Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Alice's Quilt--Interwoven Lives

At first I found this theme extremely challenging!  But then I decided to weave ribbons together into a design. I have been struck all along about how the lives of all of us Mavens, from all across the USA, are now connected through this group—how our lives are, indeed, “interwoven.” And so I decided to learn to print onto ribbon, and I printed all the Mavens’ names onto silk ribbons.

I found clear directions for printing from a new book I have, and then located the same online.  You can find these printing directions here.  After printing the names, I fused each of the ribbons to re-positionable Steam-a-Seam 2. Then, working on release paper, I tackled the most difficult part of this process—weaving the ribbons so that all names could be read. Next I fused the background turquoise silk to all-cotton batting with Wonder Under. Then I carefully transferred the woven ribbons to the silk background, ribbon by ribbon, and then fused the weaving down. 

A personal goal since the MMs first began was to try out new techniques and materials as often as possible.  This time I used all silk for the first time, and I learned how to print onto ribbons with an inkjet printer.  The background silk came from a blouse purchased at a thrift-store.  I ordered the silk ribbons online, after learning in a recently purchased book that inkjet printing works best on silk or nylon ribbons. Using thrift-store clothing was a tip I picked up in a workshop under Sue Benner this past fall, taken with fellow-Maven Carolyn.

I hand quilted using echo quilting around the woven ribbons design and then added some hand-quilted circles to the corners and edges.   I then bound the quilt with another item of recycled clothing--this one a silk tie-belt from a long-outgrown silk dress of my own that is probably about thirty years old.  I like the way the slightly different shade of aqua and its subtle print define the edges of my quilt.  Pieces from this silk dress will likely eventually reappear in future quilts!

close-up showing echo quilting and circles


  1. I love how you wove the MM's together! What a clever idea. I appreciate the description of how you assembled the piece, but how did you print the names on the ribbons?!? Could you explain? Lovely hand quilting to finish a very special piece of art.

    1. Nedra, yes, I could explain the process, but, better, I can send you to a link that describes it concisely and clearly; it is the same process I found and used from that book I reference above. Here is the link: http://asubtlerevelry.com/printed-ribbon. While I am at it, I think I will add this link to my piece!

      Thanks for your kind words!

  2. Alice, this is great! Thanks for the 'how to' link. I wasn't aware you could print on ribbon, especially being so translucent. I will have to try this. Your colors and hand quilting around the free-form shape adds that extra personal touch to interwoven relationship sentiments you dipict here. Very sweet piece.

  3. What a wonderful quilt. I really love the printing on ribbon. I can't wait to try it. Thank you for asking me to join. What an amazing group of quilts and techniques. So inspiring!

  4. What a good opportunity for lots of hand stitching! Love the ribbons and the printing. Must go to that site.

  5. Fascinating that you were able to print on silk ribbon. Your piece is so touching and has a beautiful look to it. You did a great job and I know you enjoyed the luxury of the silk.

  6. As always Alice, it is wonderful. And I agree with the others, Printing on Silk Ribbon? Who knew? And thank you again for assisting in getting me posted at truly the 11th hour!

  7. Hi Alice. I thumbed through the book that both of us bought at IQA and thought about doing using printed words on silk at some point in our challenge group. After looking at your beautiful quilt, I'm sure that I will use this technique at some point in the future. What a great idea to use the Material Mavens as your interwoven theme. I love it!

  8. As I had so much trouble with this particular theme, I knew when I saw what the other members produced I would "kick" myself, and yours is just such a quilt! I love the simplicity of design, hand stitched texture and concept behind you quilt. You executed the theme beautifully!

  9. HI Alice - I love this piece, and your explanation made me love it even more ! Thanks for all the info about printing on silk ribbon, for explaining the process, how you chose to use silk, and describing your hand work. I was especially touched at how you wove all of our names - I felt magically connected to all the other MMs. Thanks again for all the great work you do in keeping us motivated and on task, and for being such a great "Den Mother" to all of us !