The “scene” is a hand-painted batik square. The “ground” below the square is a heavily-textured fabric that I cut from an old sweater. I have more of the sweater left – it may show up in another quilt sometime! Originally made in Australia, I found the sweater at a thrift shop.
The inspiration for this quilt was a greeting card. Different fabrics were fused to build up the picture. For the trees, I started off with a fabric that reminded me of birch tree bark. The front of the fabric seemed too brightly patterned, so I used the back of the fabric. Then I decided it wasn’t distinctive enough and added more detail and shading using a black magic marker. The fish and the sheep are iron-on decals.
My landscape was developed by cutting and fusing a variety of fabrics. The sky was a piece of fabric which I had painted. The colors are muted because I covered the top with a piece of brown netting before I quilted it.
Some brown velvet fabrics that reminded me of tree trunks inspired this quilt. The fawn is a commercial embellishment. Needing a focal point after the quilting was finished, I added the sun, coloring it in with an orange marker.
This quilt was inspired by a photograph of a bear drinking from a river, with his reflection showing in the water. The bear is made with fake fur. There are some areas of silver paint to simulate light on the fur. For the muzzle, I trimmed down the fur and then covered it with gold paint. Bruno has a button for his eye. The grasses and plantlife in the background were made with a variety of velvet fabrics. Gold and silver netting were used in the river to show sunlight reflecting off the water. Trying to get this picture to look as lifelike as possible made this quilt the most challenging one I’ve done.
This is one of my quilts that I raffled off to raise money for the Toys for Tots program. “Celebrating America” was done in 2001 following 9/11. I liked the way the top half of the quilt drew from the American flag. The scenery at the bottom was a collage of items cut from a variety of different fabrics.
This was the 2002 challenge quilt for our annual quilters guild show. The theme was “seasons” and the red used in the pagoda was the one required fabric. There also had to be some sort of house – I did the “pagoda teahouse” – and there also had to be a log cabin block somewhere in the quilt. I made one super-huge log cabin block, half blue and half green, turned in on point, and it forms the sky and grass of the quilt. The weird trees were cut from the smocked top of a formal dress. The people were fussy-cut from fabrics in my stash.
This quilt started with a large piece of blue fabric. I covered the back of the fabric with fusible web. After removing the paper, I held and folded the fabric in various places, cutting designs the way you would cut paper doilies. After a design was cut, I would lay a piece of colored fabric behind the openings, and carefully press it to the back of the quilt. When I was happy with the “fireworks,” I added the buildings at the bottom of the quilt. The “windows” in the buildings are holes cut with a paper punch.
With the exception of the heron, the fabrics in this quilt are pieces of silk that I painted with textile paints and inks. The paints spread like watercolors when dripped or brushed onto the silk, and it’s always interesting to see what the final result will be! The heron was printed onto fabric from a photograph I altered in Photoshop.
Heron Haven was my raffle quilt for 2004, to raise money for Toys for Tots. The background is a blue and pink batik fabric. I used clip art for the scenery and a photo of a heron, both of which I put into Photoshop and manipulated till I had a design that pleased me.
This quilt was inspired by a picture on a greeting card which I wanted to interpret in fabric. The balloon fabrics are from old blouses. The fabric used in the mountains had been a solid burgundy which I “treated” with bleach.
I painted this picture on a piece of white cotton fabric, using acrylic paints. It was mostly done with sponges instead of paint brushes. Some magic marker was used to help out with the reflection of the tree trunks in the water. The only fabric I added to the painting were the three ducks, to give the picture a focal point. The machine quilting gave more detail to the painting.
In 2006 I did an acrylic painting that I named “Purple Hills.” I made this quilt based on that painting. The fabrics are mostly velvets, and I added some “flowers” and a sailboat that didn’t appear in the original painting. I also like the quilt a whole lot better than I did the original painting.
If you read enough of these quilt descriptions, you’ll gather that I’m not exactly into piecing. The background squares, which looked like they’re pieced, are actually fused pieces of fabric. I fused the moon on top of the background. The dark brown border fabric actually contains the beige flowers. I cut extra flowers from the background fabric and fused them in strategic places. The butterflies are iron-on patches.
The orange/yellow background and the dark trees and bushes are batik flannels that beg to be touched. The day I bought the orange flannel, I found a photo in a magazine of a tree silhouetted against a sunset sky, and decided that would be my quilt. I enlarged the tree on the photocopier. I cut out the shapes and traced them onto fusible web, which I pressed onto the back of the black flannel. I then fused the tree/bushes onto the orange flannel. The border fabric is cut from the legs of some lounging pajamas that I found at a thrift shop. When it was time to quilt the piece, I stitched in all the medium and small branches. I used a zigzag stitch for the medium branches and a straight stitch for the smaller branches.
This quilt started with a piece of silk that I’d painted. Some of the “tree shapes” are fused on, as well as all the flowers in the bottom half of the quilt. The extensive machine quilting added to the design. I also hand-stitched some French knots along one side of the waterfall.
The background fabric is a beautiful batik. Most of the leaves and flowers came from fabrics in my stash of thrift shop clothing. The grapes are circles of fabric that I fused in clusters. I made a hummingbird with green fabrics, but it “disappeared” when I laid it on the quilt. I made a second hummingbird in pink and purple fabrics and that one worked. I named the quilt “St. Lucia” because it reminded me of a beautiful arboretum that we visited on the island of St. Lucia.
This design is from a book of Tiffany stained glass patterns. The quilt was build in layers, starting with the sky, the mountains, the water, and the foreground. Then the trees and flowers were fused to the background.
This quilt started with a shiny gold, permanently-pleated blouse from the thrift shop. Holding the blouse in my hand, and shaking it, the fabric reminded me of shimmering water, and that’s where I got the idea of doing a waterfall. The top foliage is made from pieces of interesting yarns, piled on top of the quilt, covered with white netting, and then sewn down on the quilt. Along the left side of the quilt I piled pieces from silk flowers and covered those with netting. Across the bottom of the quilt is more yarn sewn down under netting. If you notice the black dots down the side of the quilt, and across the bottom, those “dots” came on the dotted-swiss black netting which I used in those areas. There were some velvets used, as well as brocade from a vest.
The flowers in Waterway are from blouse fabrics, while the greenery is from hand-dyed cottons. In making the water, I used a blue batik cotton fabric that was printed with dolphins. I cut the fabric into pieces. The darker pieces were fused near the bottom/front of the quilt, and the lighter pieces near the top/back to give a sense of perspective. I then fused on strips of blue blouse fabrics to add to the sense of perspective. While there are dolphins swimming in the river, they’re more spirit than reality, since it’s almost impossible to see them.