Friday, March 1, 2019

The Best of Digital Quilts (1)

Digital printing technology has changed every industry it has touched, including quilting. Anything you can view or design on a computer can be printed onto fabric, then quilted ! This week and next, we're featuring award-winning fabric artists who have inspired us with their creative works.

p.s. Check out our E-Bay shop for great deals on quilt patterns, fabric, and books ! For continuous free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter !

Icons in Blue by Suzan Engler (Texas)

Suzan Engler holds degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration, as well as a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. On her website, Suzan Engler says, "My art is a collaboration of photography, digital painting and manipulation, and contemporary art quilting."

Icons in Blue was based on a commercially licensed photo which was digitally manipulated, printed onto cotton fabric, and then machine quilted by Suzan.  The background of the image features numerous icons, including the word "artist".  For more of her work, please see Suzan Engler's website.

This Land Was My Land by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred (Pennsylvania)

Patricia Kennedy-Zafred says, "The striking image of a young Navajo man in 1906 speaks not only to the forced migration of Native Americans during that historical period, but also to the battle being fought today by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe... Their stories are an essential part of our diverse American fabric."

This original photo was obtained from the Library of Congress.  This piece was hand-silk-screened, transferred, machine pieced, and quilted. Patricia's prize-winning works have been exhibited nationally and internationally; for more of her work, see her gallery page.

My Arizona by Maureen Tollman

Artist Maureen Tollman says,  "As a native of Arizona, I chose to use a few of my own photographs to depict places in the state.  The background fabric is silk and the photos are mounted onto suede and burlap.  Photographs were printed on treated roller shade fabric using an inkjet printer." 

The rustic feeling of this piece  is enhanced by the addition of metal gears, burlap flowers, and other embellishments.

Birds Eye View, 60 x 24", by Wen Redmond (New Hampshire)

Birds Eye View really caught our eye with its ethereal imagery and pieced-image construction.  Wen Redmond says, "Glancing upward while at a stop sign, I spied a bird sitting high on a branch.  This observation took me on a short reverie, thinking about what the bird was thinking, watching all of us scurry and hurry about our day. This moment gave me back perspective, to remember how precious life is, and to remember the fleeting beauty hidden in today."

Birds Eye View was created by melding several photographs and printing onto prepared canvas.  The fiber photograph is mounted onto sections, which were then stitched, and tied together using dyed pearl cotton.  In the closeup photo above you can also see that the edges of the individual sections are embellished and sealed with metallic paint.
To learn more about her techniques, check out Wen Redmond's 2017 book titled Digital Fiber Art: Combine Photos and Fabric - Create Your Own Mixed-Media Masterpiece:

Mudra, 75" x 51", by Melissa Sobotka (Texas)

Melissa Sobotka’s artwork can be found in many private collections and in the National Quilt Museum. Mudra won an Honorable Mention award at the 2018 Road to California quilt show.  This striking, large wall quilt was based on Melissa Sobotka's own photograph.  She says,  "Mudra is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions.  Some mudras involve the entire body but most are performed with the hands and fingers."

The authenticity of this piece is greatly enhanced by the loops of wooden beads that embellish the bottom edge of the quilt, as shown above.  For more of her work (and information about workshops), please visit Melissa Sobotka's website.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2018 Road to California show (Mudra), the 2015 Quilt Arizona show (My Arizona), and the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival (Icons in Blue, Birds Eye View, This Land Was My Land).


  1. Beautiful and way beyond my comprehension!

  2. Wow - I look forward to part 2. I can see that the only limit to this kind of art is one's printer. Did you ask these artists what type they have?


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