Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Among the effects of the Corona virus was the cancellation of a week long class I had planned to take with Jill Kertulla.  Jill makes fiber art beginning with photos on fabric, and then she manipulates them in many ways to create her own fabulous vision.

I was SO looking forward to the class, and SO disappointed.  I don't take disappointment well, so here's how I handled the situation:

1. I had already ordered and received my images on fabric, and gathered all the supplies for the class.
2. Jill had written an article about some of her methods, which was published in Quilting Arts magazine
3. I decided that I would fearlessly proceed on my own, using what I had already gathered and Jill's advice from the article.

One of the images I had printed was of some water pipes.  My daughter is involved in the technology aspect of water movement, and so I had taken several photos of pipes, wheels, and chains.  They are interesting sculptural forms, and I planned to do some fabric collage studies of them.

Here is the image I started with:

This is what I had printed onto fabric:

Not knowing what I was doing, I began painting the blue pipes with transparent fabric paint:

Here is how it looked when the pipes were all painted:

Then, I auditioned fabrics for the sidewalk and grass areas.  Some would add color, some were sheer and would add texture or pattern.

One of the techniques Jill recommended was trapunto, or adding an extra layer of batting to certain areas that you want to look raised.  I stitched around the wheel to make it puffier.  Here is how it looked on the back after trimming away the extra batting:

Next, I made a paper pattern for the grassy area.

I wanted to try Jill's method of weaving strips of fabric, so I cut some slits into this piece:

Because the woven areas were flimsy and floppy, I secured them on the back with some iron on stabilizer.  (Learning as I go!)  The yellow flowers are part of my ironing board cover.

If you look closely, you can see what I've added to the sidewalk areas.  Cheesecloth, patterned tulle, printed fabrics, machine and hand stitching.

More hand and machine stitching to flatten the background areas, and to add textural interest:

Here, I've added some dyed string to the lower sidewalk area.  I knew I would find a use for that string I saved from a shibori process!!  I've also added some embroidered and appliqued details.

Here is the piece with the facing added and waiting to be hand stitched on the back.

I plan to give this to my daughter to hang in her office.  I'm glad I tackled this project!  I look forward to trying another image using these techniques.  On this first one, I didn't stray far from the original photograph.  Now I have more courage and will try making some more artistic changes to the next image.

Thank you Jill, for attempting to teach our group, and for your guidance and inspiration!!


  1. And hand quilted. Good for you tackling the project even though the class had to be cancelled. Good work.

    1. Thank you. I already had the materials gathered, and Jill's instructions in the article, so I went for it!!!

  2. Wow you did really well without a class. SO many interesting techniques.

    1. Thank you Shasta. I've been sewing for a long time, and was motivated to finish this one.

  3. This is really cool! I like the way you continued on with the pipes quilt project even though the class was cancelled. Very inspiring! Thanks for sharing your process.


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