BCQuilter's Weblog

Fabric Collage – Quilt Art

Posted on: 20 March 2008

The weekend of March 15-16 was a great one! I didn’t know what I was in for. Allow me to tell you about it, but before I do, a little history.

Our guild, like most guilds plan events throughout the year. Our format is usually one Saturday class, and one Thursday demonstration each month. Sometimes the Saturday classes are a guild event, such as “Hands Across the Water” (another blog entry, another day). In the Spring, usually April they invite an instructor from out of town. This year’s out of town instructor was scheduled for March.

Our guild invited Ionne McCauley to teach two – one day workshops. The workshops selected were “Colour for the Terrified Quilter – Colour and Value” and “Fabric Collage”. I also have the book she wrote by Ionne and her co-author Sharon Pederson – “Colour for the Terrified Quilter”.

Something really cool happened on March 14. While on Vancouver Island, I stopped in at one of the quilt shops. I had become friendly with the proprietor over the last few summers, and wanted to let her know, I wouldn’t be working there (in her community) this summer. We chit-chatted a bit, and I mentioned I was taking a class at our guild that coming weekend, and mentioned Ionne’s name… Diane looked at me, and then pointed to the lady that was sitting across the table from her, and introduced me to Ionne! What a great surprise!

Saturday’s class was a lot of fun… we played with fabric, glue, and paper. I knew value was important… now I know how really important it is. There was one block I made, and I knew that one piece of fabric didn’t work, but wasn’t sure why… Ionne suggested I take a black and white picture of it with my camera. Now I see why… this one piece was the same value as those around it… so it “disappeared”. Was also a great example of intensity!

On the following Monday, I re-arranged my stash. Now I have a better feel for what I have… and what I need. The colour class was based on using fabrics which were one colour family… which meant pretty much, nothing extra… no novelty… So I took out all the fabrics which had more than one colour family… they are now stored by theme. The one colour fabrics are in my bins… I thought I had more of one colour, and less of another… now I know different. A much better idea, of what I need for when I go fabric shopping.

Sunday’s class was definitely something out of my element. I’m not saying I’m a traditionalist either, just inexperienced. I wouldn’t have considered myself a fabric artist. That being said… I am hooked on this method.

We were asked to bring a picture or a photo. It could be of anything. I decided upon a photo I had taken about 26-27 years ago… a winter sunrise over Baynes’ Sound.

I scanned the photo… the scanned image is lighter than the original. Details are more clear.

Winter Sunrise over Bayne’s Sound

With something like this you can re-create your image to size, or adjust as you wish. My photo is a standard 3″x5″, and I “blew” it up to 14″x18″. One of the difficulties I had was the scale… but as it is a representation, and not a copy, I fudged it.

As you can see the sun is just coming up over the island in the middle (which is further away than the island leading off to the right). And with the cloud formations you can just see the “glow” of the sun over top of the clouds. I recreated that in my collage. The collage is still a work in progress, although I think I am almost to where I want it.

Fabric Collage of Winter Sunrise over Baynes’ Sound.

To soften the reflection of the sun in the water, I used some white toile, and used a piece to represent a wave rolling in onto the beach.

I was considering borders today, when I discovered I needed more detail on the beach. My next step is to add the borders, I have decided to go with a black inner border, about 1/2″… or maybe 3/4″. Then a Blue/Black squared outside border… maybe.

Then I will be sandwiching and quilting… especially stitching down all the pieces. In some areas… there are several layers, and pieces to get the colour blending.

Would I do this again… you bet… I just need a few more items to add to my stash. Having a large palette… I mean stash of fabric, will definitely add to this technique.


7 Responses to "Fabric Collage – Quilt Art"

I like the idea of rearranging your stash according to colour values, something I really ought to do.

That’s a beautiful photo Alice, and the collage has so much more life to it – a great effort for a first try!

I keep forgetting to mention to you that one of my favourite books of all time is ‘I heard the owl call my name’ – still makes me cry! I’ve wanted to visit BC ever since reading it!!

Jen :o)

Thanks Jen,

I just need to finish it… which is intimidating… not sure why.


Is it because you’re doing it on your own without Ionne’s supervision and are concerned you’ll muff it up?

I can understand that!! 🙂

LOL…. no, I don’t think so.

I did the detail on the beach by myself :p

I think what it is, I’m trying to decide on what I want to do for a border… I’m thinking a very small 1/2-1″ black border, then using a blue/black “square” fabric for the outside border. (I’m repeating what I posted in the blog… LOL).

I’ll probably do it up tomorrow… I’m working on my eldest daughter’s quilt… Bear’s Paw… these blocks are huge! LOL

Ooo, Bear’s Paw – one of my favourite blocks!! 🙂

Wow, that’s lovely. Very evocative. Have you done more with it lately?

Hi Judy. Thank you. No, I have a few other projects on the go, so the landscape is on hold for now. -Alice

[…] had written about the Landscape Quilt in March, just after taking two of Ionne’s classes that our guild […]

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March 2008
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