Friday, November 15, 2013

My Latest Material Mavens Quilt--Comfort in a Yellow Chair

Our theme of "comfort" this time was intriguing, and the resulting quilts have been, so far, amazing!  This design was my first idea, but before executing it I spent an entire day trying to capture the comfort of family.  That quilt was a disaster, frankly!  So then I returned to my first inspiration.

I sit in this yellow easy chair every day in the late afternoon when I am too tired to do anything else but sit and read.  In the winter, a fire is in the fireplace and I have a mug of hot tea beside me, and a throw in case I get chilly.  Books have afforded me a great deal of comfort and diversion and distraction, ever since the sad days of February, 2011.

To make the central image in the quilt, the yellow chair, I first took a photo of the chair, and then I posterized the image on Photoshop, a technique that makes the shadows and the outline of the chair stand out.  I printed this image, traced it onto yellow batik fabric, and then added in the details of the chair and its shadows with a product called Pentel Fabric Fun, Pastel Dye sticks.  Ironing the shadowing with a hot iron, protected by a sheet of paper, made this coloring permanent.

For the captions under each photo below I'll give some other construction details.

The little mini quilt is a print that most mimics a pieced quilt.  I "quilted" it simply and tacked it
onto the arm of the chair, as I wanted to achieve dimensionality.  The chair is stuffed lightly--a technique called
"trapunto".  I cut a slash in the batting and inserted small pieces of fiber fill, and then I
closed up the slash by hand.
The stack of books was achieved by my photographing a little ceramic box that sits beside my reading chair.
I printed the image onto fabric and then appliqued it to the quilt.

I love all the blue and white Spode china that I have collected!  I drink
coffee every morning and tea most afternoons from one of my Spode mugs.
I have a vast collection of blue and white fabrics; I chose one that
most looked like one of my mugs.  I scanned the fabric, then reduced the image
on Photoshop, and then I printed the image onto white fabric, to make
some new fabric.  Then I cut the mug out from it and added the inside of the mug's lip and the
handle from plain white fabric.

This is the back of the quilt.  I was sorely tempted to use this
beautiful commercial print for my stack of books, but
I was determined to do something from scratch.  Another
idea I had was to use my Aunt Martha's book SPUN BY AN ANGEL
for the book beside my chair, but somehow this image didn't have
the impact I wanted.

If interested, you can read about this book and my aunt on Wikipedia,
at this location:
My father is the little boy in the book, set in Mexico, where the family lived
before the Mexican Revolution; my Cheavens grandparents
were missionaries to Mexico.

This distorted image is an attempt to portray in 2-D the 3-D quality
of this quilt, with the stuffed chair and the little quilt that
is simply tacked onto the front.


  1. Alice, you are an inspiration to all of us fortunate enough to know you and Bob.
    Thank you for the gift of creativity and for sharing the joy and beauty of your creations. Love, Thelma

  2. What a cozy place to sit for tea with a book and throw. Glad you told us about the book as well. I don't think I have tried trapunto but what a good idea for the chair!

  3. I enjoyed every word of your post. Made me want to go out and buy a yellow chair of my own! I like to snuggle up in bed, but your chair is better!

  4. Alice, thanks so much for sharing you art with me, your artless friend. I think of you often and remember good times. Beverly F