Of all the embellishment techniques you’ve used in your quilting, have you ever tried laminated imagery? I know I haven’t. But when Stella Belikiewicz submitted her tutorial for using lamination to embellish her art quilts, we were captivated by the results.
Writes Stella: “I love to use unusual materials in my work, and after experimenting with a laminator at the print shop where I worked, I discovered I could add texture and dimension by stitching laminated images directly onto the surface of my art quilts.
“The laminated images are durable and shiny, and the colors pop in the most beautiful way. I have developed several techniques for working with these images that can be used alone or combined in limitless ways.”
Stella attaches these quilting embellishments in different ways, sometimes sewing embellishments on the quilt and sometimes using jump rings or pouches.
Her quilt “How Nature Embraces Imperfect Specimens (#1)” is a sampler, of sorts, of the six methods she likes to work with. Clockwise from top left, they are:
Machine Stitching: If your sewing machine has a strong motor, it should be able to pierce the laminate. Use tape to hold the image in place and stitch slowly. I recommend an 80/12 universal needle and a slightly longer stitch length than the 2.5mm standard. Use a high quality cotton or polyester thread.
Tacking: Pierce the laminate with a needle to make a few strategic holes and hand stitch.
All-Around Hand Stitching: Make many regularly spaced holes around the image and hand stitch.
Sheer Fabric Pouch: Do not punch any holes in the laminated item. Cover the image with sheer fabric and stitch around the outside by hand or machine.
Swinging Freely: Punch a 1/16″ hole at the top of your image, slip on a metal jump ring, and stitch the jump ring to your quilt.
Decorative Thread Stitching: Hand stitch using decorative fibers such as novelty yarns or thick decorative threads.
Stella says you can laminate almost anything that is flat, such as photographs, original drawings, text, glitter, collages, and hole-punch discards. She even makes her own laminated signature labels that she stitches to the backs of her quilts.
If you’re looking for new embellishment techniques to try, laminated images might just be the thing that makes your art quilts pop. Read the entire article in an upcoming issue of Quilting Arts Magazine.
We have many more ideas for quilt and fabric embellishment coming up in the next few issues of Quilting Arts. Subscribe now so you don’t miss out.