August 22nd Class

Last summer I spoke to the quilters at Everybody’s Quilters Guild.  This summer I am teaching a class to those same ladies.  This post has been written with the class in mind.  It will outline the steps in my process and provide a list of supplies that should be brought to the class.  I am so excited for this opportunity!

Hello Ladies!  By this time most of you will have sent me a photo of the home or barn you wish to create in quilt form.  I am in the process of enlarging your photos to the desired 11X17 size.  This size is easy to work with and allows for en001ough details to lend the piece depth.

Before the class, I would like you to consider the different colors that are present in the structure you are replicating.  Years ago, one of my projects involved recreating a stone foundation on a 002003barn. I went through all my fabrics and chose variations of blue and grey that I thought would work.  I cut out samples of each fabric, then ironed Heat and Bond Lite adhesive to the backs of my chosen pieces.

For the class I will be providing the adhesive.  It’s by far the best product for this type of work.  I would like you to bring all the fabrics you think you will need for your piece.  You don’t need to bring bolts — that’s the best part of this project — you’ll use up your scraps!  I actually have bins that I separate my greens, blues, blacks, etc into.  So look carefully at your photo and choose the  pieces of fabric that you think will represent it best.  Remember; the largest pieces of fabric will be to represent your sky and grass and the color of your home/barn.  All other fabric can be smaller than a fat quarter.

I would like you to purchase 1/2yd craft stabilizer.  Pellon has a lot of products.  I would suggest staying away from the fusible kind because they can be too thick.  Look for ones that say they are easy to cut and sew and that will not distort when ironed. You will want something thick enough to not pucker when sewed, but not too thick that it will stress your needle.

In the class we will start by placing your background fabric on the stabilizer. These will be the largest piec#98 more stoneses you will use and will represent the sky and the grass.   These strips of fabric will be backed with adhesive and then placed on your craft stabilizer, dividing the piece along the horizon. After they are ironed down, we will then carefully cut out the largest object in your piece (the house or barn). You will then trace this piece onto the back of the your chosen fabric, which has been ironed with the adhesive. Using the remainder of the printed piece as a guide, you will center the house/barn on the background and iron it down.  If you look at the photo to the right you can see how I carefully cut around each stone and then utilized my picture to properly place the stones on the wall.

new pic 004We will then start with the next largest piece on your photo – this will probably be the roof.  At this point the process detailed above will be repeated.  You can see from the photo on the left how one picture of a barn is broken down into its major color groupings.  But instead of doing each piece separate (which can lead to small gaps in the final piece) I use one piece of fabric for the entire structure. I then cut the roof out of the photo and use it as a template to cut it’s shape out of the desired fabric.  Trust me… this all sounds way more complicated than it is!  Think of it as a layered color-by-numbers.  Does that help, or am I making it worse?  We’ll get there together on Saturday — don’t worry!

Here’s more pictures of the above project to give you an idea of the process (click on them to see more detail)……

new pic 002

new pic 001


I think that helps to demonstrate the layering process we will do.  A lot of the depth and excitement comes out of the piece when I sew on it.  Unfortunately I don’t know that we will have enough time to sew on Saturday, but bring your machines and a selection of thread just in case.  Below I am listing suggested material to bring the the class.

I have to say I am really excited and can’t wait to meet you all and share this simple yet fascinating technique. 🙂 Mary

Supply List


IRONING MATT (I use a thick towel folded over several times)

Pellon CRAFT STABILIZER — at least a 11X17 piece

FABRIC (bring your scraps as well as a few larger pieces for the background and main focal point)

sharp SCISSORS for fabric 

sharp SCISSORS for paper cutting (if you are particular)

clear TAPE


original PHOTOGRAPH (I constantly refer to mine for reference)

sewing machine


I have always loved the process of transforming pieces of fabric into quilts. For years I collected scraps, just to be sure I'd have the right piece for the project at hand. Eventually, as my skills progressed, my hobby grew into art. I moved from simple quits, to 'landscape quilting' and then eventually onto portrait work. I am new to the art field and am self-taught, learning from my mistakes as well as from my successes. I create my images using only fabric and thread. I remain true to this limitation for two reasons; first, I love the challenge of finding new ways to depict ever more challenging subjects. Second, fabric work remains my true love. I enjoy the hunt for fabrics; where other artists might blend oil paints, I love finding that perfect shade or pattern for a specific need. I refer to my style as "gestalt impressionism" for one needs to take a step back from my pieces to get the whole picture. My view point changes by what is influencing me at the time. Recently I've begun to focus on the journey of the individual. I enjoy working on portraits of people whom I feel have lead interesting lives.

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2 comments on “August 22nd Class
  1. Mom says:

    You’re back! This sounds like an exciting class, wishing you the best.

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