Art Quilt

Art quilt is a broad term referring to contemporary textile art which has some or all of the basic structural characteristics of a traditional quilt, but incorporates a myriad of contemporary techniques and materials. Surface design, embellishment, hand stitching, and machine stitching are often used to create art quilts. Materials range from fabric and fibers, such as paper, to other mixed media, such as beads, buttons, and yarn.

Fiber Art That Takes a Stand

“May you live in interesting times.” – An old Chinese curse What is it about making art and taking a stand that goes hand in hand? Lately, we’ve been seeing a resurgence of social awareness, personal politics, and activism in the fiber arts. Controversial topics in art are nothing new: from the depictions of the…

Zipper pouches embellished with wool flowers.

Wool Flowers for Fiber Art & More

Over the past several years I’ve often thought about learning to crochet so I could make flower embellishments to use in various fiber art projects, but have never found the time. Luckily, Enid Gjelten Weichselbaum has devised an easy way to make pretty three-dimensional posy flowers using wool—no crochet required! Enid began creating fabric flowers…

Portrait quilt by Laurie Ceesay embellished with yarn, beads, and more

Let Your Hair Down: Portrait Quilt Techniques to Try

As the daughter of a hairstylist, I constantly find myself looking at hair–whether it’s people in movies, photographs, or in person, my eye is naturally drawn to their tresses. The cut, the color, the texture—there is so much to look at and everyone’s hair is different! With such affection for hair, I can’t help but…

Art Quilting Inspiration Anyone?

Do you ever go to quilting or sewing shows? It’s such a thrill to see so many sewists and quilters in one place joined by our shared passion. They are a great place to see what other people in the community are working on, to check out new sewing techniques, and to soak up inspiration.…

Creative Machine Art Techniques at Home

I’ll admit it, I love learning. To me there is nothing better than learning something new. I usually get so excited about it that I feel compelled to share the technique with friends–or even strangers. Lucky for the person who stands next to me in the checkout line, I can eagerly share my favorite techniques…

Texture in Art Quilts: How to Make Custom Rubbing Plates

One of my favorite aspects of art quilts is the artists’ use of texture. I love the way you can layer technique over technique to create a dynamic design that begs for closer inspection. And there are so many ways to create texture! Stamping, stenciling, stitching… I confess, as an indecisive person it can be…

Confetti Backgrounds for Art Quilts

Have you ever noticed how the background in a photograph tends to be blurred while the focal point is in sharp focus? Andrea Brokenshire observed this in her photos of flowers. In an attempt to capture and recreate this effect in her art quilts, Andrea uses batik fabrics and fusible web to create a highly…

8 Steps to Successful Cyanotype Prints on Fabric

Did you know cyanotype has been around since the middle of the 19th century? This vivid blue printing technique was a popular way to reproduce photographs and documents quickly and inexpensively. In fact, cyanotype prints were often used to print maps and plans, that’s where we get the term blueprint. Nowadays you can buy pretreated…

Photographic Inspiration for Abstract Art Quilts

Creating abstract art quilts can be a challenge. Finding interesting compositions takes practice. You can start with making free-motion sketches by sewing bits of fabric and paper onto notecards. Or you can pin pieces of fabric to your design wall and watch relationships between shape and color develop. Or you can look to a photograph…