Birth of an Art Quilt

First an idea is born. I decided one night while we were on the river property with my husband’s cousins that I must capture the moments of our campfire nights on fabric.  I played with the idea in my head for a couple of years and reminded myself over and over that I must find time to create this quilt. A year ago I sewed the background, campfire stone ring, airstream, and each of the people. I folded it up and put it away. Last night I pulled it out and did the rest.

I still have lots of fine details to add. The faces have not been painted in yet. The loose threads must be cut. Appliqués need to be edged. Lastly the quilt (wall hanging) will need to be backed and bordered.

I enjoy using a variety of fiber arts and textures in my quilts. This one includes beading and crochet. I’ve used ribbon, wood, jute, wire, cotton, and thread.

The birth of an art quilt is quick, easy, and painless…the fine detail is tedious and time consuming. Blending each portion into the next is where the work comes in. Now, the playing is over and the real work begins!

Spin Cycle: Birth

Living in the Gap

April 5, 2012 – Runs with Scissors

Yes, that is my Indian name. I cut Dirt Man’s hair and proceed to clean up the hair. I lightly brush my fingers across the closed edge of my scissors to wipe off the loose hair. YOUCH…I feel the blade slicing my thumb! Good thing the scissors were not open or sharp for that matter! I pinch it with my index finger so I can get a bandaid on it before blood rises to the surface.

60 thoughts on “Birth of an Art Quilt

  1. I really appreciate folk art mostly paintings on wood and furniture but you bring magic to this quilt stuff. Esp the little things sewn on for the texture 3-D look. Better not put it in the washing machine though.

  2. I gaze in awe at your quilt. You bring beauty to our lives in so many ways: visual art, written stories, poetry to warm our hearts and observations to lift them — and you make it all look naturally effortless. I am grateful for the Internet that melts the barriers of distance so you can warm hearts all around the globe. Thank you for displaying your quilt.

    You say your Indian name is Runs With Scissors. Is your Indian middle name Saves Scraps of Fabric?

    • Thank you for your generous and kind words, Sharon. I enjoy puttering about whether it’s with words or fabric! Several years back I attempted to do a (fabric) self portrait of my face which came out looking more like my grandmother and I’ve done bits and pieces to add together but haven’t pieced it, but am thinking of it to make an art quilt of my grandmother.
      LOL…I am getting better at letting go of some of my fabric stash, and am planning to make a huge dent in it soon. It takes up too much storage, but I always have ideas in the back of my mind that I hope to get to some day….Oh dear retirement, where are you?!

  3. I must have a similar Indian name since one day I was looking at my scissors and noticed that there was some dust on the edge, why I decided to wipe it with my thumb is beyond me.

  4. Oh my … you are so creative in so many different ways! What a wonderful idea and it will be such a warm addition to any room in your home. Where in the world did you find such tiny clothes pins? 😉

  5. I’m in love with the clothesline. I have a “bulletin board” in my office that has tiny clothespins to hang up messages. Why does a tiny clothesline make me happy? And all this color!!

    I’ve told you before that my mother was a quilter. Seeing your quilt makes me so happy.

    • Glad this made you happy. My house stays trashed when I’m in the midst of a project…fabrics, threads, ironing board and iron, sewing machine, craft boxes galore…oh, what fun clutter!

  6. That is a very cool quilt. Looks like you spent a lot of time on it. It has some really neat features, I like the figures.

  7. Wow Weeeeeeeee, Suzi! This quilt is AMAZING! I’ve seen several quilts in my day, but none of them have ever looked like this one!

    Love the 3-D effect. That clothesline is adorable!

    Also, love the various textures and colors!

    You GO, talented girl!

    Happy Thursday….X

    P.S. “I lightly brush my fingers across the closed edge of my scissors to wipe off the loose hair. YOUCH…I feel the blade slicing my thumb! ” Yup…as an ex-stylist, I’ve done the same thing 😦

    • Thanks, Ron. I love watching it come together. Up close I see all my mistakes but from a distance it all blends.
      We stylists do crazy things that we know better than doing!

  8. Argh! I just typed a lengthy comment and WP’s new and improved comment system lost it! To summarize: your quilt is such a fun way to capture and preserve memories. Well done!

  9. OMG! It’s gorgeous!! Long ago, a friend and I made a “friendship quilt” for another friend who was getting married, and we thought we were so creative. But this puts us to SHAME!

    You are linked!

  10. You are quite the artist where quilts (and anything else for that matter) are concerned. They always amaze me with your creativity and detail.

    As for Runs with Scissors… MY indian name should be runs with GRACE and Athleticism! HAHAHAHAHA

  11. That is precious and memorable. Once after a trip across country with my teen boys I bought each a T shirt at each camp site for a souvenir and after they were done wearing them I made a quilt from them. My younger one took it with him to college and loved it to death. 🙂

    So glad I took photos of it for the off spring. Now for them to come. lol. We almost have an engagement with him and his girl friend but the other won’t have kids with his wife. Too bad, huh? Lol.

  12. Ps. I shared your link with several of my family who remember when I used to quilt. I even made one from old jeans with red felt backing. It was heavy. lol
    Thanks for these happy memories. 🙂

  13. What a beautiful, story-telling quilt! Seeing it, and knowing that you were blessed with the talent and time to do it, gives me an appreciation of all the great things in life that are ours for the taking. I’m sure someone (or many) are inspired by this post to do something creative and enjoyable. I am. 🙂

    • I don’t know about the talent part, but when I see something I think looks interesting I just try to figure out how it’s done and go for it. I can’t wait to read about your creative endeavor, Anita!

    • I don’t know about the talent part, but when I see something I think looks interesting I just try to figure out how it’s done and go for it. I can’t wait to read about your creative endeavor, Anita!

  14. What a quilt, Suzicate. Think of all the children who can simply point to a character on the quilt and a bedtime story will be underway. You are not only talented, dear girl, you obviously have lots of energy!

    • I don’t know about the energy part, but I have to do things in spurts because quilting (though I love it) is the one thing that absolutely kills my back! I hope to be able to hand my art quilt down to hopefully grandchildren some day…

  15. Wow, that is truly beautiful. It is like a mural in a quilt. Amazing. You are so talented!

    I love it. I can’t wait to see pictures of it when it is all done. Although it is wonderful as it is, I imagine more details will make it more precious!

    • Love the Grandma Moses quotes I read here and there…I need to learn more about her.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      Now I’m off to paint the shed/workshop!

    • I love your little clothespins on there! I had made the hat for something else I was doing and pulled it out and used it on this! Yesterday I started embroidering parts of the river to give it texture…I only did about one fifth – sometimes I wonder why I go with these ideas (swollen fingers!).

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