Friday, September 14, 2012

"Spirit House: Honoring Those Who Ran With Scissors"

I made this house-shaped quilt for auction to raise money for the Quilt Alliance.  It is to be sold during the events for "Quilters Take Manhattan".  Board members' quilts will be sold at the evening event.
I had a lot of fun making this piece because I wanted to create a black and white quilt with a play on the Day of the Dead.  Usually anything I make for this theme is very brightly colored.  Using only black and white gave me a specific challenge.
First, you must know that I collect commercially printed skeleton fabric, particularly Catrinas, those
skeletons dressed up in their finery.  I have a "thing" about human skeletons, and, well, any type of bone.  I understand why Georgia O'Keefe was so attracted to them.  They are lovely and sculptural.
I get a huge kick out of Catrinas, so here we go.
Using a thermofax screen I printed over this black and white commercial cloth with opaque white paint.
I wanted the white paint to sort of "ghost" over the underlying print.

Once dry, I used my Pentel Gel Roller Fabric pen and outlined elements of the screen print.
It doesn't "read" well from a distance.
I'm fine with that.
I like the little surprise of discovering the additional printing when the viewer gets closer.

Using another thermofax screen I created, the skull/scissors was printed with
more white paint onto this lovely piece of Japanese cloth

Using the same thermofax screen, I printed black paint onto white cloth.
This was subsequenly fused on the back, then fussy cut.

Here is the quilt back...

The skeleton/scissors piece was fused in the center of the quilt.
After fussy-cutting the white cloth with black paint, I fused
segments around the central element.
I found this cool chain trim with black microsuede threaded through it.
Perfect for the roof accent (although I did not enjoy stitching it on)!
Next, I embellished the top with a variety of beads and metal objects.

I tied a variety of keys, etc., to the base with silk ribbon
There is SO much stitching on this quilt with both black and white thread, 
and even I cannot see it!  It is lost in all this pattern.  Oh well...
Finished, except for a sleeve on the back!


  1. Wow! I absolutely love this! How the heck are you going to sleeve it? (Is the quilt reinforced to make it rigid?) Would love to see this in person.

  2. Thanks, Linda. It was sold last night at the Quilt Alliance silent auction of board members' quilts, to Meg Cox. I attached a grommet to the top of the roof, then a sleeve across the base of the roofline.
    The many quilts on view during the events were amazing! Many were on display at City Quilter prior to the afternoon at FIT.


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