Platinum Retention Test - Contemporary Quilted Collage

Contemporary Quilted Collage

Collage is a quick and simple way to create art quilts with lots of freedom. Freedom to change your mind and play!

The word “collage” comes from the French, “to glue” which is exactly how this technique begins. In this class you will learn the importance of composition, fabric selection and stitch design and how they all come together to make an attractive, finished art quilt.

Art quilter and author, Heather Thomas, will introduce you to the idea of using non traditional fabrics as she guides you through your fabric selection. Then she will discuss various types of iron-on adhesives to use as the “glue” in your collage. Next, while playing with composition, she will teach you all about using your selected fabrics to create contrasts, focal points and visual interest. Then she will help you understand how to choose machine quilting designs and varying stitch densities to bring out the best in your art piece while pushing back negative space. Finally, she will guide you through squaring up your quilt and provide you with several options for finishing the edges of your work.

If you’re looking for a new, looser, more intuitive ways of creating, then take this class with Heather and give the art of collage a try.


Use this guide as a reference for 3 unique collage quilts designed by Heather along with instructions for 6 hand embroidery stitches.

Download this video to hear how and why Heather got started in making collage quilts.

Session 1: An Introduction to Collage

In this first session, Heather shows several examples of collaged art quilts. She uses those quilts to introduce the ideas of positive and negative space, motifs and focal points, color and texture and more. She’ll also help you begin to understand the techniques of layering, working with iron-on adhesives and augmenting a composition with free motion quilting.

Session 2: Composition Basics & Fabric Selection

Collage is a great technique to try using non traditional fabrics in your quilting. In this segment, Heather will walk you through fabric selection and discuss weight, weave, color, value and style. Once you have chosen your fabric, Heather will then introduce the beginning steps of composition along with her methods of cutting and ripping.

Session 3: Rip it Up! Cut it Up!

Now it’s time to get to work. In this session, Heather will discuss various types of iron-on adhesives as she layers up a base of backing, batting and background fabric. Next, she’ll show you how to cut and rip from your selected fabrics as she helps you imagine how to bring those fabrics together to create a cohesive background, motifs and/or focal points.

Session 4: Playful Layering

In this session Heather will show you how to create a composition using some of the elements and principles of design. Watch as she plays with several different options of layering her fabrics to yield varying designs with different focal point all from the same set of fabrics. She’ll instruct you to use varying textures and values as you build your “unique to you” composition.

Session 5: Iron it Down, Baste it Up

Once your composition has been built then it’s time to get it all held together. In this session, Heather will show you her technique for using iron-on adhesive to hold all of the fabric pieces down for stitching. Once everything is ironed down, Heather will begin her instruction on choosing quilting motif and density to show off motifs/focal points and push back negative space or backgrounds.

Session 6: Quilting Your Collage

Beginning with thread color choices, in this session Heather will walk you through lots of options for free motion machine quilting. She will help you understand how the quilting will affect the quilt, both functionally and artistically. She’ll teach you how to handle any fullness that may occur during the quilting process and show you how to use thread color to add new contrasts or create unity to an area as you quilt.

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One Response to “Platinum Retention Test - Contemporary Quilted Collage”

  1. pgabhartg

    thank you. this looks like a fun way to quilt. I will have to give it a try.