Marcia Stein Textile Art: About the Process

About the Process

Once I have made a photograph that I would like to translate into fabric, I project a transparency of the image onto gridded vellum with an overhead projector and draw the shape outlines in pencil to create an enlarged master drawing, or cartoon. Often at this point I will simplify the design, e.g., change a cluttered background or eliminate other distracting features of the original photograph. If the piece is complicated, I will trace the cartoon onto unbleached muslin, so that I can lay out the appliqué pieces in their final positions as I complete them. I also make an 8” x 10” color photocopy of the image for reference as I am working.

Each quilt is different, so not all are constructed in exactly the same manner. Currently, I use freezer paper to create templates from the cartoon, though sometimes I trace shapes from the cartoon to fabric using a light box and colored pencil. I have hand appliquéd several quilts, but I now appliqué almost exclusively by machine, using a narrow zigzag stitch that secures the turned-under edges to the background almost invisibly. However, if the shapes are very small or intricate, I may attach them to the background with fusible webbing and stitch the raw edges by machine. Because my quilts are so graphic, I tend not to make machine quilting a major feature unless it is used specifically to enhance the design.


Ladies in Waiting photo

Ladies in Waiting in process detail

Ladies in Waiting in process


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