FUSIBLE COLLAGE: A Value-Able Workshop

What makes a successful pictorial collage quilt? Some may say color. Some may say subject matter. But it is really all about VALUE (the perceived lightness or darkness of fabric). In this workshop, you will learn to separate fabrics into Michael’s value scale, then fuse it and use it as your palette of “paints” to create an 18” x 18” still life collage quilt, suitable as a small wall hanging or table topper. (We will be making the coffee cup!)

Techniques of cutting fabric shapes will be explored and practiced. You will learn how to deal with layered fused fabrics. You will gain an understanding of value placement and creative ways to create shape and form with many pieces of fabric. We will discuss ways to finish your project quilt (background, quilting, binding/facing, etc.) BONUS: You will also learn how to transform your own photos into a pattern for your future pictorial collage projects.

If you have ever wanted to take a break from pieced projects to “paint” with fabric, this is the workshop to test it out! Bring your own stash or purchase a workshop kit from me.

FEE: Varies depending on venue. Check the calendar for dates and locations.


  • At least 7 different fabrics in a range of light to dark for the main subject. You will want waaaay more than 7, but it can be done with 7.
    • The more fabrics you choose, the more dynamic your collage will appear and the less you will need of each fabric.
    • Precuts are fantastic for this project. Layer Cakes, Fat Quarters, Charm Squares, Jelly Rolls. Scraps are GREAT!
    • You will need a wide range of lights, mediums, and darks. Look for the lightest lights and darkest darks to add to your mediums if possible.
    • You may choose all monochromatic (same color family), or they can be of many colors and prints.
    • Batiks and busy prints lend themselves well to this technique (versus solids and fabrics that read as solid).
  • A 22” x 22” square of quilting cotton that is white or light. It can be also be basic muslin. This will provide the “canvas” for fused fabrics to be adhered to. You may use Pattern Ease or other products marketed as a collage base if you prefer.
  • A 20 x 20” square of background fabric of your choosing. The background should provide contrast. So if your subject fabrics are very busy, you’ll get best results from a contrasting solid or subdued background. If your subject fabrics are more tone-on-tone and almost read as solid, then perhaps a more active background could work.
  • Pencil
  • Sharpie
  • Double-Sided fusing to adhere to your fabrics. (Steam-a-Seam 2 in the regular version recommended.) You will need 5-6 sheets of this or 2 yards of 15″ wide double0sided fusible on a roll.
  • Iron and pressing surface
  • Scissors for cutting small shapes.
  • Masking or Painter’s tape
  • Tweezers