Take a look at modern and contemporary quilts: they often have an abstract design.
An abstract quilt design immediately gives your piece a modern look, and many fiber artists just prefer abstract to representational designs.
Most people can’t just throw an abstract quilt together, though. You still have to incorporate the fundamentals of color, line, shape, and balance to make the quilt work. It takes practice, but practice can be fun.
Expert quilter Pat Pauly has tried many methods of designing quilts with abstract elements. One of her favorite ways to loosen up and get inspired is by making an abstract card collection.
It’s easy, fun, and you can do it, too.
Make an Abstract Card Collection
By Pat Pauly
1. Working improvisationally and playfully, make fabric sketches on a sewing machine.Start with firm paper. Add bits of fabric, printed matter, and pieces of other materials. Sew them loosely, tucking in pieces as you go. Consider using orphan quilt blocks or other compositions and cut them up into smaller units. Use glue stick, if needed, to keep the elements tacked to the firm paper.
2. Cut, tear, sew-just have fun with the materials. Use pencils and other drawing materials to color and draw on plain or printed paper. Scribble even! When you have covered the surface make another and another
3. When you are finished creating these mini collage/design examples, turn the card right side down on the cutting mat and trim the excess material along the edge of the card with a rotary cutter.
4. Collect the cards in a box, display them on a design wall, punch a hole in a top corner and put them all on a binder ring–whatever way suits you best. Remember the freedom of creating these and refer back to them when looking for inspiration.
5. Enjoy your card collection. Maybe one of these will be a beautiful quilt someday.
I actually tried this and came up with some beautiful little fabric collages.
Pat shows you how to design a quilt using inspiration from photos, sketches, and other inspiration pieces, in her new Quilting Arts Workshop video, Abstract Art Quilt Design from Start to Finish. Order your DVD or download it today.