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Art Quilts

Mention Art and what comes to mind for many people are Paintings and Sculpture. When one thinks of a Quilt, well that is just a bed cover to most.

Quilting is a billion dollar industry in the United States alone, and most quiltmakers are not covering just beds these days. The walls are fair game as well... for Art Quilts.

Quilt artists use fabric and thread as their pallet, and there is no limit to embellishments. What I have displayed here is a small assortment of some of my art quilts to show a variety of techniques. Most are samples representing workshops I have taught or were used in one of my books. In most examples, I have even created the lightfast fabric and the beadwork is done with jewelry quality precious and semi-precious gems.


Visions Of Confetti
45.5" x 41.5"

Construction: Artistic Fabrics (200 count combed-cotton broadcloth hand-painted by me), mixed thread (YLI, Sulky, Superior, Robinson Anton), Quilters Dream Cotton Batting (request loft), original embroidery designed with Pfaff PC Designer software. Standard hanging sleeve on back as well as an embroidered quilt label. Includes hidden identification device only known to me.

Description: The richly multi-colored striated background (one-of-a-kind) is a whole cloth (one piece of fabric) with a random folded-edge curved appliqued border. The confetti shapes are original embroidery designs created by me specifically for this quilt, sewn using a Pfaff 7570 sewing machine. The background was quilted around the confetti shapes with a free-motion random doodle pattern using a zigzag stitch and variegated thread. Also embroidered on the front of the quilt is my signature. The quilt is embellished with sequins, beads and ruched fabric "streamers". Due to the nature of the fabric paints, this quilt is soft, colorfast, as well as fade resistant. Hangs straight and flat.

Blue and Gold
53" x 35"

Blue And Gold has this title because it is mostly created with blue fabrics and accented with blue / gold beads, antique gold buttons, blue / gold trim and threads. The quilt was created to hang in a room with the blue and gold theme. The blue fabrics used in the quilt are also used in the room in which it hangs. There are also gold fabrics such as lame and sequined material.

The large vintage buttons are gold and set with diamonds making this quilt sparkle. Because the shanks of the buttons would have made them wobble on the quilt, I created ruched fabric to go around them. These circles keep the buttons in place securely and add an interesting dimensional textured border around them. There are beads sewn all over the surface as well as round and star-shaped sequins which add more sparkle.

All of the seams are embellished with heavy thread-work (12 wt. cotton), braids, trims, multi-cording (with pearl cotton), or ric rac (some of which is braided to create a two-toned effect). Since the seams run predominately vertically and horizontally, I couched various decorative cords across some of the blocks to add different wavey angles.

To add more surface texture, I wrinkled the gold fabrics which are kept that way with iron-on stabilizers. There is a long tasseled cord hanging folded over on itself (tassels at both ends) on the right edge of the quilt, secured with dangling beadwork. To balance that off, there is a one inch wide metallic blue and gold trim sewn the full length on the left edge of the quilt. I considered these two elements enough of a border for this piece.

It is freemotion stipple quilted.

15" x 25.5"

Carnival hangs flat and square at 15 x 25-1/2 inches and is made with Artistic Fabric, my own hand-painted 200 count cotton fabrics, it is fade resistant.

I programmed a double-sided 9mm wide blanket stitch into my sewing machine (the one built in to the machine doesn't really look as if it was done by hand - my own version does) and sewed it in all the seams. All of the raw edges are rolled under but I like using black in various ways with lots of other colors and thought this would be a great way to accent the seams. Each area (seperate piece) is quilted and embellished in its own way but the black blanket stitch visually ties them all together.

When I couched all of the decorative yarns on the dark green piece, I hid the bottom ends in the seam and binding. I secured the top ends with a knot of quilting thread to hold them down tighly, then allowed tails of the yarns to fall down over themselves. To give them weight so each tail hangs straight down, I added beads.

The cording is done with pearl cotton. The orange fabric I quilted in a spiral following the shape of the piece. The light green fabric I quilted with straight parralle lines of red and blue, each angling a different way and giving an interesting raised relief. I also sewed lines in a zig-zag pattern between these areas and used the bungle beads to reflect these straight lines. The yellow fabric was quilted with a freemotion meandering zig-zag stitch, around the twisted chenile yarns. The darker red fabric was bobbin quilted. In some cases I used contrasting thread to quilt with to make the quilting more obvious and to give the solid-like fabrics a pattern.

The peachy-colored fabric in the lower left corner was rather boring to me so I jazzed it up with stripes following the curve of the seam. My stripes are strands of yellow and purple pearl cotton, spaced evenly apart, sewn over with green thread. In the long yellow area, I twisted two different solid colored chenille yarns as I quilted them down.

Sulky Trellis

Construction: Artistic Fabrics (200 count combed-cotton broadcloth hand-painted by me), Sulky thread, Quilters Dream Cotton Batting (request loft), original embroidery. Standard hanging sleeve on back as well as an embroidered quilt label. Includes hidden identification device only known to me.

This quilt was made for the use of Sulky. It was part of their traveling display of items which feature their thread. It is an Artistic Fabrics whole cloth embroidered quilt. The flower, leaf and vine embroidery designs were created for this quilt (by me) and sewn on a Pfaff 7570 sewing machine. Due to the nature of the fabric paints, this quilt is soft, colorfast, as well as fade resistant. Hangs straight and flat.

Crazy Block
50" x 50"

All of the fabric, including the flowers, are Artistic Fabrics ® (hand-painted by me, on high quality 100% cotton using Seta Color paints from France). The fabric is colorfast as well as lightfast so it may be displayed without these common concerns. Not evident in the photos is the pearlescent quality in some of the fabrics. For instance, the black sashing and border is highlighted with bronze and the heart is surrounded with a gold halo effect.

Hand and machine quilted.

Beadwork is seen on many traditional crazy quilts. What makes this artistic version very unique is the beadwork is done using only (drilled) semi-precious stones and precious stones set in 14k gold. None of the beadwork is plastic or glass. Instead, I used: Lapis, Red Marble, Jade (carved and round), Amethyst (carved and round), Mother of Pearl (carved and round), Turquoise, Garnet, Fresh Water Pearls, Malachite, Rhodonite, Emeralds, Rubies, Sapphires, Demortierite, Chinese Turquoise, Gold Stone, Tiger Eye (carved and round), Picture Jasper, Lapis Nevada, Unakite, Yellow Jasper, Amber, Onyx, Hematite, Red Jade, as well as 14k gold, sterling silver, gold-plated brass, gold-plated pewter, and copper. For security purposes, the precious stones are mounted in such a way that they would be very difficult to remove and can not be removed without completely destroying the quilt itself or without removing them from their gold settings. As with all crazy quilts, there is a spider web on this quilt. The web, sewn in gold metallic thread, has a unique "resident." Just below it, sitting on a leaf, is a sterling silver spider which a body of amber - fossilized insect remains still in it.
Each area features some sort of dimensional fabric manipulation.







Country Landscapes
53" x 41"

Once I was satisfied with how I had arranged the scenes (created with a large assortment of small pieces of fabric), I freemotion quilted all the raw edges, blending them in to one another with many colors of thread. Basically I thread painted on top of everything. The photos below do not show very accurately how much thread-work I did but let me say that there is so much of it the quilt had no choice but to hang flat and stiff when I was through. The back of the quilt was so covered in bobbin thread that before I bound the quilt, I added an additional backing and hand quilted it to the inner backing and batting but not through to the front of the quilt. I did this in random seed-like stitches.