Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Uncle Albert’s Reverie

“Uncle Albert’s Reverie” (2012)
Cotton fabric, paper, gel medium, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread,
wool/polyester batting, cotton thread. Free-motion quilted.

I started this piece two years ago… or was it three years ago?… in a great class with Judy Coates Perez at International Quilt Festival – Houston. It’s been hanging on my design wall since then. A few months ago, I pulled it down and quilted it, and a few days ago, I faced and finished it. 

If you don’t know: “Facing” is a way of finishing an art quilt without a binding. I love how it gives the piece a nice crisp edge without the visual frame of a binding. I have two free tutorials (in a downloadable PDFs); one for a non-mitred facing, and a second for a mitred facing. You can download the easier non-mitred facing tutorial here. All my tutorials are available on my blog (in the “Free Stuff” section in the sidebar on the right-hand-side of this blog) or on my website (under the “Free Stuff” section). 

I called this piece “Uncle Albert’s Reverie” because it reminds me of the illustrations in the physiology textbook written by my great-great-grand Uncle Albert Brubaker.

Dr. Albert Philson Brubaker

This piece is 17" x 42". Here are some detail shots:


  1. Just gorgeous, Susan! How are the illustrations applied? Printed on tissue paper and applied with gel medium or...?

    Julie Filatoff
    Art Quilt Santa Fe

  2. I love seeing all your work! I love how the quilting textures add to the piece. This is the mystery that holds me back from completing things. Do you improvise the quilting design as you go, or do you have a written plan? I didn't comment on it, but I really thought the Blue Leaves quilt for the AAQI was fantastic.


  3. Hi, Julie,
    They were printed out on regular paper, then stuck down with gel medium.

  4. I just make up the quilting designs as I go along, but I generally followed the painted designs. I know a lot of people who suffer from what you describe at "the mystery that holds me back from completing things." I think in most cases, people are over-thinking or over-planning things because they want control. At some point you have to let go, get over this, and just JUMP! This is what makes creating art so liberating. Follow the Nike slogan: Just Do It!

    I have found that some people can learn to let go by doing fast-paced timed exercises. For example, if you want to work on free-motion quilting motifs, get out a pad of paper, and give yourself three minutes to doodle a design FAST. Hope this helps!


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