In the Studio~Child’s Play

What do you think of when you think about children playing? Running?… jumping?… games?…having fun? and bright colors? This week I began a new series, Child’s Play. For a long time I have been collecting brightly colored fabrics with whimsical prints. While I did not have a design idea for them yet, when my husband asked me about a small art quilt that might relate to children, my mind began focusing on a few different ideas. I thought of a favorite book on my shelf, Quilter’s Playtime: Games With Fabric by Dianne S. Hire. I was inspired to use the games of–spinners, pin-the-tail-on the-donkey, and marbles–in a composition entitled, Playtime Games.

A quick sketch of an idea was drawn…And a pile of playful, brightly colored fabrics was thrown on the table…(Actually my stash on the shelf is very orderly! )

Fabric Pile
Pile of Fun, Colorful Fabrics.

Then, I drew objects of the design on the paper backing of fusible web. (I like Lite Steam-a-Seam2 brand)  These were then cut-out and arranged on the background fabric. To construct the tails, two pieces of fabric were sewn together wrong sides together, turned, and basted into place. I took digital photos to view the composition and placement of the pieces. When the desired effect was achieved, the top was fused into place.

Lay Out of Playtime Games, (c) 2012, Joni Beach.
Lay-Out of Playtime Games, (c) 2012, Joni Beach.

Next, the top was layered with low-loft batting and a backing fabric. Thread-painting was done to enhance the details of the objects. And, texture, depth, and line was added to the design using free-motion quilting. I like the way the quilting lines also add movement to this piece. A button and beads were stitched to the tails, the binding was fused to the back, and I signed and dated the front…

Playtime Games, (c) 2012, Joni Beach.
Playtime Games,10 1/2 X 7 3/4", Rayon on cotton, beads. (c) 2012 Joni Beach.

Working on this series reminds me not to forget how important playing is…

Because for a child (and me)…

Life, learning, and growing is…Child’s Play!

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14 Replies to “In the Studio~Child’s Play”

  1. I love it. How much fun. I would like to touch it to feel the differences in the fabric. You said you used rayon. Looks great.


  2. Joni, this is making me ecstatically happy just looking at your finished quilt! I would so love the do something like this for my grandchildren!


    1. I’m glad this piece makes you feel happy…there is something about the colors and play of childhood that is a reminder of how we learn life’s lessons.


  3. This is amazing! I was so drawn to your fabulous colours in the first picture! 🙂

    Colour has suddenly begun to play a massive part in my life since my diagnosis of MS last year. I was always a very “neutral” person – not anymore!:)

    This is a brilliant idea.

    I discovered you via granbee! And so pleased I did:)


  4. Joni, Alan just showed me this piece you made for Eliana – it is absolutely beautiful, makes me want to dig my toes in the sand!!! Susie


    1. You’re welcome…I was happy to find your new site! Best of luck with it and your painting…Thanks for your kind words–textile work is labor intensive at times. 🙂


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