10 August 2014

Wake-Up Bells

Today is the final day of Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, and the winners have already been announced, so now I'm safe to publish images of the quilt that was sent there. As I've already mentioned here, the theme this year was In My Garden, and spring was the season that was given to Finland. I chose the lovely snowdrop, and titled the quilt Wake-Up Bells. Here's an image of the whole quilt, as well as process images and some detail shots of the finished quilt. As mentioned, it will be on tour for two years, so I took lots of photos before I sent it off.

The size of the quilt is 30 x 30 cm (12" x 12"). It's a wholecloth printed and painted quilt with collage elements between cotton and a layer of silk organza.

First of all I made a preliminary plan of the quilt on watercolour paper to help me make decisions about the colour scheme and texture before I started adding paint to fabric.

I printed cotton with pigment (textile) paint and various handmade and found stamps, transferred the pattern to the cotton with a mechanical pencil and painted the hair with a brush and pigment paint.

I also printed and spray painted silk organza,

and the cotton fabric that I used to soak up the paint that went trough the sheer organza was used for the back of the quilt.

I outlined the image with Derwent Inktense pencils, and started adding the collage elements.

I added the organza over the cotton base fabric, free-motion quilted the whole thing and added hand embroidery as a finishing touch. Here are some close-ups of the finished quilt:

If you're interested in this way of working, I recommend looking up Melanie Testa's book Inspired to Quilt. Melanie works with dye in the book, but it's also possible to use pigment paint, as I have done, if that's more accessible to you.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. WOW Annika, that is lovely!!! Thanks for walking us through your process!


  2. Annika, this is so beautiful!!! WOW!!! I love the concept and you portrayed springs awakening beautifully. Congrats for having a piece at Festival. xo

    1. Thank you Jeannie! This is one of the times when I just instinctively knew what I wanted to do straight away, and I carried a line from a poem with med through the process: "this is the time when the sun lets out her blonde hair" (in my language, the sun is a "she" and the moon is a "he").