Saturday, July 13, 2019

Circuit Board Journal Quilts with StencilGirl® Stencils by Frieda Oxenham

Every year Grosvenor Shows organizes a Journal Quilt Competition where every participant is asked to contribute 2 A4 sized Journal Quilts. For 2020 the theme is Connections. That made me think about the different way humans now communicate with each other compared to times gone by. Mostly people met in person in the past, then came letters and finally the phone. Now we all have a wide variety of computerized devices to keep in touch.  Whether you use a computer, laptop, tablet or phone they all use circuit boards to keep us connected! So they became my inspiration for the journal quilts.

Here is how I made them:

1.      Using plain white fabric tear it into roughly A4 or American letter sized pieces.

2.      With an 8 x 10” gel plate add color to the pieces using either one color or a mixture of color on your plate. You can also take partial prints and gradually color your sheets that way. I used So Soft fabric paint for this step and set it by ironing.
3.      Now again add color to your plate, one color for each print. I used Colourcraft Opaque fabric paint in various colors for this and also one blue metallic one. Put one of the following stencils on your plate and then pull the print onto your sheets from step 2: large stencil from March 2018 StencilClub , large stencil from October 2016, large stencil from October 2014 StencilClub, Ancient Marks and Buildings. As I’m using fabric paint I set it by ironing. You can skip this step if you use acrylics.
4.      I’m aiming to make 2 A4 sized pieces but made approx. 25 sheets during step 2 and 3 to give me plenty of choice for the next step.

5.      Cut up the pieces into 1 1/2” strips. I used a rotary cutter and mat for this step, but you can also use scissors.
6.      Cut 2 pieces of wool felt about 1” larger on all sides than the size you want the finished piece to be (A4 in my case). I am using one piece of black felt for one of my pieces and a piece of red for the other.

7.      Cut pieces of double sided adhesive sheet (such as WonderUnder) to match the felt in size and fuse one side to the felt. Remove the paper layer so that the adhesive side is exposed on top of the felt.
8.      Pin strips (from step 5) at the top of the felt, running vertically next to each other, then weave in strips horizontally going under and over the vertical strips, alternating over and under  in each new row of strips. Once you’re happy with the weaving, adhere permanently to the felt by ironing following the manufacturer’s instructions.
9.      Layer up the woven pieces with a background fabric. Pin together.
10.  Machine quilt the pieces using straight stitching with a walking foot on your machine (if you have one). I used red thread on one piece and blue on the other and crosshatched doing the vertical lines first and then the horizontal ones.
11.  Cut down the pieces to the desired size, A4 in my case.

12.  Add binding to each piece. I added red to the red machine quilted piece and blue to the other.

13.  Now bead along all the different shapes on your pieces. I used a mix of size 15 and size 11 seed beads and also added bugle beads to make each piece look even more like a circuit board.
© Frieda Oxenham 2019. To see more of Frieda's work, please visit her BLOG.


  1. Very cool! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Frieda, I love how you've taken a traditional craft and turned it into a glorious art piece with a contemporary, even tech-y, twist to it! So creative, so colorful, so very special!

  3. Great idea and execution, Freida!

  4. I love these little quilts! Thank you for sharing them.

  5. Frieda, this is just amazing. I love how you wove your hand printed fabric together!!! Great use of the gelli plate and stencil girl stencils. Plus your beading is Divine!


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