09 October 2011

Art in Progress: Art Quilt!

Here's what I'm working on today:

I decided to step back from my owl painting until I decide what's next. (I have an idea in mind, but I'm still contemplating.) I need to be recording videos for Falling For You and updating my schedule. (Originally, I had a solid schedule for the first four weeks and left the rest fairly flexible. I've come up with new prompts and techniques, so I have to figure out where they will fit in. I think a planning trip to Panera tomorrow is in order!)

I also need to be prepping class supplies for my Bling Bling classes this week. We are making chunky fabric bangles, and I've decided that the best way for us to do the project is for me to precut all of the student fabric choices into the required strips before the class. I was going to have the students cut their own strips but a) I only have one pair of fabric scissors & b) I am kind of fanatical about my fabric scissors not being used to cut pipe cleaners, the other component of our project. Cutting the strips should be pretty fast using a rotary cutter, but I'm procrastinating.

Yes, I consider making an art quilt procrastinating.

I am almost always making something. I'm either working in my art journal, sketching, painting, or organizing my workspace. I make jewelry samples for my classes, research new projects, and buy crafty supplies. The only time I'm not making something is if I'm really not feeling well or late in the evenings when I'm vegging out watching tv. More often than not I'm journaling while I'm watching tv or simultaneously reading a crafty magazine, like ReadyMade or Cloth Paper Scissors. So, yeah, I procrastinate by doing something other than what I'm supposed to be doing.

I've been wanting to make art quilts for a while now. I love that it's sort of like a tactile journal page. I figured that I could apply similar techniques only using fabric. The problem? All of my fabric was stored in boxes on top of my kitchen cabinets (hey, it's a small apartment, gotta make use of the space we've got!). Also, I have no available space for sewing. So I've been thinking about organizing the area for months... and finally got around to it last week.

I bought translucent bins from Ikea and colored coded all of my fabric. I LOVE this idea and can't believe I've never done it before! I have 7 bins of fabric: pinks, reds, black&white, golds/yellows/browns, greens, blues, and random prints that don't fit anywhere else. I set up an extension cord on my huge craft table for my sewing machine and today I finally got to make my art quilt.

I'm really not good at sewing. I don't care about even stitches and straight lines.  Truth be told, I have a love/hate relationship with my sewing machines, leaning mostly to the hate side. I am constantly breaking needles, snapping threads and swearing at my machine. Surprising, I had no issues whatsoever with today's project! I didn't break any needles, I only had to rethread the needle once, and I didn't swear even once. Woah!

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My general method was: I chose an ugly fabric to be my base fabric. I layered bits and pieces of fabric until I liked the look. I pinned everything in place, stitched around the edges, then went in with more stitches to make sure everything was tacked down (I left the side of the green fabric on the left undone because I loved the frayed look of the fabric as is.). I then cut a piece of batting and a random piece of fabric (the pink batik) for the backing. I sewed this randomly together. 

My original plan was to bind the edges using black, but I rolled over the backing fabric and decided I liked how it looked. So I trimmed off the extra base fabric, rolled the edges, pinned into place and stitched the edging. Next I'm going to add buttons and whatever else catches my fancy. I'll post the finished piece here when it's done.


  1. Wow, I love it! I tried making a doll quilt once, it was interesting, but not quite my thing. I may have to try something more like this.

  2. i adore what you've done! no one sews as bad as i. you're sewing looks fantastic to me. i swear every time i organize a space, i get inspired too. i'm sure you'll get all your kid & adult student/class prepping completed, eventually. super stoked to see what you have up your sleeve. :)

  3. Your quilt looks great, and it don't show that you most likely "hate" your sewingmachine. :-)
    About rethreading: everytime you stop a seam, be sure the threadholder is in it's highest position before cutting the thread. If you do so every time I'm sure you don't need to rethread any more. Except when changing the thread.
    Good luck.


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