It’s the final day of the Blossom Blog Hop. Have you visited everybody? Make sure you go meet Andi at True Blue Quilts, Nancy at Masterpiece Quilting, and Anne at Hudson Valley Quilts today, and enter the quilt giveaway before it closes tonight!
Today is also the last day to enter my giveaway, so if you haven’t yet, head over HERE to read about my Blossom project and enter to win!
The process of making my cranberry blossom mini-quilt inspired me to explore more about reimagining photos using fabric. I was impressed with Leni Levenson Wiener‘s practical tutorial, so I ordered a copy of her book, Pictorial Art Quilt Guidebook, directly from her website.
Here’s the thing. I have NO formal art training (unless you count Ms. Holmes’s classes in grade school). I have never considered myself an artist. But as Leni points out in her introduction,
“Starting with a photo frees me from having to figure out the proportions, the perspective, and where the light and shadows will be.”
Boom, down fall several of the barriers that might keep you from trying an art quilt.
So what’s in the book? First is a good primer on color theory and pattern. There are lots of pictures of fabric swatches and examples of quilts to illustrate the principles of temperature, saturation, value, and scale. I especially like Leni’s use of commercial fabric prints and her discussion about how to build your stash with pictorial art quilts in mind.
Next, you are taken, step by step, through the process of creating an art quilt from a photo. Leni does provide a pattern for you to use if you’d like, and I think it’s great to have that to use as an example if you choose to start from your own photo. Using the computer to prepare your pattern may be intimidating to some, but I’d encourage you to try it. It can’t hurt, and you might be surprised at what you can learn. (Leni also offers a service where she will create the pattern for you which seems reasonably priced to me.) I like that there’s a “checklist” of the process on page 46 and I’ll probably keep that bookmarked.
Finally, Section Three is a collection of tips for creating common elements such as water, feathers, skin tone, and rocks. These are practical ideas and all created with fabric–no embellishments or paint, although of course you can do what you want! It’s your art, and your quilt, and your vision.
If you feel inspired to try something new, but you’re intimidated by the idea of art quilting, I strongly recommend the Pictorial Art Quilt Guidebook as an easy and practical guide to get your feet wet.
(Note to self: a picture of wet feet might make an interesting piece….)
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