How to Make a Fiber Art Pyramid

30 May 2012

My head is still full of all the sights and textures of Quilt Market in Kansas City. I'm processing all the trends I saw there and considering how they translate to the kind of quilting and fiber art we do here in the Quilting Daily community.

fabric art pyramids
Triangular-based fiber art pyramids by C. June Barnes.
One trend that stood outliterallywas dimension in fabric crafts. Fabric designers and fiber artists showed finished fabric art projects that were stuffed, twisted, and shaped into objects. I saw more trapunto in modern quilt designs than I have in a while.

Speaking of modern quilts, even if they didn't have dimension, many of these graphic quilts featured hexagons, octagons, and triangles in stark relief, so they seem to pop out.

In quilt art, there are many ways to fold, piece, stitch, and manipulate fabric into dimensional shapes. A new book on the subject, Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art: Stitch, Fold, Embellish by C. June Barnes shows you how to create almost any kind of spatial dimension out of a stitched or quilted surface.

Spatial dimension can be achieved in the following ways, writes June:

  • Manipulating the surface of the quilted plane to achieve depth.
  • Adding to the surface to increase the depth.
  • Manipulating the quilted plane or layers through folding, wrapping, curling and so on to either construct a shape or create depth.
  • Constructing objects through various means, the outer layer being a quilted surface.

June draws a lot of her inspiration from nature as well geometry and offers templates, instructions, and examples for virtually any kind of dimensional shape you can imagine.

fabric art pyramid template
Triangular base template from
Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art.
Here are her instructions for turning a quilted surface into a triangular base (or pyramid).

1. Start with an equilateral triangle that has sides roughly four times the finished height you require.

2. Mark the centers of each side of the triangle and mark them a, b, and c.

3. Draw a line between these points, creating a triangle within the triangle with sides a-b, b-c, and c-a.

4. Mark points that are half of the outside points x, y, and z.

5. To construct, finish all edges and join sides a-x to a-y, b-y to b-z, and c-z to c-x. Fold points outward along lines x, y, and z.

These dimensional shapes can be made into all kinds of fiber art, such as containers and vessels. They can be used as embellishments (a great way to make use of fabric scraps) or joined together to make a larger fiber art quilt or sculpture.

Anyone looking to take their fabric art to a new dimension will find inspiration and practical advice in Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art.



P.S. Have you been adding dimension to your fiber art projects? How? Share your experiments with the community below.


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on 31 May 2012 9:29 AM

A group of fellow artists had a fiber arts show last fall, and I wanted to do something that would go onto the floor of the huge gallery.  So I made trees.  Basically they were inverted cones, but they went over tomato cages quite nicely.  Two were free standing and showed different techniques of quilting and surfaces.  The really fun one was about 6 foot tall and was a quilted, patchwork tree of fused and painted plastic bags.  Thanks to Quilting Arts, I am learning something new all of the time.