3-D Wall Quilt

I saw some free-standing quilt blocks in Jean Wells’ book Intuitive Color and Design: Adventures in Art Quilting.  They were sort of a cross between a quilt block and a sculpture, using miniature deep artists’ canvases as a base.  I loved the idea, and pictured a group of 9 blocks arranged together.

I bought a couple of multi-packs of canvases, and for the center, I got a cradle board.  It’s a little deeper than the canvases, and it can also be flipped over and used as a shadow box.

canvas and cradle board

Six-inch square canvas and cradle board.

canvas and cradle board back

The cradle board can be flipped to use as a shadowbox.

I originally planned to piece blocks from regular commercial fabric, but then I thought of all my handwoven samples.  I used to participate in challenges and swaps, and the samples have been sitting in notebooks for over 20 years.  This would be a great way to get them out of the notebooks and onto the wall.

textile notebooks

Twenty-five years of weaving notebooks.

I started with my black-and-white and neutral samples.

black-and-white handwoven fabrics

Gorgeous handwoven samples obtained in swaps. The only ones I wove myself are the black one with the little white rectangles, and the long skinny band.

I laid them out and auditioned various embellishments on top of them.

block design

Basic design plan, before adding embellishments.

embellishment choice 1

One idea about adding embellishments.

embellishment choice 2

Another idea.

embellishment choice 2

Yet another possibility.

I liked the look of the white canvas around the edge, so I didn’t piece a border around the blocks.  I used basting spray to mount the samples on the canvases.  For three of them, I put a layer or two of batting between the canvas and the fabric.

Here’s what it looks like so far.  I don’t mind the canvas showing where the samples aren’t quite 6 inches square, but I might put some kind of border around each sample.  I have to decide about embellishing – I have some old buttons and a lot of beads which I would like to use, but I don’t want to take attention away from the handwoven fabrics.  It may take a few days for me to decide.  Then I will join the blocks together.

samples on canvases

Now it needs to incubate for a while.

It should be light and easy to hang on the wall, and it’s certainly an improvement over leaving these beautiful fabrics stuffed in notebooks.