At Spring Quilt Market last May, I wondered into the booth of Laura Heine and was immediately inspired by the amazing quilts hanging in the booth. They are very different quilts – a collage of fabric done in a raw-edge appliqué style.
I actually came across this technique several years ago (like sixteen years) and played around some with it then. I had this Hard Rock Cafe jeans jacket that had this awful satin globe on the back with silver glitter paint spelling out Hard Rock. I created a floral fabric collage and hand appliquéd it over the satin globe, covering the entire back panel of the denim jacket. I no longer own that gorgeous piece of artwork or else I would have photographed it for you!
At that time, I worked from this book:
Yep, I know – very late nineties! But, I had a lot of fun creating that jacket and for some reason, never used that technique again.
When I saw Laura’s gorgeous patterns, I immediately remembered how much fun I had creating that collage for the back of that jacket. Her patterns are so much brighter and much more modern looking. Plus, they are for quilts!
So, needless to say, I ordered several of her patterns and asked her about teaching her technique. She informed me that she was booked through 2017 and strongly encouraged me to teach the class myself. So, when the patterns arrived, I dove in and started playing around. I also had purchased a booklet she produced that goes into her technique in detail. It is called Laura’s Little Book of Collage. It proved invaluable as I worked on my class sample.
After reading her book, I pulled a few fabrics and headed home to get started. From the very beginning, it was an absolute blast to work on this! It was like waking up a part of my creative brain I hadn’t used in a while. As I looked for usable motifs in the fabrics I pulled, I began to look at some of the fabric in my stash in a different way.
And, I began to see lots of possibilities for those large florals I am always drawn to, but never no how to use in a pieced quilt.
Every part of this process was fun; from choosing the fabrics, to cutting out the motifs, to placing them on the outline drawing. I enjoyed it all and found it meditative and relaxing.
I actually played around with fabric placement, moving my motifs around on the design for a couple of weeks before I finally fused everything down. Here is my final version.
This is before I cut out the design and fused it to the background fabric.
We offered this as a class two weeks ago and again this past Saturday and it was full both times. We were having so much fun the first week, I forgot to take any pictures. I did remember this past weekend and got a few shots of the students work:
I started another one to work on during class as a way to demonstrate techniques. And because I can’t help myself!
I can think of so many different applications for this technique. You could do this on a tote bag, a Christmas Stocking, tree skirt, pillow, of course quilts, clothing…..the possibilities are endless.
It was a completely different process than pulling fabric for a pieced quilt top, cutting it up and sewing it back together. I learned a lot and opened up a whole new avenue of creativity in the process of learning to create fabric collage. I learned to look at the fabric in my stash in a whole new light. I learned how to use some of those gorgeous florals I have been hoarding for years. So, in the end, it was great to take the time to learn a new technique.
We have many of Laura’s patterns in stock and I definitely plan to offer this class again. We had a blast!
What other new techniques would you like to learn?