Wall Quilt Inspiration: Using an iPad as a Sketchbook – Quilting Daily

When creating quilted wall hangings, what do you use for inspiration? Many quilt artists take their cue from their own photos.

Lisa Thorpe uses the Brushes3 app to ‘sketch’ her photo in preparation for making a wall hanging.

Lisa Thorpe uses her photos as a jumping off point for her wall quilts. But before she prints her photos onto fabric for stitching, Lisa alters and enhances the images in her digital sketchbook: an iPad.

An iPad makes a handy sketchbook: it’s portable, holds a lot of images, and you don’t have to worry about smearing ink. With apps instead of art supplies, you can sketch anywhere so long as you have battery life or an electrical outlet.

Lisa has used several photo-editing apps–and new ones are created every day–but she prefers the Brushes3 app. The Brushes3 app allows you to work with several layers at a time. Before flattening your layers, shuffle their order and experiment with the different effects you can achieve.

To “sketch,” she just opens her digital photo in the app, makes her artistic adjustments, and saves the image until she can print it out.

Sometimes Lisa prints the image at home, other times she uses an online service.

After printing her image on fabric, Lisa makes a quilt sandwich and stitches along the outlines of the image, adding decorative free-motion stitching to her wall quilt as desired.

quilted wall hanging by lisa thorpe
Printed on fabric and stitched, this iPad-generated image becomes a lovely handmade wall hanging.

Lisa uses four different methods to get a photo on her iPad. Choose the method that works best for you.

• Take a photo with the iPad using the camera function.
• Take a photo with a regular digital camera and upload it directly to the iPad using a dongle connector cord.
• Upload a photo from your computer when you synchronize your iPad.
• Email yourself a photo and save it on the iPad.

This is just one approach for using photos and sketching to inspire your fabric wall art. You’ll find Lisa’s complete tutorial and more from several leading artists in our Sketchbook Keeping for Fiber Artists ebook and instructions for personalizing your sketchbooks with stitching and surface design techniques via Lynn Krawczyk’s web seminar download, Customized Sketchbooks.

P.S. Where do you find design inspiration for your fiber art? Leave your comment below.

Other topics you may enjoy:

Leave a Reply