Thursday 25 February 2016

Why Not Stencil?

When I first started quilting, one of the techniques I was immediately drawn to was stenciling. Having a strong background in textile art meant that I was always exploring new ways of doing things with fabric - and stenciling just made sense. However, at that time, and we're talking over 10 years ago now, no one else that I knew of, or could read of, was stenciling quilts - and that struck me as strange.

Here was a technique that allows you, the quilter, to create your own fabric and fabric prints as well as your own custom blocks in the precise shades to suit and yet, I couldn't find a single class to learn the technique! So of course, you know what I did - I spent the next 5 years teaching myself everything I needed to know about it through trial and error and then began presenting this information myself. Along the way I enjoyed true creativity and expression and loved every minute of combining fabric, paint and quilting. In fact, some of my stecil quilts are award winning quilts and I invite you to visit my Stencil Quilt Gallery and see these quilts for yourself. You can do so by clicking here now. 

Stenciling is in fact an authentic, traditional technique. That it is so rarely utilized today does not diminish its thoroughly heritage status - some of the first New England quilts used stencils and it has been with quilting since that time. Today it's often seen as something new or 'artsy', but that simply isn't the case. Stenciling is just a technique and like any other technique - it reflects the style of the maker using it - and that can be traditional, naive or modern - or all three! It's so limiting to think of it as only this or only that. Any quilter can stencil. Stenciling is incredibly versatile and can be whatever you want it to be.

Tomorrow I'll be showing you how you can start stenciling yourself, so stay tuned.

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