For centuries, stitchers have used scraps of fabric and bits of thread to create bed coverings, wall decor, clothing and household items, and there has often been adaptation between media. Stitchers have used photos of ancient tapestries to create cross-stitch copies and paintings by old masters to develop needlepoint likenesses. The computer age makes it possible to design quilts and to create stitching designs from family photos. The methodology for creating pictures with thread or fabric is the same – create a grid and fill it with colour. But, what if the original picture was designed for thread and the maker wants a quilt? Or, perhaps the picture was completed in fabric and the desired result is something done in thread for a wall?
A common technique for creating pictures with fabric, particularly in quilts, is “mosaic” or “postage” stamp. Sometimes the technique is used randomly with no apparent design intent, but often the small pieces – 1″ or 2″ squares or similar sized triangles or hexagons – are ordered in a way that a picture appears. An early 1800s example of a mosaic quilt is called “Horseman”. Now in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, “Horseman” is a picture of a man on a horse carrying a banner and is entirely hand pieced of 30,000 small squares.
Read more in our Spring 2013 issue.
Designed by Rebecca Sham