to photograph old photos. She doesn’t assume you own all the photos you will use, but gives specific online resources for copyright free photos. Then she shows how to edit photos for printing on fabric and gives pros and cons of several printing methods. Of the methods she reviews, I have tried printing directly to prepared fabric sheets (Jacquard,) and on demand digital printing. I have used two other methods – cyanotype, and Solar Fast – though not with photo negatives. Lesley is so right that your editing before printing is important to get the look you want.
Two points of note here: Lesley is the developer of TAP artist transfer paper and she uses Apple products for editing, especially an iPhone. I haven’t used the paper, mostly because it costs about $3 per 8.5 by 11 inch sheet, so I can’t give any opinions there. I have an Android phone, but found the features available on my phone that I tried worked fine. I am looking forward to experimenting with suggested apps for sharpening blurry images and colorizing them.
Once your photos are on fabric and you have a design, Lesley walks you through some of her quilt construction methods, including edge finishes. Basically, it’s whatever works, including wood glue. She doesn’t treat the three layer quilt as sacred. Quilting is enough to hold the parts together, but isn’t dominant in the examples shown.
Would you to see some examples?
If you’re interested in this kind of quilt I recommend you at least page through this book. It has lots of helpful advice and examples, without being a pattern book.
Filed under Art quilts, Books, Commentary, Completed Projects, Techniques
Tagged as "Photo Memory Quilts", copyright free photo sources, Lesley Riley, memory quilt examples, photo editing