Collage Quilt

In this issue’s Textiles feature, the comic artist Beppi shows us the collage-style quilt she made for her collage artist daughter…
and offers some DIY tips if ya wanna cuddle under a collage of your own.

Kira’s quilt began from sibling rivalry.

Gunnar got a quilt from his old T-shirts, so I had to prove that I love Kira just as much. (And some of the shirts were too cool to discard.) This is a great recycling project. Clothing in landfills is a huge problem.

Kira makes collages using lots of words & phrases. This is the vibe I was going for- a huge (King size) collage.

I wanted the quilt to represent family, and Kira, most of all.

My quilter mom offered some of her fabrics and Mary contributed cool T-shirts. I dug into Ivana’s scrap fabrics and solicited Gunnar’s band patches. I incorporated surplus fabric from Strom’s shirts and my own silk screened images.

Creating this collage effect was the fun part. Whenever quilting got too tedious, I would lay the quilt on the table and find little spots where I could add more images – Easter eggs for Kira to find. Scooby Doo, where are you? 

Well, Scooby, where are ya?

Not going to lie…. actual quilting is boring.

Why can’t my mom still be in a local quilting bee? Mom, you’re ruining my life! (Just read my middle school diary. )

On Using T-Shirts In Quilt Making :

Most people make top coat from a series of uniform squares that they design. These squares are then pieced together to form the top of the quilt. Cotton fabric is usually used because it’s easy to clean & isn’t stretchy. 

T-shirts are stretchy.

You have to stabilise them with interfacing to try to eliminate most of the stretch, then sew them to a non stretch fabric. 

Designing the top coat is fun!

Actual quilting is the sewing of the three layers of material- top coat, batting, bottom/base- together. You have to use tons of pins to make sure the layers don’t shift & buckle (I got stabbed quite a bit). I quilted both by hand and by machine. When quilting on the machine, the T-shirts can still shift even though you used stabiliser. Be careful.  

It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

About the Artist

Beppi feels things very deeply…. Wait…That’s Bette Midler in Beaches. Beppi makes art. She draws her images from everywhere often combining disparate ideas & images & somehow making them work. Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze) from Donnie Darko meets Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) from Night of the Hunter. She has shown her artwork in conventional galleries, as well as more unusual spaces like renegade fashion shows. She has illustrated comics for decades, illustrating possibly the first transgender super hero for Cross Talk in the 90s. She often collaborates with her sister, Mary Knott. You can currently see her illustration and comic work based on the graphic series Pink Zombie Rose.

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