I have recently been teaching to quilt guilds in Northern California. My travels have taken me to Folsom, Modesto and San Rafael. I am always happy to see the enthusiasm of the ladies to try something new. I hope they look at my colorful, non traditional quilts as inspiration to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. I tell them that fabric collage has few rules, you can't go too wrong and to embrace its freedom.
One of the classes they chose were my Fish, frogs and reptiles. In this class I have a variety of patterns to choose from. These patterns are line drawings enlarged to about a 20" size. Working this size means you are not cutting out tiny, tiny pieces but working at a reasonable size to learn the technique and make some progress on the project.
I have a couple of easier patterns and these are my triggerfish and the seahorse. These hopefully will be completed in class. Depending how you wish to finish your quilt more detail can be added to the background. I did demonstrate how to free cut elements to add like sea grass, coral etc.
Many of these patterns I draw are from photos I have taken either snorkeling in Hawaii or when my family visited Costa Rica on vacation. If you don't have your own photos or those a friend has taken looking for copyright free images is important. Another good source for a pattern would be to enlarge line drawings from a coloring book. Here's a selection of more student work.
My class in San Rafael was teaching my newest class that is Love of Pets, pet portraits fabric collage. Instead of starting from scratch and drawing a pattern from a photograph students bring to class a black and white enlargement of the photo they wish to use. This is a good head start. I like the way everyones project is individual and something that they wish to make and have more connection to it that, than just using a pattern
I love this ladies approach to fabric collage. Everyone has their own instinctive way of doing things whether its is very precise which takes time, or a more liberal way of free cutting fabric. These portraits will take on more detail when they are free motion quilted.
This is a small selection of some of the works in progress from that days class. I think these students really caught the look of the pets form their photograph and adding the stars in the eyes of that first dog is classic. I did have two people work on birds; parrots and a blue jay.
I do hope these projects get finished and I receive photos of completed artwork. If you are interested at taking a fabric collage class from me I am teaching a 4 day retreat with Artistic Alchemy at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe in September and also will at IQF Houston in the fall. Look at my teaching schedule page for more details.