Monday, October 5, 2009

The Quilting Arts Book & the "Wheat" Mini

My library has a very good quilting and crafting section. Often I go there if I'm stuck in a rut and need a bit of inspiration.

I joined a little swap on flickr in September. The swap group is called the 6"-12" mini quilt trading swap. The theme for September was fall.

My head was immediately filled with all sorts of ideas. I spoke with my partner and she only requested fall colors and not Halloween. I did a lot of inspiration surfing on flickr and started adding images I liked to my favorites. I loved the detail I found in this photo titled "Golden Harvest", but couldn't figure out how to create it in a quilt.

I kept meandering from the wheat idea and started on numerous other variations on the "fall" theme. I attempted a scarecrow paper-piecing pattern and gave up. I debated a pumpkin quilt similar to this, but my heart just wasn't in it.

Eventually I gave up on my current ideas and headed to the library. I discovered a book titled The Quilting Arts Book. I brought it home thinking it would be a good inspiration for how to quilt the mini.

It turns out that I was inspired by this book for more than quilting. I went to Utrecht the next day and got 2 linoleum blocks. I went to JoAnn for some Tulip paint, fabric, and gold thread.

I came home and pulled out our printmaking supplies. I carved the blocks.
I printed the images onto the fabric.
I sliced the printed fabric into manageable rectangles around the wheat image. I developed an arrangement and determined the rotation of blocks.

I sliced the blocks to close to the proper size.

I pieced the rectangles together to create the quilt top.

I layered the top, batting, and backing together.

I quilted the mini.
I attached the binding.

I added the quilt tag.

This is what I ended up creating.

It's amazing to me that I came up with this. I was drawn to this book because of the phenomenal stitching on the cover, but ended up with such a simple quilting pattern in the end.

The inspiration for this project that I did take from The Quilting Arts Book was from the Layered Printmaking project by Lucie Summers.

Note: I'm fairly certain this blog belongs to the Lucie Summers who authored the project in the book. If I'm wrong and it actually belongs to a different Lucie Summers, it's still worth checking out. She does some wicked cool work.

I altered the project quite a lot. I used a different type of paint/ink. I actually never completely read the entire instructions (I usually don't. I read maybe 1/2 to 2/3 of the project instructions and then force myself to create from that starting block.)

This was my first stab at printing onto fabric. I've took a printmaking class in college and really enjoyed it. Printing on fabric and at home is a lot different though. I wish we had the room and expendable income to buy a printing press. Just imagine the possibilities!

I'm really digging this book. Our library lets you recheck out the same book multiple times in a row (It is actually quite ridiculous how long I can keep a book.) if nobody else has requested it. So, I think this is a book I will either hoard from the library or if they force me to... it might be one that I purchase.

What I love about Quilting Arts is that everything they write about is something fresh. I think that's what I find lacking in other quilting magazines. You can only do the nine patch so many ways that traditional quilting magazines seem to just be more of the same.

Quilting Arts touches on thread painting, fabric dyeing, embellishing, fusing, etc. It touches on so many different ways to make your quilt have a texture. (Texture is one of my favorite elements in design.)

Okay, maybe I should give this copy back to the library and buy my own. It's a great book that could get anyone out of an inspiration rut. I totally recommend you check it out (just not from my library because I'm not quite ready to forfeit this copy just yet).

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