Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Another dimension in quilting: 3D Quilts !

Who says a quilt has to be two-dimensional?  We love quilts with 3D shapes.  With the advent of fusible webbing and spray products, many quilters are  making bouquets, landscapes, birds, houses, and other fiber art creations, as you'll see here.  And at the end of this post, you'll find some free tutorials for 3D flowers and leaves!

Nantucket Window Box by Suzanne Ashmead

In this wonderful quilt, all the elements were 3 dimensional: the shingles, flowers, and colorful bird.   Suzanne says, "I enjoy the brightness of a planted window box, and was intrigued by Joan Shay’s method of adding a 3-dimensional quality to flowers and leaves. Not having found the right fabric for the shingles, I dyed one to the color I wanted – fun!"

The colorful impatiens flowers make a pretty impression in this window box.  This pattern and many other 3d patterns are available at Joan Shay's Petal Play.

On Oyster Pond by Helene Blanchet (Nova Scotia, Canada)

Helene Blanchet says, "I am a folk artist from Nova Scotia. When our children left home I wanted to make a commemorative piece of the place where we raised them in the small village of Oyster Pond – complete with all of our gardens, favorite activities and all the birds that used to come to our feeders (but you have to peek under the leaves to find them!)"

The leaves have finished edges, and each leaf was quilted with veins, then appliqued to the background.

In the Potting Shed by Georgia Thorne (Threadplayers Fiber Art Group)

This delightful spring quilt won a blue ribbon for 1st place in the Art/Innovative category at the 2014 Arizona Quilters Guild show. Georgia Thorne says, "In the winter, the empty flower pots inspired me to “Plant” them with color. I tried new products: Stiffy, Terial Magic, Glass Bead Gel, and Jacquard pearl paint."

The Philip Jacobs purple fabric was perfect for the lattice work background, and the flower pots, leaves and flowers were so realistic they almost jumped right off the quilt. 

On a Cloudy Day, 43 x 49”, by Jeannine Smetana

We spotted this cheerful origami-style sunflower at the 2015 World Quilt Show in Florida. The sunflower is both hand and machine appliqued with detail of stitching on petals and leaves. The on-point blocks are edge-stitched with green thread in a non-traditional form. The pattern is an original design by Jeannine Smetana.

Saturday Market Bags, 57 x 67”, by Tina McCann (Depoe Bay, Oregon)

We were intrigued by Saturday Market Bags, which was exhibited at the 2014 AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix. Tina McCann says that piles of newly dyed wool fiber and silk, followed by a trip to the Saturday Market with piles of fruits and vegetables, inspired the quilt.  Here is a closeup of the felted bag, with grape leaf decor.

3D Fabric Tutorials: You can find a whole collection of books and videos on 3D quilt art by Diane Savona, Jane LaFazio and other authors at the Interweave Store.  Or, checkout these fun and free tutorials we've collected from around the web !

Row 1: 3D leaf tutorial by Eva Paige Quilt Designs;  Fabric 3-D applique shapes tutorial at QuiltScapesRow 2: Shabby Chic pillow tutorial by Jennifer Heynen for Thermoweb; Flowers by Barb Forrister, tutorial at Quilting DailyRow 3: Love is in the Air wall hanging project by Jackie White for Pellon Projects;  3D Foliage using Misty Fuse, tutorial by Barb Forrister.


  1. These quilts and quilter's are absolutely amazing!! So talented and creative!

  2. I have noticed at recent shows that 3D is becoming the "in" thing here to.
    Nice selection.

  3. Check out the great book Wild and Wonderful 3-D Quilts by Mary Vaneecke a fellow Arizonan.


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