Four in Art Reveal

This year each member of the Four in Art Quilting Group will be interpreting the theme of LITERATURE in their 4 works. We have worked with a 12" x 12" square quilt limit in the past challenges and I am continuing with that this year. (The other reveals are scheduled for May 1, August 1 and November 1.)

My focus for the theme is Children's Literature. I will donate my Literature quilts to my local library for permanent display.

My series begins with children's books as the building blocks of reading. 

From my elementary school teaching experiences of more than 26 years and reading to my own daughters, I had an extensive list of books (as well a quite a collection!) to picked from in developing this first piece. I think this small quilt will bring the child (and parents) into the quilt and thus its message.

Around or at the reading table -- that is one place children experience books. The center of my quilt is the "wood" table. One of the first books my daughters enjoyed listening to and "reading" was Pat the Bunny  by  Dorothy Kunhardt. That is the first block sewn to the table. I built the COURTHOUSE STEPS around the table to indicate the steps of reading, climbing the ladder, and moving down the steps to begin the wonderful journey that reading can provide. 

My goal was to use a variety of techniques to put words on the fabric. I took a class with Susan Purney-Mark a few years ago where we explored various media to add LETTERS to our quilted pieces.

These are the marking tools I used in the process: 
  • Pat the Bunny was printed directly to fabric using my computer printer. I taped the edges of the fabric to paper to feed it into the printer. 
  • The Bic Mark-It ultra fine points were used to print Little Bear (by Else Holmelund Minarik) and Planting a Rainbow (by  Lois Ehlert). I found they bled a bit too much for my liking.
  • I found the Pentel ENERGEL pens to be the best to write on fabric. They were used to write Today is Monday (traditional words illustrated by Eric Carle), Harold and the Purple Crayon (by Crockett Johnson) and outlining the letters of The Foot Book (by Dr. Seuss).
  • The letters for The Foot Book  were painted with Jacquard Textile (Color 111 Sky Blue).
  • Plaid latex Craft Paint (20586 Canary Yellow) was used straight from the bottle for Corduroy (by Don Freeman) and Goodnight Moon (by Margaret Wise Brown). 
  • It was a bit difficult using the paints with the thin brush. The fabric fibers were rough enough to stop an even spread of paint.
  • A medium black Jimnie Gel Rollerball by Zebra worked nicely for Winnie the Pooh (by A. A Milne). I did like the way this wrote on the fabric.
  • The Velveteen Rabbit (by Margery Williams) was written with a medium Zebra Z-Grip pen I found in my pen basket. I liked the way it rolled on the fabric. 
  • Strega Nona (by Tomie dePaola) was written with a black ZIG Chisel tip and the gold dots were made with a Krylon 18kt Gold Leafing Pen. This was cool to use and would be interesting to use on a larger area in a quilted project. 
  • The Magic Fish (by Freya Littledale) was painted using a mixture of Liquitex Soft Body Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Yellow Deep to try to make a goldfish color. Unfortunately, I had added a bit of Folk Art Extreme Glitter for a shimmer (which did not occur) and it made the Liquitex stiffer and plastic-y.  

I was not sure I liked the appearance of the piece when it was only a block. But after layering and quilting in the ditch, it began growing on me. The binding is simply the backing brought around to the front, held down for stitching using 1/4" water soluble basting tape--the best "third hand" I can ask for when working with hemming! Adding this binding, I thought, finished it off very nicely. 

Let me and the other readers know what  book you remember reading at a young age or reading to a child. Or if you have you ever incorporated words or letters into a quilted piece and how you did that.

Thank you for visiting. Be sure to look at the other members' pieces at their sites below to view their works:

Betty at a Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com
Catherine  at Knotted Cotton
Elizabeth at OPQuilt.com 
Jennifer at Secondhand Dinosaur 
Nancy at  Patchwork Breeze (You are here.)
Rachel at The Life of Riley
Simone at Quiltalicious
Susan at PatchworknPlay


Betty said...

I love that you've started this Literature series with a building-block theme! And how you created the titles - such variety! I love all the books you chose - my early memories of the books my mom read to me are only that they were Golden Books. BUT I so remember when I started picking out my own books which were all Nancy Drew Mysteries! Great job!

Needled Mom said...

I see so many of my favorites there. The "table" in the center is so clever.

Rachel said...

What a neat idea. I know so many of those books, and a couple are new! We read a lot of books in our family and so many on your quilt are favorites here. Thanks for the details on all the techniques that you used for making the books. I will have to remember this post for future reference.

Leanne said...

I think I might have most of those still on my shelves, as favourites that I could not part with as my kids grew. Your little quilt is lovely and I love all the different lettering ideas.

Catherine said...

I have never written, printed or painted on fabric and you really make me want to have a go! The building blocks message you convey with your lovely quilt is so important. My own favourite book when very small was the Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf.

FunThreads Designs said...

My kids wanted to hear Good Night Moon every night. We read it until the binding fell apart...taped it back together and kept on reading:)

OPQuilt said...

I so love this little quilt, and agree with you that sometimes you can't tell if you'll like something until you've quilted it and lived with it. How fun that both you and I chose to use the Log Cabin in some way. I love that you started with that wooden table--so representative of a library! And all those titles are expertly applied and bring back recollections of reading to my children, and my mother reading to us. You seem to hit on all our favorites--thank you for such a beautiful little literature quilt!


Susan said...

I have enjoyed reading about the early book influences of American children- quite different from my own and those of the children I have taught! "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is a popular story for early readers here downunder.

Quiltalicious said...

It was really neat to read about the background and your experiences behind this quilt. It looks like the perfect match for a school teacher/quilter/mom/lover of children's literature to make. I like that you plan to donate the quilts to your library. First of all I think your wooden table is genius.What a great place to begin your quilt, at a reading table. You have done a wonderful job at conveying the style of each individual book. At first I thought that you had found pre-printed fabric with all the book titles on them! I look forward to seeing what your other Four in Art quilts look like this year. Simone

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Nicely done Nancy and so generous to donate the series to your library at the end of the year. I don't have much experience with writing on fabric other than signature blocks for our bee. I might try a few of your techniques. Thanks for sharing them.