Quilting with plastic bags!

W hile at the European Patchwork Meeting I thought it would be a great idea to take a class.

Classes had designated languages, since I am not fluent in anything but English (a fact of which I am ashamed) I chose one with English as one of 3 languages. German and French were the other two offered at this class.

The class was advertised as exploring different techniques and using materials I had not used in quilting before. I was not familiar with the instructor, Monika Schiwy, but the class sounded very interesting.

I had no idea how interesting until I received the class supply list! We needed plastic bags, a heat gun, a soldering iron – what had I gotten myself into! At least I knew it was going to be different.

I entered the classroom with trepidation. It turned out I was the only English speaker there but I soon established that there were a few German speakers in the class who spoke English. Monika also spoke English so she would translate for me whenever a question was asked or a technique described. Everyone in the class was so friendly, even if I couldn’t always communicate easily with them. If someone made a joke, they always made sure I got a translation so I could join in. We were all there for the same purpose and we came together with our love of quilting.

The class itself – WHAT FUN! We covered two different techniques.

For the first technique, we took a piece of cotton batting, ironed a piece of fusible web to one side, then layered the fusible web with strips of plastic bags – yes, plastic bags! Using a piece of baking paper over the top, we then fused the plastic bags onto the batting. The web and batting keeps the plastic from curling.

We then cut strips of newspaper spaced randomly over the plastic bags. We continued with layers of organza in different colours and metallic candy wrappers. This must be a good technique for recyclers! The layers will ultimately be burned through at different rates highlighting different things placed in the piece.

When the layering is done, a sheer piece of polyester chiffon is placed over the entire piece and pinned in the corners. We were now ready to sew a grid pattern over the entire piece to hold it together.
Sewing grid pattern to hold the layers together

Sewing grid pattern to hold pieces together

We then screen printed over the top of the piece. I used a screen with a pattern of birds. Now the real fun started!
Screen printing images onto the piece

Screen printing images onto the piece

Using the heat gun, we then burned through bits of fabric to show the layers below. The artist decides which layer they wish to expose.
Burning through layers using a heat gun

Burning through layers using a heat gun

Here are the finished pieces and a close-up of my masterpiece. As you see it is only limited by the artist’s imagination. Not too bad for my first attempt…
Completed quilt pieces from the class

Completed quilt pieces from the class

Leslie's masterpiece

Leslie’s masterpiece

The second technique was a bit more complicated. Taking a piece of cotton fabric, we layered it onto a piece of Gutermann Filmoplast – a sticky embroidery stabiliser.

Pieces of organza in various colours were layered over the fabric until you can no longer see the fabric. Then a single layer of organza goes over the top and the corners are pinned. Turning the piece over, you place a design you wish to sew and you sew through all layers.

After sewing, return to the front of the work and use a soldering iron to carefully cut away layers of organza from the design as desired.

The class produced some great artistic examples.
Second technique examples from the class

Second technique examples from the class

I didn’t quite finish mine but here is a sample.
Another Leslie masterpiece

Another Leslie masterpiece

As you can imagine this is not a warm and fuzzy quilt you cuddle in. These are art pieces which you can frame or cut up and make cards. A very different type of artwork for me but I loved it and look forward to exploring these techniques further.



Posted by Leslie Edwards

  1. Loving your website and blogs Leslie … and suitably envious of your travel!


  2. Bonnie Favorite March 10, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I had never heard of these techniques before. The finished art quilts look amazing!


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