Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mostly Solids

Over the years I switched from busy prints to solids, and those were mostly my hand dyed fabrics. Now I get lazy and add to my stash from commericial cottons. Nothing wrong with those, and some are actually colors I just couldn't quite get with dyeing myself. Purples and dark greens, mostly.  I just wasn't willing to use that much me cheap.
What I feel to be true is that solids offer something more personal in the finished product. I have to put more of myself into the design and that works out to be more original looking--to me. This is all opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.
When it comes to art quilts, I feel like I need to be as original as possible and therefore I choose fabric that has no identity, other than color.
I am tempted to try and define 'art quilt' but then I can just invision the furor in the comment section.
Some of the quilts pictured are pieced and some are fused. I found with fusing I could make art quilts with designs that couldn't be pieced or appliqued in any way, so I fused them. None of these pictures show that type. Any of these could be pieced. And vice versa. So why fuse them when I could piece them?
Several reasons...I already had the fabric fused since that was my focus all of my career. And I planned to use them for the wall so fusing was just fine. A wall quilt that is fused is smoother and easier to quilt without basting.
But you cannot use fusing for a functional quilt and then wash it. The fusing ripples and bubbles and if not stitched down, it will curl up.
Some of you know all of this already...but I am saying this now to avoid confusion when we do small art quilts in February's Quilt Along With Melody.

Recently I have been looking at the small works I have fused in the past and have decided to try making them (or something similar) by piecing. I will be showing how I do this and you can follow along or try your hand at it too. I look forward to the challenge!
O, by the way...#2 and #6 are fused. And this last one never existed...Photoshop!

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  1. I went to Gwen Marstons retreat in 2008 and we worked only with solids. Up to that point I was not enamoured at all with solids but Gwen won me over. I still use prints and novelty prints for baby quilts but I feel so much freer and more creative with solids. I do not come from an art background and I do not dye fabrics but I am trying to learn to develop that side of my brain and to see myself as an artist.

  2. I love these bright quilts, funnily enough I like the last one best :-) I fancy trying my hand at piecing a small quilt in the free form style.

  3. Isn't is wonderful that there is such a variety of things in the world. You go girl and enjoy what you do. If others aren't agreeable to what you like, then don't play with them. You can't change people's minds, so relax and do your own thing. It's wonderful and makes you happy. I love your colors and how you mix them up. I have bumped heads with people over a few things. I still have fun making quilts my way and enjoy learning other things.

  4. Looking forward to seeing... MORE!
    Thanks Melody; enjoyed the post lots.

  5. I'm excited to try this with you!
    Your quilts are beautiful!

  6. I'm really excited about the quilt along. I have wanted to try solids for a while, but always revert to my love of prints. It will be really fun to see how solids work. Plus, its an excuse to go to Joanne's and stock up on some solids LOL.

  7. I have recently become a fan of solids, too, after having a workshop this past September with Gwen Marston. I look forward to you take on my new favorite fabric!

  8. Anonymous5:31 PM

    Decent selections of yellows and purples are hard to find in commercial fabrics. The same with beads.

    I like the virtual quilt. I think PhotoShop and Painter are going to be some very important tools for the art quilter going forward...combining traditional methods and digital technology. The ability to use both to achieve a satisying composition.

  9. Hi, Melody. Wonderful selection of art quilts. I find your comments about solids pushing you to work more on design to be interesting. I have been wondering lately how an artist can use some of the very distinctive designer fabrics without compromising one's own voice. But since I use flea market recycled clothes, I guess I don't have to worry about it too much. Thanks for an interesting post.
    best from Tunisia,

  10. I'm a solid girl too.

    I think I will be hitting JA's. I also have a difficult time dyeing the shades of purples I want. Thanks for the tip :)

  11. They're all gorgeous, Melody - even the virtual one. Solids do something special, indeed!


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