Ins and Outs of Art Quilts: How to Start?

A few weeks back, I attended a recognition assembly for my daughter AB, who had won an art scholarship to our local Center for the Arts. (No, the apple does not fall far from the tree.) While there and waiting on the procedures to begin, I took note of the display they had featured for the month. Wouldn’t you know it, they were art quilts by a local artisan. Enthralled does not begin to signify my immense desire to study, recall, and create something of such immense beauty. The use of mixed media ignite within me a curiosity I had not felt from seeing images of it on the computer or in books. So I started researching a little, the gnawing desire to make one growing more and more intense. However, the immensity of a large art project that may or may not succeed thwarted my initiative to start.

So tonight I stumbled upon the term “mini art quilt.” Once again, I was captivated. I have ideas swirling around in my head, books on Amazon that I MUST buy or download, thinking of subscribing to Quilting Arts magazine, and viewing images of these wonderful little quilts. I know I want to start with something small. But one question plagues me: “How do I start?” I’m not what you’d call a traditional artist. I didn’t pursue art in grade school, found myself floundering terribly when it came to drawing in interior design classes (that’s another story), and have never really been taught the methods of art.

I know how to create, though, and I’ve always been one to pursue learning. But once again, where do I start? Do I have to have an extensive knowledge of traditional art studies? Or can the creativity come from the heart like any other pursuit I’ve had? If anyone has any suggestions, I’d appreciate it! The words of a wise and dearly departed lady come to mind, “Just start.” That was how she answered my request to learn how to quilt. Of course, I’ll be posting this on my beloved Quilts!Quilts!Quilts! forum on Etsy, so I’m sure I’ll get a lot of good information there. But in the meantime, if you have suggestions or information, please pass it along.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sylvie
    Aug 07, 2012 @ 05:34:40

    First of all your ad looks great! Well done in figuring out how to do it.. 🙂
    As for art quilts… well if you struggle to draw, take a photograph, of say .. a bunch of flowers, print it out onto ordinary paper…draw a grid over it sectioning the thing out in like 1/2 inch squares.. get a bigger piece of white paper, say 10 times bigger and draw big 5 inch squares on it. Then look at each little square and draw what you see into each big square …one square at a time… Hang this on a window, put your fabric over it draw the shapes, add on a seam cut out the different shapes.. choose a back ground fabric that's not to flowery..maybe a batik dyed fabric… lay the cut outs over it in any way that looks them on. Embellish with stitching using bright threads.
    JUST HAVE FUN! DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE WILL THINK! Once you start, if you just let it take you away, you will amaze yourself.
    Sylvie 🙂 Art On Fabric


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