Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, page 1

In 2003 the Textile Department of the University of Manchester in England asked me to contribute a detailed description of my quilt construction methods for the Archives of the National Database. You can follow the construction of this hand stitched fractal art quilt from design to finished piece.

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Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 11. The original fractal design created in Ultra Fractal software. Based on Julia parameters.

If you are interested in exploring other fractal software programs go to Fractal Software where you can find a list with my short review.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 22. The design is outlined and ready to print. It can be printed out on a sheet of copy paper and projected onto a wall with an overhead projector. Or sliced up using graphic software such as Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro and printed out in separate sheets. Corel Draw has a tiling function which will print out the design to the correct finished size. In this case I chose to slice it up in Adobe Photoshop and print it in 12 sections on 8.5" x 11" copy paper.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 33. 12 sheets of paper are printed. They are trimmed and taped together to form a master template. When you slice your image (see above Step 2) make sure you have an overlap so you can match up the pages exactly.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 44. Dressmaker's paper is laid over the template and the design traced. You can use any paper which is transparent enough to see the design underneath.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 55. The traced pattern is reversed and freezer paper is laid over. The pattern is transferred onto the non-shiny side of the freezer paper. This paper is only 18 " wide so two sheets have been taped together with masking tape.

The freezer paper pattern will be cut up. To ensure the pieces go back together in their proper order it is necessary to number each piece and make register marks.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 66. A close up of numbering and register marks.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 77. Fabric selection: a broad range of reds, blues and purples gradating from light to dark values. Each piece of printed cotton reads as a single colour. Very obvious patterns such as large floral prints or geometrics are not suitable.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 88. Cut apart the master template. Iron each piece onto fabric. Make sure the waxed side of the freezer paper is ironed onto the wrong side of the fabric. Press for at least ten seconds to ensure the paper adheres well.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 99. Carefully clip curved pieces. On tight curves clip at least half an inch apart, less is required on gentle curves. Clipping allows the fabric to bend while stitching the seams together.

If the curve is minimal there is no need to clip curves, the fabric will lay flat after ironing.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 1010. Once everything has been cut out and clipped, pin it onto a design wall. Leave the freezer paper ironed to the back of the fabric. It will become obvious if the design needs any adjustment. This is the time to replace colours or patterns.

Construction of Lydia - fractal art quilt, step 1111. Start working on strips which are made up of multiple pieces. Here is a piece pinned onto the adjacent fabric.

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Rose Rushbrooke
Rose Rushbrooke
Artist