Not sure which of the subforums "Quilted Felting" belongs in, much less Art Quilting that incorporates polymer clay...so I will try here! In some ways, felting - be it by hand or by machine - is rightfully an embellishment. But at times what I am doing is creating cloth, which is then quilted and embellished. And sometimes what I felt -- usually something thicker aka knit and wet felted -- is incorporated and attached, more like a found object. And other times the roving and wool are layers, much like paint, which are laid down, and then stitched together as a quilt is. And THEN there is combining all these fiber arts with polymer clay.
Is stitched felting "quilted"? Are what I am creating "Art Quilts?" :-)
I often felt into / onto a base layer, be it netting or a loosely woven fabric. OK that creates 2 layers. I know many say that 3 layers are needed to officially qualify as "quilting." I also create 3 + layers with batting, in combinations of felted fiber and cloth. This for example is dryer lint, machine felted into fabric, made into a regular "quilt sandwich" machine quilted and embellished. That one is easy. It is a quilt by the usual definition.
This is another variation.... multiple layers of cloth, batting, felting (depending on the section being looked at) along with machine and hand quilting, applique and embellishment. (this is a cropped section of a large wall piece I have just finished).
But then what about things like THIS? Combinations of polymer clay, wet and needle felting, quilting and embellishment? Of course mixed media...
I'm combining quilting, felting, embellishment and fusing it with polymer clay elements. Art Quilting? Fiber Fusion?
I'd love to be able to get feedback on my body of work, share my techniques, and exchange with others about how they are pushing and applying art quilting! The significance is where is my "home" in the fiber arts community, where I can show, submit, publish and share?
you might be able to call the first 2 quilts. but the others, while fiber art or fusion art, are not quilts. they are interesting and creative; but i don't think you could get them into a regular quilt show. just because of the definition of quilt the shows use. you will just need to find other places to display them. there are more and more fiber festivals and exhibits all the time. some of these would be more at home there.
but i would not worry about it !!they are still fascinating, and a lot more creative than most quilts. so combining any methods and materials you want, to create your vision, your art - i think it is a good thing. ckquilter
A quilt in most shows are defined by having 3 layers and stitched. Sometimes that means gossamer thin battings, but the 3 layers constitiutes the "quilt". Stitched felt may use quilting techniques, but without the other layers, it might not meet a show's definition of "quilt". The big shows: IQF, AQS, they all use this definition.
I think these pieces are amazing, no matter what they are called!! They may definitely fit a fiber show in a fine art category! You should check those types of shows out!
Cheryl / Muppin
Thanks CK and Cheryl for each of your replies. I have just been creating things in my own little world, but now, wanting to plug in to the larger fiber art and art quilting world, sorting out the disciplines is important. OK, so I will pay attention to naming these correctly -- keeping to the 3 layer quilt sandwich. And I have also recently realized that some of what I call "felting" is really "fulling". Also important!
I appreciate your encouragement and feedback.
Hi, I just stumbled onto this thread, what serendipity! I love what you are doing! That really speaks volumes to me!
I am NOT a quilter, though I have been known to use quilting techniques; I play with fabrics, paints and fibres and like you, cannot classify what I do in the traditional way. While its its mixed media, of a sort, its not what traditionally springs to mind for that description, and if we have to be classified (yuck! how confining!) I'm stuck for any description beyond textile artist, because no matter where we start off, the end product is generally a textile or fabric of some sort.
You are lucky if you can find somewhere to exhibit; I am very limited as the state guild I belong to has very strict guidelines on felting, and I break every single one of them, but then rules are meant to be broken, right? In the meantime, I experiment and try things out, and pretty much go my own way without worrying if I fit in or not. I arrived at this point via spinning and weaving and my local spinning group is very supportive. On the odd occasion I exhibit, or enter a competition, I make sure the guidelines fit with what I am doing, not the other way around. While its limiting in one sense, its also freeing, as I can do my own thing my way, how I want, without worrying whether its going to qualify or not.
Don't let guidelines rule your work! Be happy to go out on a limb, and exhibit where ever possible and not just at quilting events, even if you cannot actually enter competitions. Find embroidery and felting groups and Guilds, they also hold exhibitions and competitions where you can exhibit. The more our work gets out there, the sooner it will be recognised as being beyond traditional classificationand accepted boundaries, and experimental and cross-media art will be not only accepted but (horror of horrors!), become mainstream. In so many ways its cutting edge, so let the rest of the art and textile world catch up with you! Don't let them slow you down! Your art has wings!
Just have to add that I bought the June/July issue (#77) of a Threads magazine put out by the UK embroidery guild (it takes 2 to 3 months to get here!!) and that is full of art work like yours!
hi to both caroline and rue
another place you might be able to exhibit - local and state fairs. they are not as limited in focus as quilt shows, and often have many categories to enter,including that great category - miscellaneous !! many will already have a mixed media category.
they will not attract quite as knowledgable a group - but might be more open to not- quite- the standard fiber entry.
another possible display venue - are the fiber shows. here in washington and oregon, we have a number of fiber festivals - and they have fiber competitions - where felted , woven items can be entered.
we also have weaving and spinning groups that meet and some of them have an annual exhibit.
there are several quilt museums nationally - i don't know whether they accept fiber entries - but it is worth looking into. ckquilter
Many thanks for the thoughts. Caroline, it is wonderful to hear from another working with felting, and both of you are right about reaching out to the local and state fairs and fiber shows. I am realizing how much research it takes to find the right place. I recently have gotten involved with a local spinning guild -- what a great group of people! And I had not even thought of a felters guild! But of course!
I've just finished a piece that is truly a quilt BUT the fiber/fabric is nearly all felted in one form or another. I confess I deliberately used the 3 layers so that I could possibly enter it in a quilt show. Though you are right, Caroline, that I need to do my work and NOT work to other's rules. :-)
Again, the information and encouragement are much appreciated.