Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Painted and Stitched Canvas Quilt

This quilt is probably the most unusual quilt I've ever made!  In March I attended a wonderful at Quilting Adventures, under the superlative teacher, Katie Pasquini-Masopust.  The class was relaxing and freeing, as we painted treated canvases, embellished them with cut-out snippets of fabric, and then painted, stamped, and splattered acrylics over the surface of the canvas.

Next we used a "view finder" made from a cut-apart framing mat to find "interesting" areas all across the surface of all of our canvases.  We marked these and then cut them out in squares and rectangles which were a multiple of two.

Once we had all of these little pieces cut out, we reassembled them, using pieces from all of the canvases we had painted, into a design that was pleasing to our eyes, much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

When we were happy with how these looked, we sewed the squares and rectangles together using black thread and a zigzag stitch.  A Teflon foot was particularly helpful at this step, as it allowed the machine to move more easily over the rather uneven and occasionally sticky and even rough sections of the quilt.

I came home with three quilts stitched together, and then I used up all the left-over pieces to assemble yet another quilt.  Finally, five months later, I have finished one of the quilts.  It is the last one I made--the one using leftovers.  After sandwiching it with cotton batting and a piece of untreated canvas, I free-motion quilted with black thread, primarily outlining the painted brush strokes.  Then I squared up the quilt.  Finally, I satin-stitched three or four times around the edges of the quilt.

Lastly, I deviated from Katie's method of assembly, in that I decided to use for the frame a pre-stretched artist canvas that measured 12" by 24" instead of assembling a frame by hand. I satin stitched once again around the quilt, attaching it this time to a rectangle of black fabric that measured 6" larger all the way around.  I pulled this backing fabric around on all four sides, tucking it between the frame and the artist's canvas on the back.  Eventually I will staple the fabric securely, but I was eager to photograph it and write this!

A close-up view of the machine quilting

A side view, showing the right edge of the fabric-covered frame


  1. Alice, I LOVE this quilt. It is my favorite of yours. Your grandchildren will so enjoy trying out some of these techniques when they visit you. What fun. I wish I could be there to join in. The colors, brush strokes, prints are all assembled so pleasantly. Brava!

  2. Oh, so glad you like it! I will be sure to take "process photos," if the grandchildren take to this method! I KNOW they'd love the preliminary stages--the painting of the canvases and otherwise embellishing them.

  3. Alice, it is wonderful! I am glad you finishe it.

  4. Yes, this quilt is both unusual and engaging. I tried to figure out which was quilting (fabric) and which was painting (canvas), but it all looked like quilting fabric to me. Whatever you used the design is beautiful!

  5. This is amazing....I am fascinated!

  6. It'll be fun, now that I have a model made, to see if the grandkids will want to try their hands at this! Certainly the painting of the canvas, the gluing on pd snippets of fabrics, stamping, etc. can be easily done by them. None of them have sewed for awhile on the machine(s), but I'll bet they are more accomplished now, two or maybe three years after their first attempts!

  7. The nonquilter comments. This is fantastic! I can imagine it hanging on my wall this minute. Would be an inspiration to look up from my writing and see this. How do I feel about this? Think you know!

  8. I'm impressed with the freedom you're expressing in your art quilts. Keep going. You're really breaking out into some new areas!