Celebrating with a Recycled Fabric Collage

Twenty-five years of marriage deserves something special.  So when I saw a lovely anniversary quilt at Raleigh’s ArtSpace a few years ago, I knew I needed to making something similar to celebrate my own happy partnership. 

But I am not a quilter–not in the traditional sense.  I do sandwich and stitch layers of fabric together–but piecing hundreds  squares  just isn’t my style. My projects take days–weeks at the most–not months like beautiful (but very pricey) art quilts.   

I work in something of a frenzy–layering and appliquing–letting the fabrics take me places I didn’t plan–as well as those I did. 

Most of the time this  approach works beautifully.  But a twenty-fifth anniversary is a big deal–did I mention that?  The first time out, I choked. 

This Sunday was my 26th wedding anniversary, and I think I finally licked the creative problem. 

The base of my 36″ by 16″ wall hanging is a fabulous piece of fabric from Durham’s  Scrap Exchange.   At the spring warehouse sale, I literally snatched this decorator sample from the hands of my friend Melissa.  A one-time art history major–it reminded me of all those Henri Rousseau prints I used to tape to the walls.  

After that, the rest of the collage came easily.  Embroidered flowers on gauze from a discontinued sample book became the basis of my jungle.  I added some vintage fabrics–a grandma hankie, leaves from my wedding cake topper, and part of a much-loved but now ratty dress  from my  childhood.   Cuts from another sample book titled, Gossamer,  added to the multi-layers. 

I like to use what I call “found words” on most of my pieces.  I cut them from old tee shirts, totes, and yardage. It keeps my work from being too matchy– matchy.   But on this gauzy anniversary piece, found words didn’t work out.  Instead, I reached for my permanent fine tip pen for fabric.  Tiny messages twine around gossamer leaves–It’s perfect. 

If you’d like to see more of my fabric collages, check out the portifolio on my web site–http://www.kikisrewinddesigns.com/

I also have some new work in my etsy shop–http://www.etsy.com/shop/kikisrewinddesigns


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