Friday, October 1, 2010


I immediately thought of bubbles for the word ebullient. I know people with ebullient personalities and they act " bubbly" to me. So when I thought of bubbles, I thought of scuba diving and the bubbles that rise to the surface as divers dive.

It just happens that my boyfriend is a world-traveling scuba diver and he and his dive mates take wonderful underwater pictures, so I wanted to incorporate some of these pictures in my work. But I also wanted to challenge myself, and I didn't want to print them on fabric.

I investigated several different techniques and decided to try printing on metal. I ordered the metal material from "Dick Blick". I had seen several demonstrations of Golden's Digital Grounds and decided to try that. I primed the metal with the digital ground, putting on two separate coats and allowing drying time between. I taped the prepared metal to carrier sheets and printed the pictures onto the metal. I loved that they exceeded my expectations and came out sharp and clear on the metal.

I had prepared the background with an underwater batik scene I fused to Timtex. I cut the metal photos into circular shapes to represent bubbles. I then free-motion machine stitched the metal to the background and quilted some wavy lines around the background. The edges are satin stitched. I attahed grommets to match on the upper edges as a hanging device. I used left-over printed metal cut into bubble shapes for the back and label and glued those on the back.

As a bonus, I presented the piece to my boyfriend for his birthday and he loves it, And I loved this challenge and am trying to use printed metal in other ways.
Cathy Ortelle


  1. The main thing that strikes me Cathy, is how perfectly your colors match what you are trying to achieve. You really did a great job. And learned something new........

  2. Cathy, this is incredible... and thank you for sharing your technique! What a bonus.. your sweetie is the beneficiary and appreciates it!
    Good job! of giving ebullient bubbles 'life'...

  3. Cathy, I am absolutely bowled over with the clarity of the photos on metal. You have inspired me to get out the Digital Ground and get to work. Very intriguing, would love to have seen the entire background covered in these metal bubbles.

  4. Cathy, this piece is amazing. The photos on the metal are so crisp and colorful. What a great way to show life underwater in a small quilt. Another technique to add to my to do list!

  5. this is incredible Cathy! And I am doubly impressed by the complex process to achieve your inspired result, good job!

  6. Hi Cathy:
    Thanks for sharing this with me. Fabulous job! I'm totally bowled over by the complexity of your project. It is really beautiful. I'm going to post this to my Facebook page as well. Way to go!!
    Tesia Blackburn