It’s All About The Surface

Over the years I’ve accumulated a pile of fabrics I’ve created with paints, stencils, dyes, and other surface design techniques. Since I didn’t feel up to deep thought projects but wanted to make something after my surgery, I sorted that pile and cut up much of it into 5 inch squares. Then, I arranged the squares that seemed to go together into more or less traditional designs.

The resulting tops are totally about texture and color. I meant no discernible message. Each is about 41 inches square and has a border (gasp.)

“All Decked Out” is a trip around the world design made with fabric I designed or dyed, with one exception. The center is a paintstik rubbing of a glass salad plate, accented with embroidery. The surrounding squares are either Marcia Derse fabric (the darker fabric) or sun printed with a crocheted doily. The blue and white squares are from a silk screening class, while the multicolored squares suffered through four processes – dyeing, fabric collage, cheesecloth overlay, and stenciling. The dark and light rose squares are hand dyed, while the blue and white border fabric is from a photo of my deck I manipulated and printed through Spoonflower.

“Sur La Table” is made mostly from tablecloths I painted and dyed.  (Finally a use for high school French.) The yellow is damask that’s been printed with leaves, while the orange is a drop cloth I enhanced. The green strips are from a gradation and the outer border is linen I dyed. The diagonal strips are bias tape I made and some cording. The squares on the end of the green units are made from fabric I painted and stenciled. The thin green strip inside the border is Grunge fabric, the only fabric I didn’t mess around with.

I thought I’d do quick and dirty quilting on these, but already that isn’t going to plan. A group I belong to had lots of complicated ideas for quilting “All Decked Out.” Of course the ideas are much better than what I had envisioned, but also more work.


Filed under dyeing, Fabric Printing, In Process, Techniques

12 responses to “It’s All About The Surface

  1. I think these are both terrific. As I studied the top one, I was sure I would like it “best,” of however many there were I couldn’t see. But then I saw the second and now cannot claim a favorite.

  2. I like both of them. You have a great eye for color and composition. I think even simple squares, because of the way you use the prints/fabric “textures”, may look like a more complicated composition at first glance.

  3. jennyklyon

    I love these! Brilliant use of your fabrics. I’m curious to see your quilting plans for these.

  4. I think it’s fascinating that you can play around, embellish fabric willy nilly, and then still manage to come up with such satisfying end results! I especially like All Decked Out–on to the complicated quilting!

    • I was in a discussion a few days ago about whether you should stick to “your” colors when buying fabric. I guess I tend to stick to mine when I do surface design. Sometimes it’s because I add paint/printing/etc. layers en masse while I have the materials out, so that helps unify what begins as disparate fabrics. So glad you like my deck.

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