If you are interested in buying one of these wall hangings, please contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net

Snowflake Dreams of Spring
© 2006 by Suzann Thompson

knitting, quilting, crochet, embellishment; 39" x 41"
many different fibers, cotton backing and binding, beads, buttons

This snowflake is tired of the cold and darkness of winter. It longs to land on a clump of crocuses. The snowflake hurtles through a field of violet and yellow, dreaming of spring.

I knitted most of the fabric for this quilt on my Ultimate Sweater Machine. Thank goodness for quilting templates! I used a 60-degree angle template and a rotary cutter to trim pieces of knitting to the proper shape. I felt very clever, making a snowflake from a so-called "snowflake" sweater motif. However my favorite part of making this piece, was figuring out how to place the buttons and beads. I always want to use as many as possible, as long as it looks good. On this wall hanging I came up against a definite upper limit. No matter how I arranged extra buttons and beads, they weren't right, and I had to stop. For number fans, Snowflake Dreams of Spring has around 175 beads and buttons.

Several more snowflakes are crystallized in my imagination, so this motif will most certainly appear in future wall hangings.

May I recommend the book, Snow Crystals, by W. A. Bentley and W. J. Humphreys (Dover Publications)? It has over 2,000 photos of snow and ice crystals. I can easily spend hours studying their fascinating and complex variety.



Fishy Cento
© 2002 by Suzann Thompson

knitting, quilting, crochet, appliqué, embellishment, hand-spinning; 20-1/2" x 27"
many different fibers, acetate backing and binding, beach glass, beads, buttons

Fish are not good models. They move around too much. I eventually cobbled together a pretty good sketch of two of my daughter's fish, and they appear in this piece.

I couldn't decide what sort of background to use in Fishy Cento. A black background seemed too dark and stark. People think of water being blue, but I didn't like that idea either.

My friends Betty Spence and Helen Neale and I met for a coffee one day during my struggle with the background color. Helen had been to the National Gallery in London. She told about a painting of a horse, which had a golden background. No pastures or barns to distract from this horse-oh no-just the horse, surrounded by gold.

Bingo! I had my background color. Thank you, Helen!

'Cento' is an interesting word. It can mean 'a patchwork garment' or 'a collection of verse.' I wrote some fishy verse to use on this wall hanging, but as the piece progressed, I could see that the poems wouldn't fit into the picture. They'll have to wait for Fishy Cento 2.



Iced Water at the Café Rouge
© 2002 by Suzann Thompson

hand-spinning, knitting, quilting, crochet, appliqué, embellishment; 23-1/4" x 29"
wool, ramie, silk, acetate backing and binding, beads, buttons

(greeting cards with this image will be available on the shopping page in November 2005)

My husband was out of town, so I took myself out to lunch for our wedding anniversary. I ordered a sandwich and iced water, which the Cafe Rouge has lifted to an art form.

The black straw refracted beautifully in the frosty glass. The bright lemon accent was thrilling. I sketched the still-life, much to the amusement of other diners. Yes, I must try to reproduce this in a quilt. Here is the result.

The background is knitted and crocheted from handspun yarns. I made the glass with layers of net. Where I needed a shadow, I embroidered with dark yarn before adding the net. The bright accents are fabric appliqué. The straw and lemon are embroidered. The flower and the lettuce on the plate are crocheted.

 


Shards 1: Willow
© 2000 by Suzann Thompson

knitting, quilting, crochet, appliqué, embellishment; 34" x 34"
many fibers, cotton backing, acetate binding, broken china, beads, buttons, polymer clay

shown closed on the Textile Fusion home page, shown open here

When we lived in England, we found broken china pieces, or shards, in the park, in our back garden, and in a wooded area near our house. It's such an adventure to find a pretty piece of china. It's even more fun when you find a white shard, then when you turn it over, you discover it has a lovely pattern on the other side!

As I held shards in my hands, I realized that someone bought this china, then used it, washed it, and eventually broke it. What is their story? I wondered.

Shards I: Willow is the story of some willow pattern shards we found. I imagined an aunt who always served snacks when her nieces and nephews came over. She served them on her good willow china. They felt very grown up.

The willow pattern plate in the wall hanging is divided into five bound flaps, which are buttoned down. If you unbutton the flaps and open them out, you 'break' apart the plate, to reveal the story behind it. When you button the flaps out, they show a conversation among the nieces and nephews, where they talk about how they enjoyed visiting their Aunt Dorothy. I call my quilts with flaps, peek-a-boo quilts.

With the flaps buttoned out, you see a photo-transfer of a plate with cookies on it. "Cookies and hot lemonade-Only at Aunt Dorothy's," says the writing around the plate. Dorothy is a real person, though she isn't my aunt. Dorothy Schwartz is the mother of our childhood friend, Andy. I remember well sitting around the table with Andy and my brother, Eric, while Mrs. Schwartz served us hot lemonade.

My daughter and I baked the cookies pictured on the wall hanging. After I photographed the cookies on the plate, we had to eat them all up. Such is the sacrifice that artists are sometimes called upon to make.

 


Shards 2: Sometimes

© 2000 by Suzann Thompson

knitting, quilting, crochet, appliqué, embellishment; 29-1/2" x 33"
many fibers, acetate backing and binding, beads, buttons, broken china, polymer clay

I had a small cup with roses all around it. The cup held some sentimental value to me. My little daughter was using it, and it broke. The pieces were so pretty, I couldn't bear to throw them away. They sat in a cupboard for a couple of years, while I sorted out my feelings.

Eventually I made this wall hanging. The vase is a knitted copy of the little cup. It is divided into four bound flaps. When you unbutton them and fold them out, you see this message:

Sometimes a good thing has to be broken in order to make another, better thing.

Pieces of the broken cup are attached to the left of the vase in Shards 2. Shards of real willow pattern china are attached to Shards 1. Here's how: glue short eye pins to the back of a piece of china, so that the eye is about 3mm (1/8") out from the edge.

Roll a 3mm (1/8") thick layer of polymer clay. Place the shard, pin side down, on the clay, and trim the clay 1/4" away from the edge of the shard. Glue the clay to the back of the shard. Slit border to fit around eye pins. Gently bend the clay border over the broken edge of the shard. Glue if necessary. Trim and smooth the clay to make a narrow frame around the shard.

Bake as per clay manufacturer's instructions. Sew the shard to your wall hanging through the eye pins.

 

My Beautiful Dreams
© 2002 by Suzann Thompson

knitting, quilting, crochet, appliqué, embellishment; xx" x xx"
many fibers, acetate backing and binding, broken china, beads, buttons, polymer clay

My head is filled with images, words, and bits and pieces of ideas. When I decide to make a wall hanging, they all start swirling around in the dark. The images and pieces combine and then break apart. Words and pictures surface and then submerge. If I wait long enough (sometimes a couple of days, sometimes years), the pieces come together into a coherent idea and, click, the light comes on!

This is another of my 'peek-a-boo' quilts, where flaps can be opened out and buttoned back to reveal a second surface.


Morning Silhouette

© 2002 by Suzann Thompson

knitting, quilting, crochet, embroidery, appliqué, embellishment; 25" x 35"
many fibers, acetate backing and binding, beads, buttons

If you lack inspiration, take up a new skill. I took up polymer clay crafting in the early 1990s. Besides being extremely fun, working with polymer clay has trained me to think in new ways. New thinking always benefits my textile work.

Morning Silhouette was inspired by a polymer clay piece I did, called Sunset Silhouette. It appears in my book Polymer Clay for Everyone.


 

 


Pricing Information for Knitted, Embellished Quilts

My wall hangings are true quilts, with three layers that are bound together with stitching. The prices below are calculated per square inch of the piece, with added costs for special features. Quilts that have been exhibited or published, carry a premium.

I am very fond of these pieces and they take a lot of time and skill to make. If you want one, you have to want it more than I do.

I will consider working on commission, using the pricing structure outlined below.


Prices for Commissioned Pieces

Design and consultation fee (non-refundable) $225.00

Per square inch
(heavy embellishment or special technique costs more) $1.70 minimum

Extra for flaps that open and close $300.00

Design and consultation fee is paid up front and is non-refundable. Once we agree upon a design, one-half of the price is due. When the piece is ready for shipment, the remaining balance is due.

I generally don't make pieces over 48" square. They are too heavy and cumbersome to machine quilt.