"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My First Fabric Collages

Ted just shakes his head and smiles saying, "You're always up to something. You just can't help yourself." He's right. But I say, if creating is wrong, I don't want to be right!

Lately, fabric collages have caught my eye. After gazing over so many of them, I knew I had to try one myself. Searching over hundreds of antique cabinet card images on the internet, this particular young woman inspired me. I printed her image out on printable cotton fabric and ironed her to a piece of cloth.

Now I needed my story. Was she sad? Depressed? Bored? Irritated? I finally decided she was just plain tired and worn out and I knew the perfect Biblical quote, "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I shall give you rest."

Antique fabric, black and white French toile, rusty safety pins, vintage millinery, and different shades and textures of black and sepia-toned fabric and trim were all combined inside this distressed white frame. A tiny piece of an earring serves as the girl's brooch. I also hand-stitched just a wee bit of pink string around her for a bit of whimsy. Instead of making clean cuts, I prefer tearing the fabric for the frayed look.

That was so much fun, I had to try another! Again, I printed out an image of a beautiful woman looking in a mirror and ironed her to some fabric. I searched all over for a quote or saying having to do with beauty, a woman, or a mirror. Finally, I came across a poem in which this verse was written, "The true beauty of a woman is reflected in her soul."

I bit the bullet and took apart a vintage lady's hat to get these black velvet flowers and feathers. Inside, I added sparkly rhinestone pieces for the centers. I love how they shine against the black, like stars in a clear night sky.

Old ticking, buttons, and more vintage jewelry completed the piece. Although I originally wanted this to be flat with glass in front of it, I couldn't resist all the embellishments!

Feeling the fabrics, jewelry, and millinery in my hands, all the different shades and textures, all the eye candy, and sorting through piles of fabric and embellishments to find just the right piece was overwhelming, yet exciting. If you need a creative fix, try one of these. You'll use both sides of your brain to get it done!


  1. Oh Jill....your fabric collages are wonderful creations!! It sounds like you had a blast putting them together too. Isn't it great therapy to do projects like these?

  2. It's just divine. You do beautiful work. One of the best parts of the patriotic swap is getting to meet new online friends. I've been known to buy vintage hats just to take them apart. I recently covered a lamp shade with millinery flowers for my girls vintage treehouse.

  3. That's it! I COMMAND YOU TO SEND THESE INTO STAMPINGTON & COMPANY MAGAZINES. You are so incredibly talented. These are spectacular. I just marvel at the depth of your art. You can do anything, apparently. You are so much better than so many I see that get published. You have a gift, and it should be shared beyond your blog. It should be out there for the world to see, and these magazines have a very large readership. I'm so impressed. And I love those frames.

    Please ask Kim K to send in a picture of that lamp shade (and the tree house). Wouldn't you love to see that?

    I need to move to Pennsylvania. Patsye

  4. Well, THANK YOU so much! Not being able to sew, I was nervous about trying, especially seeing all the woman who can work a Singer like nobody's business!

    Oh, the frames come from Home Goods - only $12.99 each! I still have one more to fill and then I want to try hanging them in other ways.

  5. They are beautiful Jill!!!

  6. Stunning and darn right marvelous dear one. Love what you do, always and forever! I like the way you drive down many creative paths in life and try different artist avenues.

    The first women...I think she is saying...I can't believe my husband did that again! Whoa is me, will I survive this thing called marriage?

    The little wood doll in red, I don't remember ever selling her to anyone...she is the mystery of the day. Where did she go, I really don't know but I hope she is happy and content. I take it she was not in the return boxes? I know this for sure, she did not go in any wishing well grab bag...where are thou lost doll?

    It's Friday, and I'm glad. I have four days off and then I work 10 in a row but just the mornings. I'm making matchboxes and bags for Kara's Mary Kay business and plan to re-paint some gnomes today. Were trying to go to Oregon for a little vacation but money is tight right now so may need to wait till the fall...boo hoo...Where's my piggy bank when I need it? I lost that too!

  7. Well aren't you something little lady!! I LOVE the first one and the verse you put on it. You just keep on keeping on and God in return will reward you!! Love you to the moon and back. XO Aunt Frannie.

  8. Beautiful post!
    Feliz dia das Fadas!
    Beijos e muita luz!

  9. Hi Jill!

    Jack is back for more. I had to come back and read every word of your carnival post and see all the pictures. You are so beautiful. You are so carefree and happy in your element at this carnival.
    Girl, that was one really wonderful thing to do for the kids. Your heart is huge and I love that about you. You did an amazing job!

  10. Wow wow wow i am loving your work its stunning.i am adding myself to follow.
    Oh and while i am here i thought you might like to know about my giveaway at Dezinaworld blog. Its to celebrate 500 followers. Please feel free to pop by and join in for a chance to win.
    hugs June xxxxx

  11. Jill, I love your fabric collages, such beautiful work! I've been trying to leave you a message for a few weeks but my google acct (or blogger) just wouldn't work. I hope everything's going well for you. Have a great summer.