Friday, June 4, 2021

Transforming Kids' Art into Quilts / Beauties Pageant 132

Bob (48" x 67") by Patti Hyden Coppock. Used with permission.

A few years ago, when my older son was still in elementary school, his school invited Jeff Kinney, the author of Wimpy Kid fame, to speak to the students. This experience sparked a cartooning phase for my son. He doodled in notebooks and on scrap paper. He invested in a rather extensive collection of high-end markers. He even penned “The Adventures of Super Mom” (see my synopsis on Instagram here) about his quilt-making mom. But a phase this was, and I was a little sad when it came to an end.

I’ve been thinking, however ... I already designed and made a quilt about my younger son, and I started one in tribute to my husband. Perhaps I could use one of my older son’s drawings as a basis for a quilt. 

When I consider this endeavor, Bob, pictured at the top of the post, immediately comes to mind. He is the creation or Patti Hyden Coppock—or more accurately, a creation of Patti’s grandson, which she then rendered in fabric. Bob showed at QuiltCon 2020 as part of the two-color challenge and won the people’s choice award. It’s easy to see why. 

Patti recently posted a new quilt, based on a drawing from her granddaughter. This one is called Jessica Big Skirt. It’s possible that I love Jessica even more than I do Bob ...

Jessica Big Skirt (56" x 79") by Patti Hyden Coppock. Used with permission.

So that brings me back to the subject of my son’s own artwork. My favorite illustration of his is the masterpiece below. I adore the crying creatures, the dude giving folks the side eye, and the sun signing “love” to everyone.

Is there a quilt in there? I think there may be. What I love about Patti’s quilts, however, is the simplicity and impact of a single character. I’m not sure how I’d transform this artwork, one that’s more complicated, into a quilt, but I am toying around with some ideas. I could sew the foundation of the quilt by hand—although it pains me just to think of that!—along the lines of Annabel Lowe Wrigley’s process. Other details could be appliqued on that base, and I could mimic the black strokes between elements with a thin strip of black bias tape. In any event, consider this project on the back burner, simmering away while I mull over the details.

If you have any experience transforming kids’ artwork into quilts or have seen others do so successfully, I would love to hear about it in the comments. Thank you in advance!

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  1. I have no idea how to go about transforming the drawing into a quilt but it will be a wonderful quilt, happy stitching!

  2. What a cute idea! I have no idea how to do it! What I might do is make a quilt top using those colors as inspiration (maybe a Drunkard's Path because of the curvy creatures) and then print a picture of the artwork on fabric (or use Spoonflower) and either incorporate it into the front or put it on the back. Actually, a panel on the front wouldn't be bad at all, with blocks all around it. Any way you do it, it will be very cute and a nice memory. Good luck!

  3. I have no suggestions on how to do it, but it would be awesome as a quilt. Especially dude with the side eye. LOL

  4. Bob was such a fun quilt, but boy oh boy is Jessica Big Skirt stunning! Good luck transforming that awesome artwork. I've no experience here, but will happily support you along the way! :)

  5. Wowzer! Bob and Jessica are wonderful. And your son's work is going to make a great quilt. Maybe you could have each character in his own space... maybe a 9 patch but enlarge the characters. I'm thinking of a dog quilt I did using Amy Bradley Designs. Each dog was in his own square. And, they had a lot of personality -- Hawaiian shirts, cat eye glasses, etc. I think you have a lot to work with with your son's art. Have fun mulling it over.

  6. I think using children's artwork is a marvelous idea.I have used children's artwork in quilts for many years. I look forward to seeing how you interpret your oldest son's art. Happy quilting.


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