Archive for the ‘Art Quilt Work Group’ Category

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Jumping around a little bit, Monday we met and worked on Chapter 4 – Collage.

collage, n. An artistic composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface (from French coller: to glue).

First though, we all shared our Chapter 2 quilt blocks, each in our chosen theme.

IMG_4695Marilyn’s block – bird theme

IMG_4696Margaret’s block – rock theme

IMG_4697Nela’s block – frog theme

IMG_4698Cathy’s block – abstract theme


Penny’s block – African theme

And then we got down to business, playing with collage. We cut out three shapes from fabric, and played with arranging our shapes on a 9″ x 12″ block. Then we went on to cutting a specific image out, and creating a collage around that.

IMG_4708Here’s the beginning of my second mosaic block, I cut out three flower shapes, arranging them on my rectangle, then added stems and leaves. I then cut these shapes into smaller pieces, starting on turning it into a mosaic.


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Chapter 2 Mosaic

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For my first 9″ x 12″ block, I chose the color scheme earthy. In it, I had picked two browns, a light and dark, and a dark green. Pulling out my stash of dyed fabrics, I found three colors that followed the scheme and looked good together. I thought though that the mix could use some contrast, so I pulled out a light blue as well.

IMG_4679Taking my color pencils, I made a quick sketch in my journal of a circular mosaic pattern, using the colored pencils to note where which color would go where. Following my sketch, I measured out a 9″ x 12″ background fabric, and began cutting out small tesserae pieces from the fabric, and laying them down.

IMG_4686I used a spot of glue on each to hold it in place, chose various threads with matching colors, and began to quilt. I didn’t though, want the quilting to connect each piece. I wanted instead each piece of fabric to stand on its own, floating against the background color, as it might on a real mosaic. So after quilting each little tesserae, I raised my sewing machine foot, moved to the next tesserae, and began quilting again, all without cutting the thread but not sewing between tesserae.

IMG_4688Here, you can see the threads between each piece. It went quickly, and didn’t take much time at the end to sit a moment and clip each thread off the front and back, ending up with a nice, quaint, 9″ x 12″ mosaic.


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In our local quilt group, we have a smaller group of quilters interested in being creative and sewing art quilts. We like to call ourselves the Out of the Box group, a name that arose when one of our members was describing our group to the guild.

This year, we are following the Art Quilt Workbook, by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston. The book has exercises and chapters that teach new techniques, designed to ignite our creativity! Each month, one of us presents a chapter to the group and we do the exercises together.

At the first meeting, we discussed Chapter 1, the basics.

art, noun. The conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects (from Latin articulus: article).

And – there is homework for each chapter. Homework! It’s been a while. Each chapter ends with a homework assignment. The whole idea is to learn to work in a series of art quilts, (9″ x 12″) in a theme, using the various techniques we learn in each chapter. The homework for Chapter 1 was to select a theme for your series.

At the time I was reading Finding Beauty in a Broken World by Terry Tempest Williams. Her opening chapter is a moving commentary on mosaics,

“A mosaic is a conversation that takes place on surfaces.

A mosaic is a conversation with light, with color, with form.

A mosaic is a conversation with time.”

Immediately, I knew I wanted my theme to be mosaics.


At our Chapter 2 meeting, we played with color.

color, n. The appearance of objects (or light sources) described in terms of a person’s perception of their hue, lightness (or brightness), and saturation (from Latin color: color).

We all brought paint chips and fabric scraps. Pulling from a random list of descriptive words, we each made a color combination inspired by that word.

IMG_0204Here’s a page from my journal – with the words tropical, traditional, trendy, and nostalgic.

The homework from Chapter 2 was to make our first 9″ x 12″ block, using something we learned in Chapter 2. We also challenged ourselves to use one of the color combinations we made during the meeting.

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