My good friend who directs me to internet sites she thinks I'd like, sent me to this link http://fibermania.blogspot.com/. I spent much of last night viewing and studying the site. It belongs to Melody Johnson, a wonderful art quilter and fabric dyer. Beginning February 1 she began a Quilt Along with Melody demonstrating her art quilt technique. So I decided to run to the studio this morning and play along. And here's the result.
I am very satisfied with my first attempt at this technique. It still needs to be quilted of course. This is how the techinque works:
Begin with the fusible web backing paper or parchment paper and draw the quilt size you have decided to make.
Once the fabric pallet has been selected, fuse webbing to the back of the fabric in blocks to be cut as you determine the layout. When the fusible web has cooled, pull the paper backing off in one big sheet. This is the paper that the border boundaries are drawn upon above. Melody suggests using hand-dyed fabrics because the tight weave reduces fraying possibilities. I didn't have any on hand so I chose batiks which also frays less than cotton prints. She also suggests Wonder Under fusible web. I used what I had on hand which included Wonder Under and Steam-a-Seam Lite. My goal was to go with the flow, not get stuck on technicalities. I suggest you do the same.
The purple fabrics are for the background (or so I think) so I set them aside. I began playing with the other colors, cutting squares and rectangles, arranging and rearranging on the paper backing/parchment paper until I was satisfied with color and shape placement. The paper is used to keep the fusible web from sticking to the surface as the fabric gets moved around.
As I began working the purple fabric as a background, I found I was unhappy with how it worked with the existing collage. So yellow it is. Interestingly, the purple fabrics were the first choice of colors for this project and everything was selected to work with the purple. Just goes to show that every project takes on a life of its own.
I highly recommend visiting Melody's site and considering following along with her quilt along. She is generous with her knowledge and has tutorials for working with fusible web and fabric dying. I'm making it my goal this year to try different techniques to increase my quilting repertoire. This technique was easy to give a try allowing me to use existing supplies with limited investment. Who knows maybe I'll even give fabric dying a try this year.
P.S. Sorry if photos look washed out. Originals aren't, so not sure why they're posting as they are.