Hello everyone! This is part 1 of my Art Quilting 101 Tutorial. In this post, I will show you how to layer the background. Please keep in mind that this is only one way of making an art quilt. The possibilities are endless but for anyone who would like to try Art Quilting and has no clue where to begin, this tutorial should help you.
For beginners, it's best to start with a theme and color scheme. Choose a vintage photo either on paper or on fabric. I printed my little girl on fabric and then chose elements that coordinated with the photo colors:
Cut a piece of muslin about 4 inches larger than you want to your Art Quilt to be.
Choose some old music paper, or papers with writing on it. You don't have to use vintage papers. Lot's of vintage looking papers can be found in craft and hobby stores.
At this point, you'll want to pick a couple of small pieces of fabric and lace.
The next step is to start arranging the basic pieces that you started with:
Play and have fun! You'll be re-arranging them several times before you're ready to sew.
You're going to want to cover the muslin with fabrics and papers and lace. Torn edges on paper and fabric look great! Very vintage!!! And don't be afraid to bunch up some light weight fabric like gauze or cheesecloth!
Keep arranging your elements until you're pleased with it and then decide where you want your vintage image. But you're not going to sew that on at this point. Put the image to side for now:
You can add some fuzzy yarns or threads now. I just kind of swirl the threads around. It adds movement to the project.
Once you're happy with the arrangement of fabrics, papers and fibers, you'll need to cut a piece of tulle or netting slightly larger than your muslin. Don't worry if it's not perfect!!! Just cut your tulle and gently lay it on top of your project. This creates a "sandwich".
Pin the tulle down around the edges of edges to hold the "sandwich" together. Now you can take it over to your sewing machine:
You can use any thread that you like. For light colored projects, I use white or a soft color that blends in with the background or try some metallic gold if you're comfortable with that.
You're going to be top stitching all the layers together. Start at an edge and sew in circles all over the quilt. Make swirly patterns. Just free sew in circles and have fun! It's a blast!!!! You want to make sure that everything is sewn down well but you don't have to get too insane with it. When you think you've covered it all, check the back. It's easier to see where your sewing is from the back. If you feel you need to sew on it more, go ahead.
It's best to set you're stitch size to longest setting. You don't need tiny little stitches. I feel that longer stitches look better.
When you're done with the sewing (be sure to remove your pins), you can the image. You'll just want to top stitch this down close to the edges:
Now you're ready for embellishing!!! I had a small ladies glove in my stash so I'll be using it on this quilt.
So that's Part 1! If you have questions, please email me or leave a comment for me here. Just play with your stash for now and have a good time doing it. There are no rules or limits. It's up to you what you want to do with it.
Part 2 will be on how and what to embellish with. I'll let you know a few days in advance of posting. It'll be sometime next week.