New to art quilting

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earthanjel wrote
on 19 Oct 2011 1:11 PM

Hello,

I thought I would drop in and introduce myself. I have been quilting for about 18 months now but doing traditional quilts and learning all that I can. (And I still have a ton to learn.) 

The owner of my favorite shop told me one day recently that she could see me really getting into art quilting. I have been looking into what that meant ever since and I definitely want to see what I can do here!! The added creativity that art quilting allows is amazing. I don't even know where to begin. LOL I just want to make something. ;)

I am fascinated by the tidbits on surface design and dyeing that I have seen already and really would love to work more with applique. Texture and 3D elements seem like a lot of fun as well.

I suppose I need to decide where to start and just get going like I did with my first traditional quilts.

 

Can't wait to learn more and get to know all of you here.

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Muppin wrote
on 20 Oct 2011 8:07 AM

Welcome earthanjel!  I hope you enjoy the forums!  You get to start pretty much anywhere you want and have a lot of fun!  There's a lot of help on this board, so feel free to ask questions!

Cheryl / Muppin

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ckquilter wrote
on 20 Oct 2011 5:41 PM

hi earthanjel

a whole world of possibilites and learning - it does not get any better than that !

but you have to start somewhere ! soooo, what do you love? what is important to you? what story would you like your art to tell ?

once you have an idea or concept in mind, then you can learn the methods you need to portray your idea. and each new idea will require some new method !       you might even start by looking at the challenge posted.   try thread sketching - and learn to use some of the metallic and specialty threads out there (how about the glow in the dark threads ?  fun for halloween !)    or some couched yarn?

or thread painting? just uses a LOT more thread and takes more time. or some machine needle lace?    all related to the stitched design idea.

and a good way of practicing your free motion sewing.                   ckquilter

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earthanjel wrote
on 24 Oct 2011 1:04 PM

A world of possiblities is right! I have a few ideas brewing andjust am unsure where to start. For now I keep coming back to a Phoenix rising and I really want put something together for that idea. I'm thinking that it will be a lot of applique which will give me practice and a chance to play with some differnt threads.

I am not skilled at sketching or drawing, to be honest, but I really want to make the attempt and see what I come up with. I'm a bit scared to go for it but I know just diving in is how I will learn. Hopefully, I can get this show on the road this week.

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ckquilter wrote
on 24 Oct 2011 5:37 PM

hi earthanjel

your phoenix idea sounds great.  don't be scared. just turn it into excitement, and use it as an excuse to get started !

why the phoenix? any relation to the marine corps/plane quilt you posted?           what does the phoenix represent to you? rising from ashes or from destruction?  coming back from hardship?

i find that when i am starting to work on an idea, writing things down (like a stream of consciousness even) or talking to someone, will help develop the idea and what i want the quilt to say.  sometimes i will go onlineand find additional info, and that can provide more ideas and help direct where the project  is heading.

wings are a blast to draw. and a good first project for begining. they can be any size and shape. they are easily drawn and modified. get some tracing paper and thin lead mechanical pencils and a good eraser (i like the one that looks like a fat pencil).  

make sure you let us see what you come up with - or even the drawings along the way.                   ckquilter

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on 25 Oct 2011 10:40 AM

Hi! Welcome to the community! :)

 

Can't wait to see your progress on this!

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earthanjel wrote
on 25 Oct 2011 1:43 PM

The phoenix has been in my head as something I wanted to put in a quilt since I started quilting but I just couldn't figure out how with the traditional quilting. Then I saw some paper pieced quilts and was amazed so the phoenix came back into my head. Then when I discovered art quilting I could see so many possibilities.

The phoenix for me is all about renewal, growth and rebirth. Plus it lends itself to some really bright eye-popping colors which is something I really like to play with.

I took a stab at sketching something today. The first attempt got scrapped. The second came out differntly than I had envisioned but I can work with it. I'm not much of a sketch artist but here it is....

 

I'm planning on using a midnight blue (maybe a batik) as the background and a bright or variegated orange to make the applique. Then I get to try my hand at embellishing it with thread. And who knows what else I come up with. LOL

The thought occurred to me to make several 'blocks' with mythical creatures and turn it into a sampler quilt. For now I will see how this one turns out before I go that big. 

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Muppin wrote
on 28 Oct 2011 8:21 AM

Ooo!  Can't wait!

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ckquilter wrote
on 29 Oct 2011 3:22 AM

hi earthanjel

good start to your drawing. nice to have the items in the picture, so we can see the scale.

is the quilt gonna be this small? i can easily see this as a much larger piece. and instead of one color for the phoenix -  you can then use many.

your idea of the dark blue background with the compmentary orange phoenix will really make the colors pop.

you might try a different fabric for each feather.  and use a color run across the feathers, or a value run.

i like the basic shape of the phoenix. but would prefer the wings to have a more up stroke effect - the phoenix should be rising - and right now they are downswept.   and maybe exaggerate the sweep of the wing.      i could also see more feathers - and again, some larger ones on the head.

the wings could be kept symetrical - or might be more interesting if the differ from each other. that would be a more natural and less posed shape. but that may also not be what you have in mind.

i like the basic shape of the tail - but would prefer the feathers to not be all the same size - which right now gives the bottom edge a straight line - which i don't like quite as well as a V shape. the straight line is more static. a V shape would give more movement to the phoenix. they also look a bit like legs because all the feathers are the same size. i would make them less uniform in size.

are there gonna be any flames? or ashes? or something the phoenix is rising from?

if i were thread painting the phoenix i would probably not make the final size more than 3 or 4 times the size of the current drawing - especially if you don't have much experience thread painting.      even at its current size, it would take some hours to thread paint.

it will be fun to watch as you continue working on it. i think a phoenix idea appeals to most people - i know it does to me. it relates to so much.  and hot colors against a dark, cool color sky is always dramatic and eye catching ,and appealing.                           ckquilter

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earthanjel wrote
on 29 Oct 2011 6:24 AM

Thank you so much for taking an interest and all your thoughts and suggesstions. I was thinking a lot on the same lines and the more I look at my drawing the more I want to change it. However, I'm thinking I might find some art that I really like and trace it on a light box instead of getting frustrated with my free hand 'skills.' This is also making me consider taking some art classes, as I would like to be able to get my own vision on to paper some day.

I love the idea of making each feather a separate piece! I was thinking about this the other day while I was driving to pick my daughter up from preschool. Then I can incorporate some reds and yellows as well as the orange.

I am a bit intimidated by the size of the drawing I made. LOL My original thought was to have this be a 12-14 inch block when it's done that way I can make a Fairy Tale quilt later by adding some other blocks with mythical creatures. More than anything this is just a piece that's all for me and gives me a chance to play and learn some new things.

I'll put up some pictures later of the background fabric and the orange batik I picked up yesterday. And hopefully, a new drawing too!

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ckquilter wrote
on 29 Oct 2011 7:30 PM

hi again

i would like to encourage you to continue working on this drawing - rather than scrapping it and looking for someone else's work to copy.

you have a good start. and even if you found something else you liked - chances are you are gonna have to alter it anyway to make it something you really like.

don't try and recopy the whole thing each time. instead - focus on one area - like the head. use a piece of tracing paper, and draw the part of the neck leading up to the head. then put a piece of tracing paper over that, and redraw a slightly different head - maybe a new feather , or 2. do it again and make a feather larger. or at a different angle -keep playing with new feathers and angles until you have half a dozen - change them each time. when you start finding one you like - continue with it.

you only need small pieces of paper - and to redraw small bits each time.    you should find that after 20 to 30 minutes, you are starting to get something pretty good.

try the same approach with the wings - don't redraw the whole bird - just focus on a wing and try 8 to 10 variations. try tipping the wing up. try stretching it out. try a couple of oversized feathers.   try a dramatic upsweep. try separating the wing tip feathers. just work on one side - til you start getting close to something good. then turn it over, retrace it onto another piece, and put them together and decide - are the 2wings gonna be the same? or are they gonna be different? if different, then leave the first, and keep working on the second.

then do the same thing with the tail.

do not throw out your little variations - until you are done with the quilt. put the various forms into an envelope or sheet protector and save them, as you work. sometimes as i draw on one area, i end up going back to an earlier version, or a different version of one of the other areas - because they work better together.

i also don't draw big. i keep it on a standard piece of paper, as long as i can get the major lines on it. it is much quicker that way. then, as i start to get close to a final drawing, if i am gonna make it a bigger quilt, and i need more detail, i will draw a bit bigger. when i have something that is final (or very close  to it ),  and by then it may have half a dozen pieces of tracing paper scotch taped together ; holding the wings, head, body and tail pieces; then i will lay another piece of tracing paper over it, and redraw the whole thing with an ultra fine line sharpie.    then off to staples to have it enlarged to the exact size i want it to be on the quilt.  (or i use my overhead projector to focus it on the wall and draw it off full size -but not everyone has a projector). you may need to try a couple sizes to get it right where you want.

 i will add the final details after i get it full size.  small details are much easier to add then, rather than earlier. like eyes, and maybe feather detail.

no one is born knowing how to draw. we learn by doing and practicing.   and this is a very easy, forgiving, and productive way of teaching yourself how to get a pattern that you like - fairly quickly.

you can keep it small - and add other blocks to it. or make it more important on its own - and make it much bigger. bigger takes longer - not to draw, but to sew - but you get to use more colors and fabrics.  sometimes i will make a small one -as a color study for a larger version  . but you already have a good idea for the colors - so i don't think you have to do both.   just decide whether you want to do lots of blocks, and keep them small -or do the phoenix as its own idea and make it larger, which i can see very easily as an awesome quilt. and add the other ideas as their own quilts - a series.      if you make them all a good size - maybe 36" - they can be hung together easily as a set. and you can add more interest to the background - maybe words? or verses? or scrolls? in keeping with the fairy tale theme.

yes, you will need to spend some time working and developing a good design and pattern. but commercial designs were done the same way.  and if you do your own , it will teach you a lot; and you will have the satisfaction of creating your own, unique art, rather than copying someone else's idea.

ckquilter

 

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sewinggeek wrote
on 1 Nov 2011 7:28 AM

What an interesting thread. 

ckquilter you are a great encourager and are giving ideas to me too! 

I so need to get time in the sewing room and get out of my rut! lol 

Thanks for your info... even if it was in response to someone elses question. 

Looking forward to seeing the quilt progress. 

Jo

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Muppin wrote
on 1 Nov 2011 12:50 PM

Welcome Jo!  ckquilter is a treaure trove of help on these forums!   We'd love to see your work too!

Let us know if you have any questions!

Cheryl / Muppin

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ckquilter wrote
on 5 Nov 2011 1:01 AM

hi jo and muppin

thank you both for the kind words.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

if my ramblings have encouraged anyone to give something new a try - i feel like i have earned my brownie points for the day !

and i am all for us heading to the sewing room to create original, meaningful (at least to us ) art of fiber and fabric (and any other bits of fun stuff we have acquired !!!!!!)                                  ckquilter

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on 5 Nov 2011 12:20 PM

I am a wannabe art quilter.  I have been watching videos, reading magazines and books, downloading information I think I will use in the future, etc. etc., but have yet to break down and actually do something with fabric and needle.  I am very much into landscapes, seasons and holidays.  My artist daughter and son-in-law have sent me many digital images of their artwork and the thousands of photographs they take while traveling  that would be great translated to fabric.  I am gathering my courage to break the barrier and go from design to worktable.  I think this media is going to be a real boost to keep me moving forward.  thanks to all of you for taking the time to share.

dd designer

 

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