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Making a monochromatic art quilt

Below is a little (10 x 8 inch) art quilt that I made from various fabric and paper scraps. I started with all off-white fabrics, and before I started “piecing”, if you can even call it that, I stained them all with tea to even up the tones more than they already were! Working with a monochromatic color scheme forces you to explore other ways of bringing contrast to a piece besides color. I also used some of my favorite things on the quilt - an image transfer, beads, and antique buttons.

Materials & Tools:

cutting mat
rotary cutter
fabric glue
fabrics and papers
gold thread
transfered images (if desired)

1. Instructions for making an image transfer onto fabric can be found in this post: Image Transfers on Fabric.

2. Stain or dye your fabrics in a strong tea solution.

3. Cut a piece of batting to approximately 9 x 7 inches. Lay a piece of tea-stained muslin, slightly larger and with frayed edges, over top of the batting.

4. Begin to arrange lots of layers of fabrics and papers on the background. Cut, tear, fold, whatever you want to add depth. I used layers or organza and netting to add even more depth. Use a bit of fabric glue to keep pieces from shifting once you are satisfied with the arrangement.

5. Pin all pieces together well. Stitch all pieces down around the edges with metallic gold thread (I stitch this part by hand), removing all the pins as you go. Add buttons and beads as desired.

6. Cut or tear another piece of muslin for a backing, making it approximately 1/2 inch larger than the batting. Turn the edges under and blanket stitch it to the batting. Take a few more stitches here and there through all the layers to make sure the backing doesn’t shift. An alternative method is to make a pillow style quilt in the very beginning, with two layers of muslin and the batting, and quilt through all layers during the entire process. It just depends upon whether you want to see the quilting on the back or not.

Copyright 2007 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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