Monday evening arrived and we gathered around the classroom tables at Baron’s Sewing Center in Woodland Hills. We were all there for an eagerly awaited kickoff to a series of workshops in Art Quilting. (The next workshops – a series of 3 – begins Wednesday April 25th 10 AM until 1 PM for 3 weeks)
My co-conspirator (Betsy Farwell) and I had all our props lined up and plenty of information to share with this budding group of quilt artists.
Several of the assembled had never been involved in art quilting at all. Our goal was to introduce them to some of the basic concepts and techniques of art quilting. Traditional quilting is filled with ‘rules’ and exact measurements. Art quilting is all about creativity and throwing away the rulebook.
Several participants were a little anxious because they didn’t consider themselves to be “artists”. We aimed to get across the idea that there are many ways to be an artist – that being able to draw well is a great skill to have but it is only one of many. The first prerequisite to being an art quilter is a willingness to experiment and to let your creative mode loose. It is not even necessary to have quilting experience. Many art quilters came to the field from general art backgrounds; some jumped immediately to art quilting after just a brief intro to quilting.
Our major task was to decide which of the many techniques of dozens and dozens to highlight and to demonstrate. We ended up with a smattering of surface design techniques such as fabric painting with Shiva paintstiks and Acrylic paint and use of rubbing plates, stencils and stamps. We also introduced the group to various methods of fabric discharge.
To add a little glitz and glamor we demonstrated use of foil and Angelina embellishment. We had available a potpourri of fun tidbits that they could use as they wished on their creations.
There was limited time for the group to play and try out all these techniques. But we turned them loose and play they did! To save time we provided some of our own teapot patterns. It was so much fun to see the group go off in their own directions to create their unique quilts. And here is some of their work in progress.