Embrace Abundance with Embellishment Techniques

embellished quilt
Embellished quilt by Therese May.

pokey boltonIt's easy to get down these days, with all the tough times people are having. Especially if you're the one who's having the difficulties.

But this is why I think it's so great to be an artist: you have a creative outlet for your woes. And while playing with fabric, stitch, and embellishments isn't a cure-all, I know spending an hour in my studio certainly puts me in a better frame of mind.

Quilt embellishment, especially, gives me a mental lift, whether it's sorting through shiny buttons and found objects, sewing beads on fabric, or adding a fabric embellishment like dimensional paint.

I always seem to have an abundance of embellishment items in my studio (though I always want more!), not to mention an over-abundance of small pieces of fabric. You too, right? So I suggest we celebrate this wealth of materials by making a small embellished quilt that celebrates the positive things in life.

Therese May explains her technique for making embellished quilts, called Abundance Quilts, in the latest issue of our interactive eMag, Quilting Arts In Stitches Vol. 5.

Here are some of Therese's tips for using embellishments and embellishment techniques.

  • embellished quilt detail
    Abundance quilt detail.

    When collecting embellishment materials, consider the idea of using small items like earrings or other jewelry that you no longer wear; small shells from the beach or buttons from old clothes. These objects give the quilt special meaning.

  • All of my abundance quilts have yo-yos on them, for their decorative effect and because yo-yos are a great thing to make with small scraps of fabric.  I sew buttons or beads to the center of each yo-yo to add interest and then hot glue them onto the quilt.
  • Another fun embellishment is the little glass marble-like beads that are used for flower arranging.  They come in all colors and sizes and they make wonderful accents for art quilts when glued onto the fabric with acrylic gel medium or craft glue.
  • I use fabric paint in squeeze bottles for further surface enhancement as well as for writing various inspirational thoughts and phrases to give the viewer a little uplifting message.  I make dots with paint by squeezing the bottle-a little squeeze for small dots and a bigger squeeze for larger, more bead-like dots.  It can be a lot of fun!  Also, I love this paint as a way to write on fabric; I can write quickly for a thin line and more slowly, squeezing harder, for a thicker line.

bead embellishments
Beaded embellishment fabric beads
by Alma Stoller.

Therese's piece in In Stitches isn't the only with an emphasis on embellishment and dimension. Larkin Jean Van Horn explores texture by showing you how to create an embellished fabric box, or reliquary. Alma Stoller's embellished fabric beads pop right off the screen. And Cheryl Sleboda brightens her quilts (and your day) by adding Electroluminescent Wire (flexible lighted strips) to her quilt design.

Quilting Arts In Stitches Vol. 5 offers an abundance of ideas that will lift your spirits and fill your fiber art with dimension and embellishment.

P.S. If you were going to write an affirmation on your Abundance Quilt, what would it say? Share in the comments section below.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Embellishing, Quilting Daily Blog, Sewing Techniques

7 thoughts on “Embrace Abundance with Embellishment Techniques

  1. Some days I experience what I call a “kiss on the cheek” from God. It can be something as simple as a smile from a child, a butterfly landing on my hand, a long awaited phone call. These special moments are reflected in my art and give me courage to encourage someone else.
    Beneath His Wings,