Friday 6 April 2018

Tradition v Hi Tech - Embracing the Digital Age

I've been posting images of the latest moth quilts I'm making over on Instagram but there's limited space for much description there so here's a bit more explanation about a couple of them.........

You may remember this hand stitched hexagon quilt that I've been slowly piecing for some months now! You couldn't get more traditional if you tried and I think it's worth all the many hours it's taking! I love this quilt so much that I wanted to use it creatively towards a new work. I'll be displaying it finished just as it is but there's so much more I can do with it!!

So I imported the photograph of the hexagons into the Procreate app on my iPad and superimposed one of my moth images over the top. In Procreate you can alter the opacity of an image to allow layers beneath to become visible whilst still keeping something of the detail in the top layer.  In this version I duplicated the moth image a number of times, reducing its size and twiddling with the colours too, to add a row of small moths along the bottom of the design. It's a great way to fritter away hours of experimentation because you can save what you like and discard what you don't! I decided having hexagons all over the quilt was too busy, so I erased those in the background, leaving only those that added pattern within the moths.

But of course I didn't want a blank white background so I photographed a page from a very old book about moths and butterflies and layered that behind the image I'd created. Here you can see the result being printed on a wide format digital printer.

And here you can see how I've added black borders to frame the image and provide space for some relevant text that I'll be adding next. The fabric has been screwed up in my work bag which explains all the creases - a quick ironing and lots of quilting will put paid to that!

When you are working digitally it means you can explore other options! I thought it might be a good idea to try a small quilt before launching into the big one. This is a detail of a smaller version of the same design - I'm part way through. This one has text stamped on the border on using copper metallic paint.

And you can see how I've hand quilted every hexagon with a Madeira Cotona thread and free motion quilted some of the background with Madeira's Aeroquilt. Today I'm hand quilting each letter and when that's done it will be back to the sewing machine with a variegated thread to deal with the rest of the borders.

I've counted up and discovered I have 5 quilts on the go and not a single one complete so no time to waste - I'm back to my studio as soon as I've brewed a coffee!

Bye for now - Linda x


  1. I am so in love with this quilt. My husband isn't one to go all twitchy over a quilt (more of a Van Gogh fan), but he has continued to talk about this quilt all afternoon. I love the transparency and the nod to antiquity and nature. (Of course, now I want an iPad to play on. LOL!) Enjoy your coffee!

  2. Laura got me started on hexes years them and this design is wonderful!!!!

  3. It's looking beautiful - I love the colours you've chosen with the dark border. I've been locked out of Instagram so have missed your updates, so it's nice to be able to follow your progress on the blog. The exhibition is going to be amazing! x

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  5. Beautiful! I'm guessing that the digital printer is your personal printer? My option to print so large would be sending my photo to Spoonflower (a US company) to get a decent size print. Any thoughts on that?

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