Where to begin

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on 17 Dec 2009 3:59 PM

Hi there. I am a painter who recently fell in love with the quilting arts magazine. I am already getting some great inspiration for new painting projects - especially color combinations. I am very interested in learning about art quilting and would like to try some small pieces to begin with. Maybe just something the size of a placemat. I love the idea of taking all the elements that I know as an artist and putting it into something textural. I love the idea of using buttons, different threads, felt, anything that adds dimention and texture. It seems quite expensive to get into quilting so what are the absolute essentials? Can you make a small quilt using only handstitching?  Thank you for all the inspiration your magazines have given me.

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Posts 350
on 19 Dec 2009 8:53 PM

Welcome to the community. I don't come from a quilting background. I am a mixed media artist.  I originally did a lot of collage and altered books.  Now I do a lot of art quilting and metalwork.  You don't need a sewing machine to do small pieces like you are talking about.  Needle and thread will do. You might find that a sewing machine will speed things along though.  You can experiment with different stitches that way.  The essentials would be fabric and batting to make the sandwich.  The rest would be extras.  You decide what you would need for surface design. You sound like you have an idea since you mentioned some surface design elements/embellishments.  The size you are talking about is a great size to start with and to experiment.  You can use your experience with painting and put that on your quilt. You can stamp on there, stencil, paint, draw, or block. 

Have fun!

Belinda aka crazyartgirl

Blog:  http://alteredbelly.blogspot.com/

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Posts 28
on 24 Dec 2009 2:47 AM

Soooo jealous!!!!  Wish I could say I was an artist first!  I just jumped in and with all the ignorance in the world, started to play.  I would love to be able to have some knowledge of art first!!!  So, you will enjoy getting into quilting art.  There is so much to try and explore and you have a good grounding in colours and design.  Have fun! Barb.

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Posts 350
on 28 Dec 2009 3:17 PM

The fun is in the learning and in the experimenting. We all had to start somewhere.

Belinda aka crazyartgirl

Blog:  http://alteredbelly.blogspot.com/

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Posts 54
Caribquilter wrote
on 2 Feb 2010 7:49 AM

Hi Barb, sorry about the late answer to your post, I'm not often on the forum (too busy quilting) : -)

All I want to say is that like Belinda stated: we all have to start somewhere and that usually implies at the bottom of the ladder and play our way up. When I decided I fell in love with quilting art/art quilt (never know the difference), a friend of mine gave me the best piece of advice ever: go and take an art class before you start. 3 years later I did, I learned to draw then paint, I learned about perspectives, how to play with light and shadow, distances, shapes, angles, structures, contrast in short: most of what I needed to get started. For the rest I simply practice and take online tutorials. One of my motivational teacher once said that we are all artists and creative, unfortunately many are unaware of it.

Most important is to have fun doing whatever we do. Isn't it Confucius who said: "A journey of 1000 miles begin with the 1st step"? And isn't it exactly what we are doing?

Have fun, Myriam

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