In Pursuit of Luminescence

Entwined Best of showWhen I began quilting in the early 1970s, I was immediately attracted to patterns depicting stained glass windows. I purchased a pattern, followed all instructions and produced an unreasonable facsimile of a stained glass window. I used solid colored cottons to depict the “glass” and, as recommended, black bias tape which was supposed to mimic the leading. NOT! Later in my quilting life, I was introduced to the wonders of batiks. The mottled colors were much more “glass-like” than the solids I had previously used in my stained glass wall hanging. Maybe I could try again. But, something still wasn’t right. It was that black bias tape.

At my urging, my husband had ┬ábegun making REAL stained glass windows for our new home. After looking carefully at his finished product, I decided to try to mimic his work in fabric, using grey satin stitch, instead of bias tape, as “leading” along with batiks for the “glass.” I was on to something! Though very time-consuming, my “windows” were much more realistic than my previous attempts.

Never satisfied, I wanted to add luminescence to my next window. Scanning the aisles of my local JoAnn’s with coupon in hand, I came across a very sheer, pebble textured, iridescent fabric suitable for prom dresses. Would this do the trick? I used the newly acquired sheer fabric over a solid cotton, then appliqued the window pieces on top of it. When placed near a light source…instant luminescence! My window glowed! I could imagine the sun streaming through it. Through trial and error, my vision had been achieved. Entwined was a success. I had made a stained glass window in fabric. Hooray for the power of persistence!