The Future of Quilting - Three Trends to Watch

22 Jan 2013

Did you know I have a crystal ball? Oh yes! It's heavily embellished and gives me insight into what you can expect to see in creative quilting during the coming year.

tranquil marsh art quilt detail Stokes
Detail of "Tranquil Marsh-Wild Iris" by Elena Stokes.
(Photo by Elena Stokes)
OK, I confess, my "crystal ball" is actually what I glean from visiting quilt shows, talking with fellow art quilters, and picking up on trends I see in the submissions we receive at Quilting Arts.

Even though in art quilting most people are doing their own thing, I see three exciting developments that I thought with you today.

Dense quilting. More and more award-winning quilts have heavy machine quilting that adds to the overall design. A great example of using dense quilting is Elena Stokes's "Tranquil Marsh-Wild Iris" quilt, part of the SAQA Seasonal Palette exhibit. Based on a poem, Elena's quilt features hand-dyed cottons and commercially dyed batiks that are hand-torn, collaged, fused, and machine-stitched in narrow rows. We will have a gallery feature on this exquisite exhibit in the April/May 2013 issue of Quilting Arts.

Green techniques/using what you have. You might be thinking, "When hasn't this been an art quilting trend?" Quilters of all stripes have always been inventive with available materials. But I see artists continuing to use the supplies from their stash in new ways and apply new products to what's on hand creatively. For example, in an upcoming Quilting Arts issue, Connie Marie Fahrion makes Impressionist-style stitched fiber "paintings" from coffee filters she dyes with instant heat-set dyes and pigmented inks.

painted coffee filters fiber art Fahrion
Connie Marie Fahrion's painted coffee filters
in the process of being turned into fiber art.

(Photo by Connie Fahrion)
Going digital.
As technology advances and at the same time becomes more ubiquitous and easier to use, art quilters are applying digital design to surface design techniques, enhancing digital photo transfer, creating print-on-demand fabrics, and transferring photos to fabric in new and better ways. You can be sure we will stay on top of these techniques and offer tutorials from artists using them creatively.

I could go on, but I don't want to spoil all the surprises we have in store for you this year in Quilting Arts. To avoid missing out on anything, make sure your subscription is up to date. If you haven't already subscribed, now is the perfect time!


P.S. Where is your art quilting going this year? Are you trying something new or delving further into something familiar? Share your thoughts below.


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Comments

on 26 Jan 2013 9:47 AM

I am an artist, and I love designing quilts, but I cant sew for taffy, so I always have to get it sewn, pretty expensive. I am working on doing a picture of some pony chuckwagon horses, very dramatic, I am doing applique, but have never done this before and it is turning out to be very ardulous, it will be white and grey on black, I love working negatively and kinda backwards. I have also done lots of hand batiking and I want to do a quilt with total hand done batik, maybe I should have done this quilt that way, come to think of it. I also used to take pictures at rodeos, and sold 8 by 10 glossies of my photos, so that is where the picture came from, the guys team was all black, beautiful little ponies  with very pretty harness with

hearts, striking team.

jeballard8 wrote
on 4 Feb 2013 7:59 PM

I'm going digital. I found an online collage site and am creating digital collages which I plan to transfer to my quilts and then further embelish with fabric, thread painting, and vintage beads and sequins.