Fantasy Photoshop Spirograph Quilt

Fantasy Photoshop Spirograph Quilt

Fantasy Spirograph Quilt

This image is dedicated to the memory of my Aunt* Erna. Here’s a picture of her from when she visited us in the 1970s (she’s the second from the left). At that time I was a kid in elementary or middle school and I happened to show her my Spirograph drawings.

Erna and Marie0001
Uncle Oscar, Aunt Erna, Aunt Marie and Uncle Leland, 1970s

Aunt Erna was an excellent and prolific quilter, and remarked, “These would make a beautiful quilt.”

The idea immediately intrigued me, although it was totally impractical. For a while after she left, I tried to think of a way to make them into a quilt (I was a kid, remember). I thought I could possibly embroider the designs on fabric. (HA!) I thought maybe I could use fabric markers to put the designs on fabric (Double HA!)

I even tried using my favorite substance—Elmer’s White Glue—to glue the designs to denim. I often liked to cover drawings I made with Elmer’s White Glue. It would dry clear and give the drawing a shine. I especially liked the effect the glue covering gave to an underwater scene I drew for a project in fifth grade.

So I did the same thing with a Spirograph design and denim, smearing glue both under and on top of the design. The result was OK, but too stiff for a quilt. Here’s a picture of it:

Computer wizardry allowed me to erase the denim and use this design in the “quilt” above

When that didn’t work, I tried other ways to use my Spirograph drawings in a practical way. I like practical things. Here’s one that I used as a frame for a picture of my sister:

Image 52_edited-1
What a cute face!

I never made much use of the “frame” idea, but the quilt idea was lodged permanently in my brain.

It’s been 40 years or so since then, and yes, I still have the Spirograph drawings. Not because I’m desperately in love with them, but they don’t take up much room and have long had a home inside a small decorative basket along with some other random items. I never had a good reason to throw them out.

Recently I came across these drawings from long ago, the idea of a quilt popped back into my head. I realized that the computer could do what my craft ideas could not.

I no longer really cared to make a real fabric quilt (maybe I would if these designs were done by my kids instead of by me). I suppose these days there are ways of transferring images on paper to fabric, but I’m not interested.

But—with the power of my computer, I now had a chance to construct a picture of the quilt by scanning the designs!  And even better than a real quilt, I can change the background colors if I want.

Yes, it looks like I had too much time on my hands, but I didn’t do this all in one sitting. Since I’ve been “taking it easy” during my cancer treatment, I had plenty of time to mess around with this. The project also gave me a chance to practice and learn Photoshop skills.

I’m now sharing the results with you. I haven’t completely decided which border or which colors go best with this. If you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments and I’ll try them!


*All the aunts and uncles mentioned in this post are really great-aunts and great-uncles, but it sounds cumbersome and stuffy to include the “great” part, although they were all great in every sense of the word.





One comment

  1. What a fun memory you have made. I have a suggestion for the border….”Brands of the West” (Probably wouldn’t be compatible with the Spirograph theme, however).


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