A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Current Work--Beth Schnellenberger

I just finished a piece that I REALLY hope gets juried into Dialogues: Contemporary Responses to Marie Webster Quilts (a regional SAQA exhibit) that will be shown at the Indianapolis Museum of Art from June 24-September 4, 2016. Here is a closeup of the piece. I didn't post an entire picture, because I'm a little superstitious about showing it all before the jurying is done.

The entire piece measures 38" high X 30.25" wide. It is entirely hand quilted and contains a lot of hand embroidery. The shapes are machine appliquéd to the background. Most of the individual shapes are made up of MANY small pieces appliquéd to make the whole.
I also have a "forever" English paper piecing project that I am perpetually working on. To give you a perspective on how small the pieces are, here is a photo of one of the pieces next to a dime. Each piece is hand basted to a template and hand pieced into the quilt top. (That is A LOT of hand piecing!)
I have worked on this project off and on for two years. The design is based on a piece of old Italian tile work on the floor of a hotel in southern Indiana. Here is what I have done so far.
At this stage, it measures 86" at its widest point and 47" tall. It is made entirely of scrap fabrics--all different red, gold, brown, white, blue, orange, and gray fabrics. I think the variety in those fabrics gives it a bit more "sparkle." I have a love/hate relationship with this piece. I love how it looks, and I love to do the handwork. I hate how hard it is to follow the pattern I drew up, I hate how long it takes to do it all, and I hate having to handle the whole huge piece to add rows to it. It may end up being one of those unfinished "What Was She Thinking" pieces when they find it buried among my things when I'm long gone.
This next piece is a companion piece to Metamorphosis I. It measures approximately 20" tall X 10 1/2" wide.
It isn't close to being finished yet even though it may look like it is. I add color to the background before any stitching is done so I can concentrate on the stitching once I get to that point; I don't have to make any color decisions then. There is quite a lot of the piece that has yet to be stitched. If you zoom in on the picture, you can see the areas where the stitching still needs to be done. I use the technique I call "extreme embroidery" for the work on this piece. The entire surface of the cloth is covered with stitches and in some cases I add small pieces of fabric. (The mouth on this piece is red wool with stitching over the top of it.) When it is finished, the cream background you see here will be cut away. I haven't decided yet whether it will be appliquéd to another piece or whether it will be framed like Metamorphosis I.
In my next couple of posts, I'll be showing you an extreme embroidery project you can do (and it won't take you months and months to do it).



  1. Gosh, there's are so many positive comments I want to say about this post.....but will narrow it down to one: Extreme embroidery (check) Awesome embroidery (check)!!!

  2. I admire your skill and tenacity. Fabulous work!

  3. ooh! Such great visual inspiration! lovely

  4. I didn't realize that your hexies were so small. Good grief, no wonder it is taking so long but my my it is going to be beautiful when it is finished.

  5. All the pieces are beautiful, but the mosaic piece: oh my!!! That is just stunning!!! If you get so tired of it that you don't want to finish it according to your original design, I'd say just finish it up as is: where ever you stop with it will be amazing!! Hugs, H


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