Tuesday 24 May 2016

Screen Printed Silhouette Quilt ~ Progress

It's been quite a while since my last finished quilt - almost two years to be exact. That doesn't mean I haven't done any quilting. I have, but nothing finished in that time. However, that's about to change. Today I thought I'd show you progress on a collaborative project I'm working on with my daughter, Tash.

Two years ago we attended a wonderful Screen Printing Workshop with Saffron Craig. Both Tash and I had dabbled with silk screen printing many years before, me as a school teacher and Tash as a kid. Ha, ha... Tash remembered more than I did.

There's nothing like experiencing a craft first hand from a professional, though. We learnt so much and had LOTS of fun in the process.

Tash came prepared. She knew exactly what she wanted to do. Before the day, she turned photos into line drawings...

... and she used those line drawings to make her stencils during the workshop -

four different silhouettes of the kids, printed onto bright fabrics. We purchased a silk screen, squeegee and inks and so Tash was able to continue printing at home - far more silhouettes than in the photo above.

And this is what Tash presented me with to make her a quilt - 64 screen printed silhouettes, together with contrasting fabrics. Just design it how you want, Mum. You can't go wrong. Hmmm - not so sure about that.

And so the fabric sat in a basket for quite some time, with me deliberating about just how I would pull it all together.

Eventually I decided on 9" wide blocks of varying heights. I just made it up as I went along. The odd photo was posted to Facebook to gauge Tash's reaction. Seemed like I was on the right track. I don't think any two blocks ended up the same. 

It's taken ages, with lots of procrastinating, but finally the last block has been sewn. 

Arranging the blocks has been fun! So many factors to consider - background fabric colour, border colours and patterns, silhouette placement and the actual silhouette itself. 

Getting the right distribution hasn't been easy. I posted a pic to Instagram, to see if I was on the right track, thinking Tash might like to play with the placement of the blocks. In the meantime, Mr TMW and I arranged and rearranged till we had a combination we both liked.

Once I'm on a roll, with the end in sight, I become impatient and don't like to stop, and so I began sewing the rows together, adding to various blocks to get each row approximately the same length.

Three rows done and I notice Tash's comment that she'd like to play with the arrangement, too. Ooops! That leaves three rows for Tash to rearrange. It's not too time consuming to unpick a few rows if she REALLY wants a change in one of the already sewn rows.

I'll be seeing her tomorrow, so stay tuned.

I have to admit I had little enthusiasm when I began this quilt, but now I am very excited - not about the prospect of finishing, although there is that too, but about just how good I think this quilt is going to look.

I have a couple of ideas for border and binding colours - either black borders + black binding, or black borders + multi coloured binding, using the colours from the quilt. I'm sure Tash will have ideas, too.

What would you do for borders and binding?

... Pam


  1. I didn't know (and forgive me if you mentioned it and I forgot) that the blocks are screenprints of hte kids! That ups the adorable level by about triple :) That is going to be such an awesome quilt - I'm sure your block layout will be fine with Tash ... and I'm sure she's quite capable of froggy stitching if something doesn't quite sit right :D

  2. I love the quilt and the story behind the quilt!

  3. What a fabulous quilt Pam, and a really great collaborative effort :)

  4. It already looks gorgeous! This is such a special quilt, and I am sure it will be a family treasure. I love those images!

  5. Oh, wow! I love this, from the silhouettes to your color choices. I cannot say what I would do for binding and borders since am terrible at color combinations. My son's wedding is coming up. I think I might try getting some silhouettes from that and do a signature quilt. Thanks for the inspiration once again.

  6. Oh, wow! I love this, from the silhouettes to your color choices. I cannot say what I would do for binding and borders since am terrible at color combinations. My son's wedding is coming up. I think I might try getting some silhouettes from that and do a signature quilt. Thanks for the inspiration once again.

  7. That looks amazing, Pam!! Well done! I love that all the blocks are different. Will you be able to quilt over the screen printing or will you quilt around all the pictures? Can't wait to see it finished!

  8. This is SUCH a cool project! I love that the silhouettes are actually from photos of your grandkids. Such a sweet and brilliant idea. The colors are vibrant and the little bits of stripes thrown in make it such a fun quilt! I like the idea of a black border to pull out the silhouettes, and then a rainbowy binding. Or maybe a black border with a few little pops of color thrown in on one corner. Either way, Tash is right--you can't go wrong :)

  9. Oh wow! Your quilt is so stunning, I love it. I would make two, for those kids are sure to both want it one day. As for the border, I think piano keys in the purple, pink, blue, and yellow, to match the strips in the quilt. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. This is SO COOL. I absolutely love it and am so inspired by the idea.

  11. I agree this so VERY COOL! So creative and a special quilt of memories.

  12. What a fabulous idea she had, and what a great job you did with the blocks. Curious to see the finished piece. I'm sure it'll be perfect.

  13. Looking amazing already, I love your little models, they are perfect for the job!

  14. Oh wow, this is beautiful :) Great work Pam..

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays

  15. It's just beautiful Pam!! The silhouette prints are adorable.

  16. This is so beautiful, Pam! You are both so very talented. Tash is doing a great job with the screen printing and the colors and, of course, the subjects for the silhouettes are gorgeous. I can hardly wait to see the finished quilt!

  17. Hi Pam. I've been watching the progress of this quilt and it's coming along nicely. I've always wanted to try screen printing. One of these days. Can't wait for the finished product. It's just gorgeous so far. (Oh, I'm featuring this post at tomorrow's party.)

    Anne @ Domesblissity xx

  18. Oh this already looks amazing! What a neat idea to screen print the silhouettes. Thanks for sharing at the DIY Crush Craft party on Thursdays!! Hope you can make it again this week!

  19. Wow, that looks amazing, and such a special collaboration too. Personally I like the sound of the black border and multi coloured binding. Looking forward to seeing the final version of this.

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