Click on that cute button and check out the many quilts on "display"!
I didn't have to think long or hard to know which quilt I wanted to feature in my post: my first "art" quilt. I'd been wanting to try my hand at interpreting a painting of some sort, and knowing my skill level had decided that cubism was an ideal place to start (there are big blocks of color and the corners don't have to meet). I'd also been wanting to make a gift for a dear friend who spent some years in Spain but is now living in D.C. So when I found the work of Juan Gris, I knew it was perfect! It was hard narrowing it down to which of his paintings I wanted to interpret, though. I love his work, and he created some wonderful monochromatic pieces as well as beautiful vibrant ones.
I finally settled on "Landscape with Houses at Ceret" because it is discernibly a landscape (not all cubism is identifiable) with houses and this was to be a housewarming gift. Plus the bright colors match my friend's personality! It was SO much fun to choose the fabrics and materials to use in this project, a chance to use some dimensional items (cording, buttons, beads) for a little more interest. For someone who'd done primarily very traditional quilting, this was a challenging and stretching experience! I loved every minute of it. Many months worth ☺ I didn't have a lot of time to work on it...a morning here and there, and an hour or so in the evenings a few times a week.
I carefully cut and pieced the top together like a puzzle. Literally!
Then I quilted it by hand, adding the dimensional objects as I went along. Each block of color is quilted differently, depending on my mood at the time. The finished piece is about 3'x5' (sorry, but I didn't measure it before I gave it away). It now hangs in my friend's dining room.
This quilt was a turning point for me, as I became more and more convinced of the value in making quilted wall art. I'd love to make everyone I know an art quilt ☺ There aren't enough hours in the day, but now I have several projects under way and I keep an expanding journal of original ideas. While it was a lot of fun to interpret an existing piece of art, I began to see the possibilities of designing my own. It liberated my creative side to be bolder with color, shapes, design...and the use of other materials (metal, stone, paper, found objects and so on).
It's also the reason I'm finally, after all these years, taking an art class. I'm hoping what I learn will translate into better art quilts.