Surface Design Delights: A Cornucopia of Love

surface design quilt
The Quilting Arts/Cloth Paper Scissors crew and
my quilt full of surface-design love.

pokey boltonOn this Thanksgiving Day I am in transition. I'm settling into my new Houston digs in preparation for my fresh adventure with Quilts Inc. while still consulting for Quilting Arts and preparing for the next season of "Quilting Arts TV."

As a send-offeven though I am not truly leaving Quilting Arts behindmy coworkers there threw a party and presented me with the most amazing quilt.

Just the fact of the quilt would be enough to make me treasure it. But not only did each artist put thought into colors and motifs I might like (greens, pinks, frogs), they used surface design techniques we had all learned along the wayand you know what a surface design junkie I am!

fabric paint tree
A detail of the centerpiece of the quilt, rendered
in fabric paint, applique, and needle felting.

Our art director Larissa Davis, who has been with Quilting Arts since the very beginning, used fabric painting to create the centerpiece of a tree. She also printed our logos onto some of the pieces, using Thermofax screen printing techniques. (Thanks Lynn Krawczyk for the screens!)

Assistant Editor Barbara Delaney used her fabric stamping skills to add an apple design to one of the blocks—Stow, Mass., where Quilting Arts originated, is famous for its apple orchards.

I had taught Online Editor Cate Prato how to dye one sunny Sunday afternoon and also brought her some lovely over-dyed samples by artist Wendy Richardson from a show one year. So Cate used some of the over-dyed fabric in her blocks for my quilt.

thermofax screen design
The design for a Thermofax screen I made from a photo of a wild turkey in my neighborhood.

Over the years we've have had many informal after-hours workshops. After I came back from taping "QATV" Season 6 with a renewed passion for gelatin monoprinting, Cloth Paper Scissors Editor Jenn Mason led the crew in a wild night of gelatin printing madness with stencils, masks, found objects, and so on. Our advertising manager, Barbara Staszak, took a monoprint from this foray into surface design and included it in her block.

Some of my artist coworkers used other techniques we've learned about together over the years, including modern patchwork, needle felting, machine embroidery, and fused applique. Then all of them signed the tree by writing on fabric leaves with permanent pens. They better be permanent, because I am keeping this quilt forever!

As I wrap myself up in this quilt today, I am thankful for the wonderful people who made it, the many artists who have shared their art quilting techniques with us over the years, and my friends and family who have supported me and Quilting Arts.

As a thank you, I'm including my wild turkey design from last Thanksgiving for you to use in your own surface design adventures.

Need more inspiration or tutorials? You'll find everything you need at the Quilting Daily Shop. Happy Thanksgiving!

Other topics you may enjoy:


Fabric Painting & Dyeing, Quilting Daily Blog

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