Sunday, May 15, 2016

Art Quilt Practice Pieces

After last week's whirlwind (a guild quilt show and the Art with Fabric blog hop) I didn't think I'd want to quilt for a few weeks. Well, I stayed away from my quilting for 3 whole days! However, the two little projects I made were pressure-free playing using new techniques or materials.

So far, I've participated in 3 of the Colour Me Positive 2016 Weekly Journal Challenge, by creating mini art quilts that are mostly words with free motion quilting (FMQ). I love seeing everyone's art work on the dedicated Facebook page. The pieces are fun and use all types of art journalling techniques. I didn't even know that this existed until joining them!

Week 18 of the Colour Me Positive Challenge - Healing Art
Week 18 of the Colour Me Positive Challenge - Healing Art (13" x 7.5")
Since I'm also using words in these quilts, I'm now learning to write again with Joanne Sharpe's Whimsical Writing books and videos. Between all of these resources, I've learned about all kinds of neat writing, drawing and art products that are easily adapted to fabric. That's why I couldn't wait to start playing with stamps, markers and stencils.

Week 18 - Healing Art

Details of the tree - coloured and thread painted
Details of the tree - coloured and thread painted
I started this piece using the tree stencil and then went a little nuts with some of my daughter's stamps.

I took out my permanent markers and coloured the tree and outlined some of the butterflies and flowers. Since the green of the tree was too intense, I toned it down with some thread painting in browns and darker green.

I then added the "Healing Art" using some cool grungy alphabet stamps. The letters didn't stand out enough so I experimented with my new markers and played around with a colourless blender. Wow! I love the effect it has on the letters - I even used them on the tops of the tulips. It makes them look like water colours. I then added metallic thread through the bobbin and did a little bit of FMQ

As with all of my art, the hardest part is knowing when to stop. I looked at the piece from the perspective of the art theory I've been learning.
Does the piece have:

    • a focus point; 
    • contrast; 
    • balance; and 
    • flow?

I think that the answer is yes. However, since the techniques used on this piece include FMQ, stencils, markers and stamps, I though that I should add appliqué to the mix. That's when I dug into my scrap stash and found two cools cats! Nothing says mellow like cats hanging around :-)

Week 9 - Live like a grownup, play like a child

At the quilt show last weekend, my daughter bought me a couple of hand dyed cheese cloth by local fibre artist Linda Palaisy.

Fantaisie 2 -my creation for Week 9
Fantaisie 2 -my creation for Week 9 (6.5" x  9")
The colours were so lovely I could just taste them! I couldn't wait to try making something fun and whimsical, so here it is - Fantaisie 2, a fibre collage.

I attached the cheese cloth to a blue cotton to lighten it up. In my stash I found three different fabrics - the hollyhock, the faeries and half meter of fabric that had butterflies, hummingbirds and these great borders.
Fantaisie 2 - close up
Fantaisie 2 - close up
I attached the fabric using thread painting. It was flimsy and difficult to sew, so I used a minimum of stitching and then quilted it. Since it's just a fun little piece, I decided to leave the borders as is, without binding. I was hoping to use the same technique I had used for Woven Landscape  - to just fold the backing between the batting and the borders, but it didn't work out. Those are the drawbacks to just forging ahead without planning!

What I learned:
  • I should stop when I'm tired - that's when challenges happen.
  • Challenges are not important when playing. Fix it, or just move on :-)
  • To colour or write on cloth, just iron the cloth to freezer paper to make it more stable.
  • The Fantaisie 2 piece is dark, but I think that the borders lighten it up and give it contrast.
  • I love the look that the cheese cloth adds to the piece.
  • In case you're wondering, yes, week 9 should come before week 18, but we're encouraged to add our pieces whenever they're ready. 
I will be linking up to the following parties - check them out!
Oh Scrap!  Let's Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, Free Motion Mavericks, Off the Wall Friday, and Freemotion by the River


  1. Fun, and the cheesecloth has a nice texture as well (different that what I usually see)!

  2. Hello Andrée,
    I love the whimsical quality of your tree. Both of your mini quilts reflect the enjoyment you had in making them - definitely fun pieces!
    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
    Love, Muv


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