Evolution Of An Art Quilt

As I’ve told you before, despite my efforts to plan work in advance, often I begin with fabrics and work out a design from them. Recently I finished a top I call “Dark and Deep,” that grew from vintage linen stenciled with trees. That gave me my theme, trees, but nothing else was set.

Let me introduce you to the starting lineup of fabrics I pulled for this project. The vintage linen is in the middle with the brown paint. I lined the open work section with a strip of painted cloth. To the right of that piece are two of my tree photos, edited and printed on cloth. I printed or painted the pinkish pieces, and used the curtain lace on the lower right as a stencil.

At the stage above I’ve created more blue fabrics to work with the tones of the darker photo, and cut curves into some of the fabric chunks. The little pink squares, printed with a linoleum block, did not make the final, nor did the fabric printed with feathers.

I’m trying more blue fabrics above, and the whole enterprise has become chunky.

The piece has lost a tier and is beginning to be more horizontal though it’s still block like.

It took a walk on the towpath to give me the unifying factor, the thin tree trunks.

I made them with mostly raw edge bias strips cut with slightly curved edges. Some are packaged strips, a quilt show give away, which I painted with white and brown paint. Others are cut from Mackenna Ryan fabric. I joined the blocks with as many curves as I could. I also talked myself into breaking up the photos with applied raw edge bias strips. That so needed to happen.

Lessons learned (or re-learned): no piece of fabric is too precious not to cut/modify/cover up, a big theme helps when working improvisationally, edge stability is important when using wobbly fabric (that linen), and layers of texture add depth.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.

20 Comments

Filed under Art quilts, In Process

20 responses to “Evolution Of An Art Quilt

  1. Evolution defines what you have done. You took a rather disjointed beginning and pulled it together.

  2. Congratulations on this wonderful piece of art!

  3. Fun to see your evolution. And, your photo of your walk brought back memories of walking/running along the towpath in upstate NY. It definitely inspired you to take your art to a new level.

    • The towpath near my house isn’t fabulous landscape at first glance, but familiarity has bred surprise at the hidden delights. I’m glad you think the inspiration elevated this piece.

  4. Penny

    Loving that second(center)horizontal section! I think working without a set outcome in mind is often more beneficial.
    The ideas keep coming, and eventually get refined. It leaves a lot more room for serendipity, though it may take untold hours to get there! A lot can be learned through all the experimentation even when it doesn’t always “work”.

    • It’s a question of whether efficiency or serendipity is most important to you. Working from a plan helps keep me focused on the intent of a piece; working from bits helps make me happy.

  5. Chris Wheeler

    I so enjoy reading how your mind works! This quilt really did evolve from interesting to quite special.

  6. I enjoyed reading about your process. Thank you.

  7. Marni Fisher

    What a difference that made. I really like it.

  8. Beverley Longford

    This is lovely, maybe I need to go for more walks.

  9. So many good lessons in this piece! Thanks for sharing!

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