Mini Art Quilt Series – Stenciled Fire

After a brief hiatus from my  art quilting group due to summer events, I dove back in to my fire  mini art quilt series using paint and gold foil.  My group is currently working through the Art Quilt Workbook by Jane Davila and Elin Waterson.  We make monthly mini art quilts  tied together by a common theme.  My theme is fire and our most recent chapter was on techniques to add paint to a piece.

Recently, I taught a class on decorating a zipper pouch using freezer paper stenciling and gold foil techniques.  So, I have spent a lot of time making stenciling and foiling samples.  The bags had a very modern, minimalistic vibe and I though it would be fun to use the same techniques in an art quilting project to show the range of these techniques.

Here is how I made my quilt:

Starting Out

Using a few different online free campfire clip art images as inspiration, I drew my fire pattern – a graphic clean line image of a fire in a circle of stones.  I choose a warm neutral gray  hand dyed background piece for texture. My plan was to use freezer paper stenciling to add the flames in different colors, and then add applique stones and rocks to the base of the fire.So, using the parchment paper transfer method, I transferred the fire pattern and fused down the yellow fabric to my background piece.  This yellow piece was the base for building my flames with stenciling.


Next, I marked which colors I wanted each flame piece to be on my pattern.  Then, I traced the flames of that color on freezer paper.  Using an xacto knife, I cut out the flame images and then ironed the freezer paper to my yellow fire fabric. Then, I printed the flame shapes with fabric paint and a foam stencil brush.I added three layers of stencils to my fire image: orange, yellow-orange, and red.


Lastly, I used gold foil to add a bit of shine.


Once the paint was dry, I cut out log and stone pieces to arrange  and fuse around the bottom of the fire.  I backed the piece with cotton batting and set to work free motion quilting the piece.I added texture stitching to the stones and wood and outlined the different colored flames to give them dimension.

To finish this small quilt, I zig zag stitched around the edge.

I love how the fire came out for this one.  I am thinking of using this stenciling technique as a basis for a larger piece.  The layering of colors gave these images a lot of depth and I really liked the gold foil accents. I am usually not a shiny threads and fabrics kind of person, but I can get behind a bit of well placed gold foil!