Quilting with Paper

The intent behind my work is to take traditional quilting and textile techniques and transfer them for use in the paper arts and collage. I call it “Quilting with Paper.”

IMG_5432

I’ve been a quilter for over 20 years and have always been drawn to vintage patterned fabric, structured design and most importantly – colour.

I discovered Japanese chiyogami paper on a trip to Toronto about 15 years ago. The patterns, the colours and the quality of the paper made me immediately smitten. What I didn’t recognize at the time was how similar they were to quilting fabrics!

IMG_9545

I’d been playing with collage and mixed media for about 10 years and I started incorporating the chiyogami papers into my work. Through a slow evolution I developed a style all my own.

In my early experiments with the medium I would glue an entire sheet of chiyogami paper to a thick mount board then cut it into ½” wide strips. From there I’d rearrange them into striped and checkerboard patterns, then glue them to a canvas or wood panel. The final step was choosing a black and white image of  a vintage bookplate image of a bird or butterfly, then add some ephemera and gold pen edging to finish it off.

IMG_5539

My process evolved as I started researching traditional quilting piecework patterns, such as Log Cabin, Pinwheel and Hexagon. I made templates and started doing piecework patterns with the chiyogami paper. It’s a lot of very meticulous cutting and pasting (and I mean old school with scissors and glue) but the fun of it for me is choosing colours and patterns to create something fresh and new.

IMG_0191

Mixing the old with the new is another thing that inspires me. I’m an avid collector of vintage postcards, old books and sheet music (the older the better- oxidized yellowed pages with different kinds of typeface is what excites me!)

I found an accordion postcard from 1938 of “20 views of Stanley Park” when I was in New York and I had the idea to mesh these nostalgic relics of days gone by with the beautiful chiyogami papers. I now incorporate the postcards and deconstructed book pages into my cards and collages and have made them into magnets, coasters and tea towels.