Almost since I started making quilts I’ve used my own fabrics. The first thing was hand-dyeing fabric and I still use hand dyes extensively in my quilts. As I learned more about what all was possible, I added printing on fabric with an ink jet printer. Most of this was printing photographs onto fabric, and there are several examples of these quilts in my Small Quilts and AAQI galleries.
I wanted to branch out from straight photos on fabric to designs based on photos. I did a series of small quilts using kaleidoscopic images created from photos. This was my first attempt, using three photos that my nephew had taken.
Here are a couple small nine patch quilts using kaleidoscopic images. The one one the left is kaleidoscopes made from a photo of the Tribune Tower in Chicago. The one on the right was made from a photo of a thistle flower.
I wanted to start developing repeat designs so I could create fabrics unique to a specific quilt design. I was able to take the class Digital Design for Printed Textiles with Michael James, and in the class I created a lot of designs, including these two stripe fabrics.
For my first experiment with designing all the fabric specifically for a certain quilt design I wanted to use these stripes. I designed a quilt layout that included two sets of opposing circles (maybe this picture of the initial quilt top design will make this a bit clearer).
Once I had the quilt top designed, I used Photoshop to ‘bend’ the striped fabrics to fit the curves in the quilt design. The orange/gray striped fabric was engineered to fit the red lines in the quilt design, and the blue/green striped fabric was engineered to fit the blue lines in the quilt design.
This is the resulting quilt. You can see how the stripes curve with the piecing of the quilt top.