Inspirations and Techniques

Ingrid Ellis

Textile Art

Inspirations and Techniques


Some of my fellow quilters and embroiderer friends are always curious about how things are made.  If you are a watercolour or other painter, nobody asks you how it's done or how long it takes, but quilters and crafters always want to know this. 


I have to disappoint them when it comes to how long it takes as it's not only the activity of creating work in itself that matters, it's the time it has taken to acquire the skill in the first place and the hours spent learning and perfecting.  And, after all, it's a real bore writing down how many hours you might sit by the sewing machine in between doing lots of other things and living a life, so I can't answer that question.  Except for one particular wall quilt, which is called "Diamond Quilt" and was made for my City & Guilds exam.  Part of the exam was documenting the hours and I worked out that it took roughly 120.   These 120 hours did not take into account time for shopping for materials or writing the project up.  You will see this quilt somewhere in this secion and it's still my favourite. 


I will aim to eventually list all my work here in alphabetical title order for those of you who want to know how things are made and I will always try to include the inspiration or the workshop tutor, if I can remember the details.  


This is a work in progress and I write this in April 2019 when I am adding the first items.


Faux Chenille Work


"Brexit" (below) - made in March 2019.

This is a technique called "Faux Chenille" or "Chenille Work" or "Slashing".



I was introduced to this by Fay Maxwell, who tutored this at the Weymouth Embroiderers' Guild many moons ago.


The top fabric is a wild feather image in reads and oranges, barely visible when finished.


Needless to say, the inspiration came from the rather exasperating political machinations that were current when the work was made.  Nobody knew where it would lead or what further discoveries would emerge as it went on.




The technique consists of a base cloth onto which are laid many bits of coloured fabrics with no plan at all. Over this is placed a top cloth, which usually works best if it's a fabric you don't really like.
Then tramlines or diamond shapes are machine-sewn into the fabric to create an interesting pattern. Once this is done, the tramlines are "slashed" to reveal the fabric pieces below.
The exciting thing about this is that you never know how it will look in advance.


Below are "Brocade" (left) and "Green and Purple" (right), which were all done in the same way, but embellishments of different sorts were also added, wich is a lot of fun.  "Brocade" was one of those hated fabrics you have at home and you think you will never use.  However, they are completely transformed by this technique.  The top fabric for  "Green and Purple" was a rather sedate batik in those colours.  

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