Another demonstration: a pieced portrait.

I started with an image of a face, printed it in black and white, outlined the colour boundaries, pulled all the beige tone fabrics from the stash I could find (large pieces and scraps), created templates for the large areas using baking parchment paper, cut them out, then created templates for the smaller areas, and cut those out.

What I didn’t do here, but should have, was to apply fusible web to the fabric before cutting it – instead, I’ll use a glue stick to adhere the cut out pieces to the background.

I was mainly playing around to see if what I ended up with resembled a face in any way and it does. Once I’ve glued the pieces down, I’ll probably do a bit of edge stitching to hold the thing together.

Peony II

Fused textile 9″ x 12″, backed, unbound.


A piece this small is actually quite difficult to do because the elements I wanted to fuse were so small. Small bits of fabric this size on a finished piece twice as large would have seemed small in relation the overall size, but here they seem quite large. However, I’m pleased with the overall effect.

I might try this technique again on something larger but my purpose for doing this piece was to demonstrate fused appliqué for the class which is happening in just over a week. I certainly learned a lot in the process – about choices of fabric, about building up the layers, about simplification, about contrast, about not being too literal, about templates vs cutting freely.

Whereas in the previous piece I used a hidden binding, this time I did a “pillowcase turn” – cutting the backing piece to size, stitching it (1/4″ seam) right sides together (leaving an opening on the bottom so I could turn it right side out), pressing, then hand stitching my opening closed. Because the art piece itself is multi-layered, when the seams are turned to the inside, the back ends up a bit loose – I haven’t been able to figure out a way to get the back to lay flat other than to use a hidden binding to apply it. I will have to keep experimenting with this.