Friday, July 8, 2016

Rerun: Deconstructing a Design

I have been making fused fabric quilts for what seems like a zillion years, and have taught my techniques all over the place, and wonder how many fusing converts have resulted. I am looking for a group of players who want to focus on fusing and would like to do something with me online, where I could demo/teach/play without having to pack a bag and go to the airport. Anyone interested?
It's FREE.
You'll need to have a supply of hand dyed fabrics, plenty of Wonder-Under and an iron and scissors.
Email me and we'll get going.
Here's a sample of what might happen.
Bon Bon #1

Hand dyed and commericial cotton, fused, machine quilted
26.5 x 40" $1200 made in January of 2008.

Bon bon is one of the series of quilts that was made from parts without a design in mind in the beginning. I gathered lots of warm analogous colors, colors next to each other on the color wheel, and then began just by cutting and fusing strips. I was not thinking of size, just making strip fused fabrics. Some strips are narrow, others medium and some wider. I added a few prints, just because.

This section shows that the wider strips were added in a long skinny strip to the narrower stripped fabric. What makes this interesting, since it is so simple, is the color as it changes value and hue. And of course that nothing is really straight.

This is a section from Bon Bon #3 and the strips are alternated horizontal panels with vertical panels. Notice the very thin strips in pink or red that are included to punch up the color. I repeated those several times deliberately.

When lots of stripped parts were constructed I began to arrange them to try out the layout. This is the fun part. In this picture there are none of the log cabin blocks, but they had to come into the design because it needed less busy areas. This layout was rejected in favor of a more horizontal composition.

 Here is a block from another quilt that shows how strips can be the center of a log cabin. Simple but effective.
None of this is difficult, but the FABRIC IS DOING ALL THE WORK. When you have lots and lots of variety of color in lots and lots of values of each of them, plus tints and shades and textures, the results are rich. And everything is fused, so that means even leftover skinny pieces from other quilts are usable in this kind of work.
That whole package, the dyeing, the stripping, the fusing, the simplicity is what I have been teaching all these years. Most of it is still here in the archives of my former blog, I found all these pictures back in January's posts from 2008. Dyeing lessons are in the Lazy Dyer site. The sidebar has lots more fusing information. I am sending it all to you. No secrets.


  1. Oh yes please! I would love to learn from you Melody. You are so sweet and generous. I will email you as well. Thank you soooooo much!!!

  2. yes, please include me.

  3. How fun! I hope we get to watch even if we're not participating. That photo of your hand-dyed fabrics just blows me away.

    1. Watchers are welcome Susan, and I'll be posting student's work as well as mine...

  4. i want to play too!! how many is enough? Yes, this is very generous of you!!

  5. I will love to be your audience!! Your colors and designs always call my name :)

    1. If you want to be included in the class list, please email me Kara.

  6. I'd like to play too. Just got back from Sisters quilt week and have too many in-process but what's one more thing?

  7. Yes. Thank you.

  8. Yes, would love to be part of this. Just emailed you

  9. I am obviously WAY behind on my blog reading. I just became aware of your Focus on Fusing class. Is it too late to join in? If so, I will definitely read the posts and see what others are doing. I dabble in hand dyeing my own fabric and really try to use it in projects rather than just add to my stash.