For More Creative Fabric Art, Break the Rules

I'm a law-abiding citizen. But I believe in some areas of life, like fiber art pursuits, it's OK to break the rules.

To me–and many fiber artists I know–it is better to have stitched imperfectly than to never have stitched at all. Straying from the "rules" and experimenting is often when you learn something new and unique.

fabric art by linda willis
Raw-edge stitched, mixed-media fabric art by Linda Willis, featured in Cloth Paper Scissors Jan./Feb. 2015.

Multi-talented artist Linda Willis is a perfect example. She loved the look of traditional quilting, but when she started doing it, she soon found that she had neither the patience nor the discipline to be so exacting.

Instead, she abandoned the quilting "rules" and experimented with raw-edge  sewing to create fabric art.

"It was love at first stitch," Linda writes in the Jan./Feb. 2015 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. "I've been doing it for more than 15 years, and I find the colorful results to be an excellent substrate for many of my mixed-media projects."

Furthermore, by combining various patterned fabrics in a variety of sizes and colors into stitched textile art, Linda is able to create new patterns.

Here are some of Linda's thoughts on fabric art inspiration:

When I create my pieces, I use a variety of media and techniques. I used store-bought fabrics, but I also create my own with silk screening, Thermofax®, rubber stamps, and stencils. I use fabric dyes, ink, acrylic paints, fabric pens, and markers.

The colors and patterns of fabrics I use are determined by my mood, emotion, and, my favorite: what feels right at the moment and what I can grab without having to get up. I go by my instincts and have taught myself to trust them. In taking random fabric scraps and assembling them with a variety of mixed media, I create a piece that forms its own cohesive pattern.

I do not have a project in mind when I design my fabric pieces, but obviously you can choose your colors and fabrics to fit a specific piece. Using a theme may help you get started. 

Linda's ideas make me want to drop everything and start playing with fabric, stitch, and mixed media right now, no rules needed!

For more mixed-media inspiration, you can't do better than a subscription to Cloth Paper Scissors, where rules are made to be broken and it's OK to color–or stitch–outside the lines.

viv sig  
P.S. What's your favorite way to creatively break the rules? Share your thoughts below.

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One thought on “For More Creative Fabric Art, Break the Rules

  1. Scraps, scraps, scraps! If you create fiber art , fabric scraps are a way of life. Too pretty (or expensive) to throw away, too many to keep contained. They must be good for something!

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