The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolfe

Fairly early on in my quilting career I wanted to create more 3-dimensional surfaces. I had heard of this book by Colette Wolff which explained various techniques of manipulating fabric into sculptural shapes.

This book is brilliant!

I have used many of these fabric manipulations in my quilts. A big section of The Cliffs of Progress is gathered silk, pinned down with beads. It gives a cloudy, wafty effect – perfect for the piece.

Summer Haze is all about 3-dimensions.

The center of Les Folies Bergêre is tightly gathered silk.

manipulating-fabric-septemberThe September Journal Quilt Page is all manipulated fabric.

Manipulating Fabric detail 1
Manipulating Fabric detail 1






The book covers several areas of stitching which can be used in quilting, dressmaking, any handwork involving fabric. The illustrations inside are in black and white and very clear. There are plenty of diagrams and drawings to follow.



There are six parts to the book:

  • Part One: Controlled Crushing encompassing gathering and shirring.
  • Part Two: Supplementary Fullness covering making ruffles, flounces, and godets.
  • Part Three: Systematic Folding including pleating, smocking, and tucking.
  • Part Four: Filled Reliefs which is of great interest to quilters and covers cording, quilting, and stuffing.
  • Part Five: Structured Surfaces using darts.
  • Part Six: Mixed Maniputations showing how to use combinations.

Probably the only book you will need for the many, many ways of manipulating fabric.

Published by Krause Publications