Newsletter | Jul/Aug 2022

Art Quilt Retreat Project 2022

by Ann Wright

“An art quilt is an original exploration of a concept or idea rather than the handing down of a “pattern”. It experiments with textile manipulation, color, texture and/or a diversity of mixed media. An Art Quilt often pushes quilt world boundaries. An Art Quilt should consist predominately of fiber or a fiber-like material with one or multiple layers which are held together with stitches or piercing of the layers.”

This is how the Art Quilt Association members define art quilts. Their competition entries rules and judging are based on this definition. There is a wide range of how this definition is interpreted: in themes; materials, colors, and techniques. The internet has a wealth of examples, under art quilts, collage quilts, and quilt / fabric embellishment. Quilting Arts Magazine, Studio Art Quilts Association and Art Quilt Association have archived shows.

Since the retreat art project is limited in time and is mostly an informal way of adding creativity to our visiting and “catching-up”, the retreat art project will be limited to making small, embellished quilt wall hangings. Below is a summary of the activity
Activity Summary:

We will be making a small art quilt wall hanging about 10-16 inches square or rectangular. We will start with a “canvas” of quilted fabric -- 3 layered fabric sandwich of a front and back fabric, with a batting layer between -- then embellish it with stitchery, embroidery, added fusible appliqued fabrics, ribbons, trims, beads, buttons and other small found objects. Quotes and writing can also be incorporated into the design. Each “canvas” will include a method of hanging the artwork such as sleeves or tabs.

The ”canvasses” to be provided will include blank fabric, themed fabric and some quilt blocks. Themed fabric will include nature, landscapes, sunsets, sea life, birds, animals, butterflies etc. Quilt blocks will be traditional and some faded out to recede as a background. From this variety, everybody will choose a canvas that inspires them. Embellishing materials will be provided but if an artist has a theme in mind, they are welcome to bring objects to support that theme such as shell for a beach theme.
Here are some examples of art quilts:

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