Tag Archives: fabric collage

Small Fabric Pieces: Six

You may remember the small fabric pieces I showed you pretty recently. (look here). I have a few more to show you – these were made in September/October 2021. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

Both of these are about 6″ x 6″. And there is a lot of blue in them. And that’s pretty much the whole story!

Small Fabric Pieces: Five

You may remember the small fabric pieces I showed you not long ago (look here). I have a few more to show you – these were made in September/October 2021. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

The first one is 6″ x 6″, more or less, and the second one is smaller, I think because I must have not liked the side of it and cut it off. Maybe that’s the reason, and maybe not. I admit to not being able to remember.

Did I mention that I bought a new sewing machine? Yes, I did do this, back in September. My old machine, a veteran of 24 years of very hard use, finally showed signs of giving up the ghost. Rather than repair it, I opted to get a new one.

I reflected on the idea that if this new machine lasted 24 years, I would be 87 years old. And that when I got my previous machine I was 39 years old. Well. This is something to think about, right?

Small Fabric Pieces : Four

In August 2021 I put some time into making little fabric artworks. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

I’ve got several of these little images to show you and I’ll do so in a short series of posts.

These two images are the last in this series of small fabric artworks…for now. More will be coming! Anyway, these two images feature creatures of unknown types, and also there is a lot of blue in each image, too, isn’t there?

They are both about 6″ x 6″.

Small Fabric Pieces : Three

In August 2021 I put some time into making little fabric artworks. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

I’ve got several of these little images to show you and I’ll do so in a short series of posts.

Sometimes things don’t go right and I end up with an incoherent or just plain ugly piece. But there are always sections I like. The solution? I just cut the ugly parts away and end up with smaller works that now I like to look at all parts of them.

Here are two such images. The smaller one is about 3″ x 3″; the larger one is about 7″ x 3″.

Small Fabric Pieces : Two

In August 2021 I put some time into making little fabric artworks. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

I’ve got several of these little images to show you and I’ll do so in a short series of posts.

In this pair you can see I used a similar color scheme and some of the same fabrics. This is because I was trying to use up small scraps I have been collecting from other projects. Scraps are ideal for this kind of work – their small size and the sheer number of pieces give a lot of variety and action to the piece, I think.

Small Fabric Pieces : One

In August 2021 I put some time into making little fabric artworks. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

I’ve got several of these little images to show you and I’ll do so in a short series of posts.

Here are two images featuring people. They are about 6″ x 6″ or so.

A Short Retrospective

I was going through my computer files recently and decided to take a look at the one I have titled “Fabric Collage”.

Before I did collage or paintings, I made fabric wall hangings. I guess I started them in 1994 and did the last ones in 2000 or 2001. They grew from my interest in making quilts, which I took up after I stopped working in an office and had more time.

I stumbled into art, and this medium was my first more serious attempt at making art – before this, I had mostly produced craft work such as knitted bunnies and that kind of thing. Really, I was looking for a direction, and fabric collage was what started the process for me of getting to where I am today.

To describe briefly the fabric collage construction process, I sewed fabric pieces to a fabric base, usually with free motion stitching. I then put a backing on it and a hanging sleeve – I did not quilt the hangings. My first pieces were house portraits – I did quite a few of these works, mostly commissions. In my other work, I chose my inspirations from a variety of sources – photos, imagination, the fabric itself. Some are quite realistic and others are more flat and graphic. I tried a variety of effects (“Mystery Cottage”, for example, where I made the piece and then put it through the washer) and ideas (landscapes, vases, cats, you name it). I even wrote two self-published guides to how to do fabric collage and I taught some classes in it.

My work was exhibited in all kinds of places – “Garden in the City”, from 2000, was part of an exhibit in Philadelphia’s City Hall under the theme of community gardens – it’s a portrait of Glenwood Green Acres in North Philadelphia, for example. But mostly I showed and sold in art and craft fairs. I won a few prizes for my work in these venues – “Orange Fish” won a 3rd place in the Lansdale Festival of the Arts; it was my first prize ever and I broke down in tears. And the house portrait shown here was published in a book by Rodale Press – the book focused on the design process for various fabric and quilting projects.

Pyramid Mountain Lake

“Pyramid Mountain Lake”

Sizes range from quite small (8″ x 8″, let’s say, for “Pyramid Mountain Lake”) to large – “Garden in the City” is about 40″ in width.

All in all, I have many memories involving my fabric work and looking through the photos really brought those days back to me. I have selected some pieces to show here, with no particular reason for choosing them as opposed to others except that they happened to catch my eye. I hope you can forgive the poor quality of some of the photos – almost all of them were taken before I had a digital camera!

I made hundreds of these hangings and I only have a handful left – I sold most of them and gave some away at the end of the time I was making them. Why did I stop working with fabric? I enjoyed the composition process more and more as time went on, and I got more confident of my skills. But the sewing aspect was repetitive and took time away from making more art. So I went to the library, checked out a book on collage, and…