Fan Student


Calico Cutters Quilt Guild had a terrific speaker this week. Melissa Sobotka is an award winning quilt maker. She won Best of Show a few years ago in Houston for her quilt, “Chihuly’s Gondola.” The quilt was constructed with a raw edge appliqué technique and viewers had a hard time believing it wasn’t a photograph printed on fabric. 


The slide show was interesting but I was disappointed not to see a single actual quilt. Melissa has sold her quilts and several are in museums and she didn’t have any to bring to the presentation. Wow.


Lucky for me, I saw this amazing quilt, “Silk Road,” at the Lancaster AQS Show in March. I had to get my face just a few inches from the quilt to see the bitty, tiny, fused fabrics and quilting stitches. Seriously? This is not a photograph?

As incredible as those two quilts are, this one of spindles on a warehouse wall, is my favorite. Seeing the depth and coloration of the images in raw edge fabric blew me away and I needed to know, HOW DOES SHE DO THAT?


When I found out that Melissa was coming to our guild to do a workshop I was the first to sign up. I convinced my friend Karen to come too. 


We didn’t have to lug sewing machines to learn Picture Perfect Appliqué. And we didn’t even have to gather materials because Melissa provides a nicely packaged kit. 


We worked from a photograph of a colorful frog. 


We practiced cutting pre-fused fabric shapes and then using a variety of paints and inks to blur and blend the line where the fabrics meet. On the left, I used a pink Derwent Inktense block with a paintbrush on my fabric. Karen brushed Tsukineko ink in white on her shapes. Humm. This technique could take a lot of practice. Controlling the “bleeding” of the paint into the fabric requires a dry brush and experimentation. 


I’ve done quite a bit of raw edge fused appliqué but it’s interesting too see differences in another quilters’s technique. The painting on fabric was new to me and I might like to try this on my quilts. 


We didn’t have time to complete our project in class but got enough of the frog together to understand the process. I applied ink to the frogs eyes and dabbed on white dots to alter the flat green fabric. It made the frog much more dimensional. Ribbit!

I enjoyed the class and being a student for a change. Tomorrow I’m off to New York to lecture and teach my Quilting in Layers Workshop to Towpath Quilt Guild. Learn and teach, it’s all good!


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Comments

  1. Interesting….I’ll be curious to see if some/any of this technique slips into your style. Safe travels.

  2. Kelly P Meanix says:

    I too was disappointed not to see any quilts. Your frog is looking good!