Fyber Collective Projects/Tenses Quilt

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Tenses: A Text-to-Textiles Quilt

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For this project, we used Stable Diffusion to generate images of letters of the alphabet, which were then converted into a vector that was sent to a programmable embroidery machine. We’re using thread and fabric in matching colors as a callback to an embroidery practice called whitework that gradually disappeared over the 20th century, where white embroidery was used on white fabric. We used ChatGPT to come up with a color scheme for the quilt, asking it to suggest colors and a layout inspired by San Francisco. It gave us some colors associated with mechanical components of the city, like the orange of the bridge and cable car red, alongside natural components, like foggy gray and ocean blue.

Quilting/textile work by Emeline & Michelle. Quilt backing/frame/LEDs/code by Matt, Julian, Ellie, Brennan, Anthea, Emily, TJ. Woodwork/frame by Ken.

Designed and produced using Inkscape, Ink/Stitch, Singer Futura Quartet software, Stable Diffusion, ChatGPT, [Add LED COMPONENTS HERE]

What we did / what we learned[edit]

AI → Embroidery[edit]




Singer Futura Quartet.


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Materials include cotton fabric, cotton batting, polyester thread. Sewn using a domestic sewing machine and programmable Singer Futura Quartet embroidery machine.


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Laser Cutter[edit]

  • To match the quilt and put LEDs behind each block, we needed a frame with 36 squares (one for each quilt block) in a 6x6 grid, with a half inch between each one (for the stained glass sashing). Matt/Julian/Michelle don't know enough about how to use tool in the woodshop, and figured that using the laser cutter would give us more 'exact' measurements. Matt and Julian cut out a demo on the laser cutter - it caught on fire a little bit. We bought a sheet of 1/4 (?) inch plywood at a local hardware store and used the laser cutter at a maximum setting.
  • It still needed multiple passes to cut through, leaving the edges very charred and almost catching on fire. It also meant that the burnt parts were coming off on our fingers. We asked around for fixes to this (fixative, wiping down with a damp rag).
  • The laser cutter also could only fit about 5 rows, so we had to do this in two pieces, and then try to attach.
  • The resulting piece felt very brittle, and barely enough room to attach the LEDs around each block.


  • Ken reinforced the brittle laser-cut backing, and then built a frame around this [add more!]

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