Illustrating the quilt – Drapplique, the method.

Its been really hot today around 42 deg  (106)  so I don't venture too far from home in case of bush fires and the studio was the place to be.

A week ago today I bought my Sweet 16 sewing machine… and although its assembled I had to work on a special quilt so I  haven't used it yet….but I'm going to quilt this quilt on it so there's nothing like going in cold turkey… no practice just do it.

This quilt is for the Guild raffle… and even though its for the guild is still has to reflect a piece of me…

The images are from a sketch made in the market in St Thomas or some place we visited in the Caribbean.

I've been preparing  for the next Caribbean trip in March so its been on my  mind and I thought well 'lets do it'



drawing done and each person labeled.


I want this to look like a painting…  it means choosing fabrics I can illustrate on.

I wasn't sure if it would work.

The entire surface of the quilt is applique… not pockets of applique, but the entire backing piece is covered by images and they build on each other… the images in the background are smaller, in the foreground they are larger.

I began at the top… the pieces in the background and worked down.



The figures are not all facing the front… it gives an interesting effect to the overall image.


I was creating each person separately and then putting them down on the base fabric but it got a little confusing.

In the end I numbered each of the people… and I completed each person by preparing the image on fusible web  and putting them in numbered baggies… ready to add the fabric to them, just like I do for the Bayeux.

It made it easier to keep track of each piece. There are hundreds of pieces and many layers.

Similar to the construction of the Bayeux, I used a Teflon sheet to assemble the applique  – and I could assemble about 18" square of applique at a time.



The top was finished this morning…


However, if you look at the top in this photo its quite flat in appearance and a little confusing. However, I knew the  drapplique would change it dramatically.

Now after a day of drawing, it has the effect I want. I illustrated each piece with pigment ink and I chose to do the shading in brown to give it a mellow effect. It also enhances  the color.


If you look at the bunch of bananas, you can see the dramatic change after the drapplique.

I also made my own fabric by drawing some of the patterns on the fabric.

Not sure how I will applique it. Originally I was going to quilt sketch it… in black thread but now I think I'm going to do it another way.

I have about an hour till I finish the illustration, but my neck is stiff from standing in one place for hours as I drew so that will have to wait till the morning.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow Pam ! It has really come to life. I can’t wait to see how you finish it on your sweet sixteen.
    Thanks for inspiring us all.
    Stay cool and safe.

  2. Wow what an exciting piece! I love the bright colors and the energy.
    Temperatures in Florida are finally cooling off…it’s going to be a low of 39 degrees F. tonight. Makes me happy to actually need a blanket on the bed.I hope to see your quilt when it is finished….Enjoy the new machine!

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