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Paper quilting

I often use a mixture of paper and fabrics in my quilted pieces. Look-See, however, is entirely paper, including some dress-pattern tissue.

1. Make two copies of the template that you wish to use on plain white paper. One is to cut up and the other is for reference.

2. Cut up your papers into the correct shapes. You can paint, stamp, ink, or do any other pigment embellishment either before or after cutting them up…your choice. You can see that I painted over my papers with some diluted raw sienna to soften and dull the colors. At this point they are not attached to the paper below them; I want them to still be loose to make it easier to embellish them with stitching.

3. Prepare any delicate embellishments like leaves or fragile papers and glue them onto the appropriate block if they will only be covering a single block. Otherwise, wait until step 5 after you’ve attached the blocks to the cardstock “batting”. Use an adhesive with as little water as possible, maybe even spray adhesive if the item is crumbly. Here you can see how I cut out one of the templates to use as a guide in finding the best spot to cut from the dress-pattern tissue. This tissue is very delicate and needs careful handling. It will not be attached until after step 5 since it will cover several blocks.

4. Sew decorative stitching onto the individual blocks as desired. I use embroidery floss, both cotton and silk.

5. Using your reference template, tack the pieces down to appropriate colored cardstock. I usually use black, unless the piece is very light colored. You can use a simple swipe of a gluestick for this. Add any delicate pieces reserved from step 3. Cut around the outside of the whole piece with an exacto knife, trimming the cardstock even with the quilt edges.

6. Using a larger needle, poke holes through all layers, and then embellish the seams and the outside edges as desired, and add any additional stitching that your eye now tells you is needed.

7. Glue on large or heavy embellishments and "sew" into place, just for looks.

8. Glue the whole piece to watercolor paper or matt board. Weight it carefully until dry.

Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Anonymous said…
Hi Cindi,
Thanks for your generousity in sharing your process.
The results are lovely and original too. i look forward to seeing more of your work.
Cyndi L said…
Glad you like it, Lyla! I hope you'll enjoy using some of the techniques :-)