Collaborative Quilt Progression


My friend, Edith Harmer, and I have generated collaborative quilt projects in the past…collaborative in that a group of quilters come together to create one fiber piece.  Last year we worked on a close-up of a rose.  Four quilters created four segments of the rose photograph, we exchanged our quadrants and then pieced those four sections back together.  We each walked away with a completed quilt that was similar, but different in that they were finished independently.   This year we pulled together a group of eight quilt artists to help us create one “fractured quilt”.  It all started with a photograph.

004 Final - cropped

Edith’s neighbor is a potter.  He artistically stacked his “rejects”  in front of his house.  A daffodil grew.  Edith snapped a digital photograph.  We knew that this colorful arrangement would be a fun challenge to duplicate in fabric.   A line drawing was then created as a “pattern” for the quilt.


This is where is gets interesting.  We cut the enlarged pattern into eight sections,  provided each quilter with their section and a small color photograph.  Each artist does not know how their section relates to the other sections.  They did not see the entire photograph, and will not see the “whole” until all of the sections are interpreted in fabric.  Each quilter has been instructed to  follow the provided pattern to make their 10 x 16 inch section, using the color clues provided in their small  photograph segment.

color and bw

My section is the bottom left hand corner.  I enlarged my 2.5 x 4 inch section in black and white.

painted background

My section involved quite a bit of grass and weeds.  Since all fabric options and techniques were fair game in this project, I chose to use fabric paint to create the background.  I then appliqued various fabrics to create the pot.

threadpainting redwood

My section had a redwood leaf in the foreground.   I chose to interpret that leaf using a technique called “thread painting”.  I machine-embroidered the leaf shape on water-soluble stabilizer.  After many layers of interlocking thread, the stabilizer was washed away leaving a three dimensional leaf.


I can now share with you my section– but this is a secret.  The rest of the group does not know what this looks like.  Each quilter will add a border (appropriate to each section), and then quilt their piece.  Our color and fabric choices will all be different.  We do hope that the eight fabric sections will seam together and that the “whole” makes sense.  But since this is a “fractured” quilt  it is guaranteed to be charming and  a little wonky.    The yellow inner border was provided to each quilter…perhaps that yellow frame will tie it all together.  It will now be a few months before we all gather again to share our quilts.  I will share the final results with you.

11 Responses to “Collaborative Quilt Progression”
  1. allison 6 March 2010 at 10:19 am #

    What FUN! Beautiful and creative as always! Can’t wait to see the puzzle put together!

  2. donna 6 March 2010 at 11:27 am #

    and you have to keep what you have seen a secret:) I’m assuming that you are my only quilt/knit friend that knows how to find this blog!

  3. Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] 6 March 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    You need an Etsy!!!

  4. barbara 6 March 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I can’t wait to see the final product-what fun!!!

  5. donna 6 March 2010 at 5:05 pm #


  6. Edith 15 May 2010 at 8:22 am #

    Great documentation, Donna. It’s going to be great fun to see our next production up here, and that’s coming up fast. Can hardly wait till we all reveal our “octet” pieces :-) And then, the finished product!

  7. Betty Wilson 16 May 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    Oh, you girls just have too much fun! I am anxious to see the end result, and I know it will be great! Will you each have a finished quilt, or will you have to “fight” over it? I wish my “Tuesday Quilter” buddies were brave enough to do a project such as yours, but we would scare some of them off, and we sure wouldn’t want to do that! Keep up the great work, Quilters!

  8. donna 18 May 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Thanks Betty — we are going to try to sell this off to benefit a charitable organization, so no fights.

  9. donna 18 May 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Edith – trying to work up the next post on this project so we can share the finished product!

  10. [...] your self up to speed, a group of eight quilters got together to share in the creation of a group project (click on the word project).  Each quilter got a thumbnail section of 1/8th of a photograph.  [...]

  11. Carol Hofer 1 December 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    Oh! wow! I am amazed what all went into this beautiful quilt that I am now the proud owner of….makes it even more special.
    I thank you all again for giving me the chance to buy it.
    Peace Carol Hofer

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