Photo and Fabric

The April assignment for my local art quilt group was a 9 by 12 inch piece that incorporated a photo. Since my printer is not to be trusted with any of the fabrics designed to run through a printer, I decided to sew a color photo to fabric.

I photographed the sunflower at our Badlands stop, and had it printed with other vacation photos for my husband. Because the background of the photo features The Notch (hike the trail vicariously with this video) I decided to use it as my subject. As my overall theme is openings, that fit nicely.

Badlands flowers 3I went through several steps before I was satisfied.

DD Notch1DD Notch3

Below is my final version. It needs only an edge finish.

DD April NotchAs always, I raided my scraps. The photo is printed on heavy weight photo paper, so it can withstand judicious stitching. I suspect such a mounting method isn’t archivally sound but this a practice sketch.


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects, Techniques

15 responses to “Photo and Fabric

  1. Ah, I see your answer to Quilt Musings about completing this before you had prescribed down time! I wondered how you managed that.

    In truth I like the quilt better than the inspiration, as the flower looks “more real” somehow. (???) The rock formations are so simple and effective, very evocative.

    I’m not very interested in making “art quilts” but what you do is so impressive, I feel like I should find a small group, just to push my design and composition limits farther. Do you feel like you get a lot from being in a group? Or would you do as much on your own? Is the feedback helpful?

    • Truthfully, I’m interested in making original quilts rather than art quits specifically. There are some art quilt conventions that don’t appeal to me – all that embellishment with little charms and beading are not me. The small groups I belong to help me in several ways. I get deadlines for projects and subjects; I learn about products, exhibits, techniques I might not otherwise hear about; I spend time with quilters who like me aren’t enthralled with cuteness; and I benefit from cross fertilization of ideas and approaches. Oh, and I get feedback on my work which is sometimes helpful. At the least I get reactions to my work from someone other than my husband. I enjoy seeing the in process work of other quilters and discussions of how to deal with technical and artistic challenges. The aha moments of “I never thought of that!” are so worthwhile. And thank you for your feedback about this piece. One less on I’m trying to learn is simple and main idea are better than lots of detail.

      • Speaking of main idea, I’m glad you covered most of the sunflower fabric. Seeing the bits peak through allows the reference to the same colors/shapes, but it doesn’t distract from the photo the way it might if you showed more. That worked well.

        What I’m missing in my medallion work is regular feedback from anyone but me. I get occasional comments when I post stuff, but it often is pretty superficial, so not terribly helpful for what to do on the “next” one. I’m stuck for the moment on my current project, not at all happy with the blocks I’ve made, but not sure what to do next. I know I can wait it out, and I’ll come up with a solution. But someone else’s what-ifs would help, too. :/

      • As you saw from some of the process shots I thought less was more of that fabric. I will say it’s sometimes hard to comment on work posted online as I never know whether the work is still as shown or if the quilter has changed it already. Also, it’s easier to try out rearrangements when the work is right in front of you.

      • Yes, that’s the value of a having a real person at hand. 🙂

  2. Ann

    You have created a great composition! I wonder if you ever thought about “sealing” the photo with artist gel medium (after all the stitching)? Nice use of the zigzag stitch and I especially like the raw edges of the brownish fabric. I enjoyed the video too, so different from the geology here.

  3. I really like your fabric for the rock formations and how you broke it up to show the ins and outs. The change in the quilting direction of the sky and rock works well too. Good photo placement to the side. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Does this mean you have been released from all restrictions and granted approval to quilt again? Hope so! I love how you have captured the feel of the hills in that quilt. It reminds me of my trips to New Mexico (not the badlands, but to me, a similar feeling).

    • This coming Tuesday I am released. Not coincidentally, my husband goes out of town that day and while the cat’s away… I had completed this piece before my activities were restricted.

  5. Diane

    wow. I really like what you’ve done with this. It’s very freeing.

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