I have never been much into making Art Quilts. Mainly, I did not think I knew enough about art and therefore could not seem to come up with an idea to put together.
This year I decided to join the Art Quilt Guild in my area called GreatFul Threads. This notion was to prompt me to get out of my comfort zone and tap into my "lost art" that everyone said was somewhere stored in my brain. There are some really, incredible art quilt gals in this group and I have learned so much already.
Last month the program was about collage and working intuitively to create a piece. The presenter was Brenda, who does almost all art quilts with collage being her forte. She had brought little packets to the meeting to give to us after her program. She challenged us to take the materials in that packet and make a 9 x 12 collage piece.
I had an eclectic mix of items:
I had a piece of batik that was blues and oranges; another piece of batik in baby blue; a square of gold satin; a strip of novelty print with red dots and green stripes; a stripe fabric that looked like a man's tie fabric; red and green rickrack with some gold; two pieces of this stringy stuff in pink and purple; and a piece of some kind of fiber that was black and grey and brown fuzzy and 5 buttons. Oh, and I had another piece of print fabric in that turquoise-y color.
My first reaction was to go at this with an abstract project in mind. I was thinking that as long as it was balanced from side to side I could get away with just about anything.
So, I started putting things up on the design wall.
I added a couple of pieces of fabric from my stash: the turquoise geometric at the bottom and the colorful kitties at the top.
Then I pulled a few more batiks and added those into the mix.
Finally I settled on sewing this strata together thinking that I would cut it in half, reverse the direction of one side and re-sew. I did cut it in half, but I never sewed it back together. In fact, I left it and came back later with another idea altogether.
So I took the strata part that was on the board and started playing with the other components.
Well, this was what emerged. Very predictable and not particularly exciting or interesting.
I kept playing with it. That piece of Christmas red and green rickrack was a riot. Liked the idea of using it for grass, but somehow just putting it on the board like this left me thinking I was going to have to go to another plan. This didn't even hint at making me smile.
Finally I made a little hill and had my house tilting. I changed the door and added a few more items. I used the blue batik and did a chimney and put a big ole heart in place of a window. The design was made. I added little jewels at the bottom for stepping stones and two little bumblebees in the flowers. Smoke coming out the chimney would make me smile because it is obviously a spring or summer garden with those wild flowers and no one would have a fire going in the summer. But, I had to use that fiber stuff somewhere and it made good smoke! The strip in the upper left hand corner was a leftover from another improv piece I have started for a class I am taking. I loved that fabric and thought the piece needed that to keep that house on the hillside. Another piece of that is the door. It is not the most free-form style of collage but I did layer elements and I think that qualifies to be a collage.
Now time to quilt it and bind it. I used my walking foot and a thread that would blend into the fabric and started doing straight lines. Well, mostly straight. A few of them tilt and curve a little bit.
It was fun choosing some element to use for my guide to start the quilting and then just echo around it.
I love the way these lines make a V and the outside lines are a little curvy.
Three of these jewels are turned upside down showing the back with only one of them showing the gem color of turquoise.
It is finished and I love my first little art quilt!
Home IS where my heart lives!!!!