In the fall of 2019 I had the pleasure of participating in a class taught by Sue Benner at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. The class focused on two techniques: monoprinting with textile paints and fabric fusion. During the class I was able to create a number of fiber art pieces. One of them is the focus of today’s post. Let’s examine the finished project.
Measuring 19 3/4″ x 29 1/4″ the art quilt was assembled from a variety of fabric shapes and sizes. Among the fabrics included are gauze, synthetic fibers, and cotton. Most of the materials were dyed commercially. The blue and teal leaf pattern was monoprinted by myself. Two of the items that were included were harvested from an article of clothing. You can identify them by looking for buttonholes.
A fusible material was applied to the back of each fabric. As the shapes were cut out and rearranged they were temporarily fused to a non-stick surface. Once the desired size and arrangement was achieved the entire piece was removed from the non-stick surface and adhered to the black cotton. A quilt sandwich of cotton batting and a fabric backing was assembled. The pieced center was quilted with a geometric pattern using a variegated thread. To the black cotton I stitched rows of straight line quilting using black thread. The fiber art quilt was finished with facings, a label and a hanging sleeve. Fusion I is currently on display in my home.
Before closing let me thank you for showing an interest in my activities. I am grateful for your participation and look forward to your comments.
I participated in a 2019 class taught by Sue Benner, a well-known fiber artist. The theme of the class was fabric fusing. Each project contains a backing, batting and of course a fabric layer. The top layer is created from fabric that has a fusible material adhered to the back. From those manipulated fibers shapes are cut. The shapes are overlapped 1/4” and fused onto a surface. Those steps are then repeated until a finished design has been achieved. Once finished the entire composition is peeled off in one piece and permanently fused to the batting.
I used a variety of materials in my composition. Among them you will see hand dyed fabrics, hand stamped squares, and cheese cloth with raveling edges. Even the cheese cloth had a layer of fusible attached to it.
Once the layers had cooled it was time to add the quilting and other finishing touches. I quilted mine with a variegated thread. Using my sewing machine I stitched an all-over square-like pattern that emulated the shapes of my fabrics. I completed my composition with a binding, hanging sleeve and a hand stitched label. My finished fiber art piece measures 13 3/8” x 13 3/8”.
Before creating the label for my project I needed to select a name. I chose to call it Rectangles and Squares because of the shapes that were used in the assembling of my piece.
I have used this process to create several other items. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to attend Sue’s class and learn her techniques. This process is one my favorite methods to use. Listed below are some of the items that I have made which use the same technique.
As the title of this item would suggest, this composition contains an array of bodacious flowers. I can’t tell you how much fun I had designing and executing the plan for this project. A great deal of thought went into the placement of each fabric and embellishment. Many, many hours were absorbed by the intricately applied hand stitches. All combined the full impact of the details can hardly be put into words but let me try.
Several years ago I participated in a class taught by Heidi Parkes, a well known fiber artist. The purpose of the class was to introduce us to and teach us her layered quilt technique. Heidi begins with a layer of muslin followed by a single thickness of batting. The fabrics that build your design are the third layer. The fourth and final piece is a covering of matte, silk organza.
I am extremely fond of flower gardens; in fact gardening is one of my many favorite past times. Because of my fondness I decided to execute a plan that would showcase my interpretation of an abstract floral garden. This garden contains only five flowers. These flowers, however, are bodacious by design. Nothing about them is bland. Even the faux soil beneath the three largest specimens is wild in nature.
the most noticeable feature:
My chosen fabrics add their own sense of flair but it’s the stitching that provides the biggest impact. French knots are by far my favorite embellishment. Aside from the knots added to the components of the garden, each of the gold stars has one too. This composition has the largest number of knots I have ever utilized. In fact there are so many that it is next to impossible to count them.
There were of course other stitch designs used but their impact is not as flashy. The photo above as well as the following four images showcase the complexity of my design. If time allows, you simply must zoom in to examine every inch of this one-of-a-kind, magnificent item.
To complete my project I added facings made from white cotton fabric. Also incorporated is a hanging sleeve made from the same material and a craftily assembled label.
on the back:
Before ending this narrative I want to direct your attention to the backside of my project.
A quick glance, at the image, will reveal a feature that is normally well hidden. The image I am referring to is my stitching. One of Heidi’s philosophies is to leave the backside exposed for all to see. She believes that the stitches and knots are, in their own right, a design element that is typically missed or hidden. Following in Heidi’s foot steps I decided to leave my stitching exposed too.
a proud moment:
This fiber art piece was by far my most rewarding adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed the meditative aspect provided through the hours of hand stitching. I am very proud to have this magnificent achievement on display in my home. I hope that you will find it as mesmerizing as I have.
I have two other art pieces that were created using the same technique. If you would like to read about them, then follow the links below.