Irena Bluhm has taken whole cloth quilts to a new level. The quilting creates the design that is then colored with pencils. In this episode, Irena shows us her techniques. When she began quilting, she used contrasting thread, but realized this wasn’t enough color. Something was missing. She still uses colored thread, but now color is added on top of the quilted design like working in a coloring book. She uses a readily available textile medium to make the colored pencil permanent. In addition to that, she sometimes adds a bit of applique and thread painting to the quilt.
To Piece or Not to Piece is the title of her upcoming book in which she pieces with her pencils. She shows how very intricate piecing designs are possible without sewing. Irena finds fabric for the binding that matches the colored designs, and sometimes adds extra bling with sequins, crystals and beads.