Quilting a collage

The next exhibition by my local collage group (Northwest Collage Society) will take place at the Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum in La Conner, Washington, October 24-November 24. I wanted to enter a collage in the show. The only requirement was that the piece include fabric and/or stitching. Easy, I thought, since I sew.

To make my collage, I began by looking at quilt patterns online. My mother was a quilter, so I knew that different designs have different names and histories. I chose the classic Log Cabin pattern for its significance in U.S. history:
Log cabin quilt pattern
I started with old yearbook photos, which are easy to arrange in strips. Luckily, I have plenty of yearbooks, from the 1940s to the 1980s.
Yearbook photos
Where should the stitching go? I tried zig-zagging around the edges.
Yearbook with stitches
Too busy. Also, what about a message? The easiest way to add a message is to include text. Lots of it. I traced words onto tracing paper using colored pencil, then stitched around the letter edges.
Entry for NW Collage Society Fall Show
Now I was getting somewhere!! I traced more text and sewed the words to strips of yearbook photos. Then I arranged them in the Log Cabin pattern.
Entry for NW Collage Society Fall Show
At first, I wasn't happy with the effect. It was hard to see the photos and the text was too pristine. To distress the surface, I sanded and ripped the tracing paper. Then I added a little bit of orange paint. Much better! Here's the final version.
Entry for NW Collage Society Fall Show
I'm very happy to say that my collage was accepted into the show! I only wish my mom were here to see it...


  1. It's wonderful - congrats on it being accepted into the show!!!


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