You've heard the expression, "Don't judge a book by its cover," right? Well, at the recent taping of "Quilting Arts TV" Season 7, I learned you shouldn't judge an art quilt by its original fabric.
Here's what happened: We booked mixed-media artist and photographer Deidre Adams for a segment on the show. I have long admired Deidre's painted quilts that feature intriguing textures and muted tones. She is drawn to crumbling, decaying buildings and landscapes and the wide-open spaces and simple compositions she observes during her travels in the West and Southwest. But what's truly fascinating about her work is how she transforms ugly fabrics into beauties.
So, imagine my enthusiasm when we were preparing for her segment and these appeared:
I couldn't wait for her to share her art with our TV audience!
These pieced quilts were just the starting point for her process. Deidre next free-motion quilts over the fabrics, creating tightly stitched whorls, designs, and patterns. After that she applies layers of paint.
This experience got me thinking about other ways to turn so-called ugly fabric into beautiful contemporary art quilts and other fiber art projects.
One of my favorite ways to alter the look of fabrics is through surface design printing. On "QATV" Series 600 alone, there are at least five ways to turn bad fabric into beautiful art, including: using flour-paste resist, gelatin monoprinting, digital over-printing, and screen-printing techniques.
Maybe the lesson here is that there are no bad fabrics…just opportunities to get creative with surface design techniques!