Painted Art Quilt (progress post)

I have finally made some progress on my art quilt. You might remember the unbleached muslin panel I painted from this post. I added some layers of pigment to deepen some of the tones since then, cut it into three pieces (a scary prospect at the time), and I’ve finally assembled the quilt top!   (Click on the image if you’d like to see it more closely.)

0919 no sculpey

It is fairly small right now at 9 1/2″ x 12″, and I’ve added some hand quilting, but I haven’t bound it off yet. Not sure if I should add another border to it?     ***EDIT:   I’ve now removed the sculpture due to early feedback!***  The small white sculpture between the first two panes was made out of Sculpey (polymer clay) and fired, but not yet painted. I’m also thinking of possibly making small seagull beads from Sculpey and adding them to the top.   And might add a funky beaded fringe to the bottom.  Not sure if I’ll stop there or not!   The border fabric is a primarily dark green and blue batik fabric – not black, as it may first appear.   Here is the fabric next to an ivory piece, so that you can see the colors a bit better:

0919 2

I’d love to get your thoughts on this. As always, constructive criticism is helpful and most welcome. I would really like to open an online shop before Christmas and sell this kind of thing. I’ve wanted to do it for years, and just starting to feel the urge to really DO it. If you think it needs something added (or subtracted), please do let me know! Thank you so much!   Happy glorious almost Autumn weekend to all!   Peace.

74 thoughts on “Painted Art Quilt (progress post)

  1. I like that bit of line too…waves, or maybe a mysterious message…I also like the offwhite border in the small sample and it would play off the line. I guess you’d have to pin it on to see how it works for the whole, but in a small sample it looks good to me. I’m a “more is more” person, so I would (personally) always add more stitching! The texture it gives is really nice. (K.)

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    1. Thanks, Kerfe. I was especially interested in your thoughts on this, as a textile artist. I was planning to paint the sculpey piece. I was thinking something in the blue/green family, but keeping it light, so it wouldn’t blend too much the border. And not even sure where to place it (it’s not been attached, yet). Realistically, do you think something like this would sell? I’ve put a bit of money into supplies and fabric for this venture, and not wanting to throw good money after bad, so to speak. So don’t be shy about expressing any concerns you might have!

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      1. My experience in sales is generally bad. I know people sell things, but how they manage it, I haven’t yet figured out. People buy things that make me scratch my head, and things I think are wonderful never get sold…I think you need the advice of a marketing person. It’s all marketing, I think, the product is secondary.

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      1. Well, I don’t know about art quilts – I have sold successfully in the craft arena doing handmade cards and handmade jewelry and what I do know is this: people love things that are beautiful and unique. So make it beautiful and unique, and if it’s something YOU love and want to own, keep, look at – then you are more than halfway to a sale because chances are someone else will feel the same. Find a good honest critic and here may not be the place because if you are selling goods not digital images the actual piece loosk/feels different than a photo and on the computer. If you plan to sell the items on say eBay or Etsy, that’s different because then you do have to attract the eye digitally on the computer. So that is a consideration as to your constructive criticism. I knew I had good, sellable things when I didn’t want to part with them. That’s a key too. Create what you love and you will find customers for your artwork. I hope this is helpful!

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  2. This is so awesome Laura! I’m glad you are going to paint the sculpty piece as it is too stark contrasting for me in white and detracts from the rest. I kept staring at it haha. But I am no expert at this. I just love what I love and this is beautiful. 😊

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  3. Yes! Oh Laura! I love it so much more without! To me that was a distraction from your beautiful painting and the beautiful stitching It all comes together as a scene now. Just my opinion but love!

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        1. You know, Vic didn’t like it either. Granted, it is stark and unpainted now, so that is part of it – but I wondered if I should leave it out of this one. The focal point of this piece is the painted panel, and maybe the sculpture was just too much of a distraction. I think your instincts are right on, Jodi. You have that “thing” that I don’t have! I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s a flair and a style and a way of putting something together instinctively and it just being right. I know people like that, but I’ve never been one of those people. I hem and haw forever and often overdo things! I trust your instincts!

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          1. Wow!!! What a compliment. You have made my day. But trust your instincts. You don’t give yourself enough credit. Go with what makes you happy. 😍. Ps. I was at the gym trying to type on the elliptical when I wrote this and put it on someone else’s blog – OH BROTHER! LOL!

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  4. Speaking as a tentative starter in art quilting but also putting my customer’s hat on as well, I think I would prefer to see the sculpey piece painted as it looks a bit stark left white. I love stitch as well, so some interesting texture created with stitch would please me. Keep it subtle and interesting and appropriate to the style and colou if the piece. I do like the idea of the handmade buttons you mention as well.

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  5. Here are my thoughts: When I look at it, I see three light, pretty pastel colored strips of fabric on top of a dark background that forms more lines around it (as a frame) and then in between. That’s all I see. What do you see? What could make it more interesting? What are you trying to achieve? When you paint the fabric, you do so because you can’t buy fabric with your colors, your effects, your design. Then when you sew it on, you do so because you want to create an interesting arrangement. I’ve made handmade pillows that had beads sewn on, ribbons, and used my own fabric created by printing an image (of a card I made) onto the fabric right on my own paper printer (using special fabric). My “art pillow” was a collage. You need to approach your art quilt as if it were a collage too. Do you like making collages? You would arrange your pieces of fabric before sewing them down. Have a bit of a plan. Is this in any way helpful to you?

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    1. Yeah, that’s the way I’m approaching this particular piece…..more like a painting on a piece of fabric. (BTW, that link you posted has beautiful work!) And maybe the fact that you’re looking at a picture of the quilt vs. the actual quilt isn’t helping much too. Hmm…..definitely food for thought, but I’m not looking to make a collage out of this. I do want to experiment with those techniques and maybe incorporate them into future work – and my work may take a turn that way once I learn those techniques – but for this piece, what I was trying to do was to take the abstract paintings I had done in my art journal with the Neocolors that were so soothing and relaxing and take that same feeling onto a piece of fabric and turn it into a little quilt. That’s all I was looking to do. I do start to think that maybe trying to add more to it may defeat the purpose – of this piece. But, no doubt, I do want to try those collage techniques, and really see where that goes as well. I really appreciate your time and honest feedback, C!

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  6. Hey Laura – Really lovely! Don’t know anything about textiles or quilting, but as a small decorative piece, either framed or sitting on a table or used as a place mat, it is one handsome handcrafted piece! The batik border visually supports your landscape perfectly. Sell! Sell! Sell! : ) – Tom

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  7. I like it as it is also Laura! I totally agree with Sand Salt Moon’s last comment…It is your vision; just look at it and do what your inner self says… Happy and creative weekend Laura! 🙂

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  8. When I first saw you posting about creating a quilt, the image I had of the end result was something like this..

    http://adventurequilter.com/blog/page/34/

    I do like the darker edging contrasting the three lighter patterns. I like a little asymmetry so would it be difficult to offset the rectangles? But I suppose most like symmetry. 😊

    I like the hand sewing, it adds more texture to the quilt and you could create a scene with a constraining thread?

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    1. Thanks, Kari! I thought about adding something to the side of this also. My instinct right now is telling me to keep it simple, but I think you make great points. It would add interest. Maybe I should add more stitching as well – might help it translate to the screen better, since I plan to sell online vs. in a brick and mortar type of shop. I’d like to do more intricate art quilting like the link you shared in future, but for right now, I’m trying to mingle painting with quilting. Maybe I should keep it even more simple and just sell small paintings! I’ve also thought about incorporating paintings on wc paper into quilts. So many possibilities that my head spins when I think about it! (And it keeps me awake at 3am too!) I appreciate your feedback!

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  9. Such beautiful colors! I never saw the original, so can’t comment on how it’s changed, but this is lovely. So this is a wall hanging quilt? I’m not sure about a fringe, but some gull beads might be nice and complement the watery scene. Are the stitches supposed to pucker like that (as seen in the top photo)?

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  10. Laura, I liked the white line. I really like how you cut your painted piece. It looks like an abstract landscape. I am at the marina with very poor internet so can I view on my phone. The dark background material shows up brown and then in another photo as a rich teal color. So not sure what color it is. Love what you are doing!!!

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    1. Thanks, Carmel! It is dark green and dark (midnight) blue. Maybe you’re seeing the teal in the dark green areas. It’s definitely not brown. It’s amazing how lighting changes the look of a color. I’m glad it looks like an abstract landscape, because that’s exactly what I was going for! I’m glad you like it!

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  11. It figures that you would roll out your art quilt and I wouldn’t have internet that day! I love your quilt, Laura! Love how you made it into 3 panels and added some hand stitching to it. The dark fabric around the edges is a nice contrast to your softer colors. As far as selling your work, I’d say, “Go for it!” And create what you want! You will learn as you go and your style will change and evolve – much like blogging. What I learned from selling jewelry is that some people will like what you make and some won’t but in the long run, you will be happiest and the most satisfied if you make what YOU WANT! Make what your heart desires and you will succeed! 🙂 ((((Laura))))

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    1. Awww thank you Jill! What wonderful advice, and so freeing! You are absolutely right. I’ve been hemming and hawing (as usual) about this and what you are saying rings true! I’m also glad you like this! Although I enjoyed painting on the fabric with the Neocolors, I’m thinking that a primarily pieced (fabric) quilt would most likely be much faster to create. I’d like to really play with the idea of making lots of funky quilt tops and see where it goes. I’d still like to incorporate watercolor paintings (on wc paper) into my quilts too. Thanks for your feedback and advice, my friend!

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        1. I would love to just sit down and sew a quilt together without thinking about anything but color and shape. I hope to be able to do that. It’s hard for me to let go of a technique or of something I saw on a DVD or read in a book. I’d like to be more free-wheeling with my art! Kind of like you, Jill. You try everything and you have great instincts. I think my work being so left-brained sometimes makes it hard for me to fly and be freeeee! 😀

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              1. This already happened. We took a vacation at the lake instead. My hubby has not taken a week off from work in 4 years so I thought this was more important. Plus, I need to create a sample book and I haven’t worked on it. Blogging has taken quite a lot of time. I really like it but I don’t get much else (art wise) done. I am so behind in all my online classes too. I hope to have more time now that we aren’t going to the lake. 🙂

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                1. Wow, your hubby works hard!! And I’m sure you do too. Blogging really does take a lot of time, way more than I thought, but then it’s brought more to my life than I thought it would too! I hope this fall brings lots of productivity to us both, Jill! I think you’ll be a wonderful children’s book illustrator.

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  12. Aaaaah, there it is!!! 😊 So happy to see your quilt and to finally know what you are really talking about!!! I know what a quilt is, but as we do not really have a quilting culture here, I did not know that there are things like these art quilts… It´s beautiful!!! So cool because it is something between painting and quilting – at least how you do it. Love that it looks like a beautiful sky in pieces. I think you should just keep going, listen to your heart and your creativity. Can´t wait to see more of it!!! ❤️💕🌞

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    1. Thanks, Ann! I may call it done, it didn’t get really a great response here….not sure if it’s worth investing more time in. I was thinking of binding it off and putting it for sale and just see what happens. If it doesn’t sell I could add more to it. I’m glad you like it!! I was curious what you’d think.

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        1. I have a big project to finish in the office and then I’ll start. I have a lot of quilts to make if I want to open a shop in October! We’ll see where this goes. I expect most of the quilts I open with will have little or no painting on them, and if I develop a patronage that are interested in the quilt paintings then I’ll definitely do both. I’ll make what I love and whatever sells, I’ll make more of. I realize it’s tough to break in to this business, but it’s calling me so strongly that I have to give it a shot!

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          1. And you really should!!! I think it´s really cool that you´re saying you will do what you love and whatever sells, you´ll be making more of it. That´s the best approach to it I guess. I know it´s hard to start a business like that, I think I haven´t sold anything yet… But I´m not that much into advertising my stuff, maybe that´s the problem… I think advertising is a huge point, making a Facebook page to it, maybe even pay FB to advertise your stuff… I´m so curious how things will work out for you in this whole thing! And I can´t wait to see more quilts! What´t the size/extend of such a quilt?

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