Ive been thinking about doing a graffiti style quilt for a long time and so I sat down a few weeks ago and did some brainstorming and decided to jump in and do it.
I thought I’d share the process of how I took the idea of doing a graffiti style quilt from conception and the design stages through to the finished quilt which you see here on the right.
All of my quilts always start in the pages of my sketchbook and this quilt was no exception. As you can see I don’t spend a lot of time making my sketches pretty or adding a lot of details.
I start with really rough sketches just to explore the ideas that I am having and help me brainstorm the elements that I want to include. I can spend anywhere from days to weeks on this stage of the process. I may spend some time drawing individual elements or drawing the overall composition moving and adding different pieces of it and sometimes I may add some color using colored pencils.
Once I have a good idea of what I think the quilt will look like I do a full scale drawing of it. I do this drawing on brown craft paper, first in pencil and then I go over it with a black permanent marker. In the case of this quilt I didn’t draw the letters onto the quilt because I wasn’t sure where I was going to place them. I created those separately and then taped them in place. Doing a full sized drawing lets me work out any issues with scale and placement before I start cutting which saves me time, fabric and frustration. It also gives me a guide to work from and templates to use. I never cut into my full sized drawings – I use tracing paper to make templates for cutting fabric.
Now the actual quilt construction begins. I work a little differently than most quilters and I build my quilt in layers using Mistyfuse fusible web and I quilt as I go. For this quilt the first layer was the bricks, the building and the sky. These elements were fused in place and quilted.
Then I added the brick outlines and then all the graffiti was created and fused in place. Once that was done the windows were placed on the buildings, the black outlines were added and stitched over and the quilt was trimmed and the binding was added.
I am really very happy with the way this quilt turned out! I originally though it would be a one off quilt but now that it’s done I am really excited about the idea of doing a series of graffiti quilts. 2018 is off to a great start!