Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Feather Series" Quilts Inspired by the "Art Quilt Workbook"

Some of the members of the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network decided we would meet once a month and work through some of the exercises in the "Art Quilt Workbook" by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston. The book suggests you pick a theme, color set and have all the finished quilts be the same size. I chose "Feathers" as my theme and a batik color palette of green, blue, brown, rust and cream. All of these quilts use a collage format and are all embellished. This is my Feather series.

This is "Blue Feather." It incorporates the design principles including: repetition, balance, rhythm, proportion and emphasis. The feather is made with a blue batik fabric fused and appliqued onto the cream fabric (with a rust batik "shadow" behind it) and the shaft is made with a piece of yarn with some ribbons wrapped around it and is couched to the top of the feather and also hangs down outside of the frame of the quilt. Each of the smaller appliqued boxes on the right has a bead or button embellishment that is the same color as the box.

"Blue Bird"uses a photo as inspiration and the bird is made of blue and white fabrics with a piece of green fabric as tress on the horizon line in the background. The found object "barbed wire" is an actual wire twisted to look like barbed wire and then sewn to the quilt top. There are 6 copper feather charms in the three copper boxes at the top and three boxes at the bottom of the quilt and the bottom boxes have a thin blue line anchoring them together.


The feather in "Threaded Feather"was made by "thread painting" where layer upon layer is built up just using thread. It's a neat effect but it can take awhile to create. I used several shades of blue thread plus some gray and black, then "painted" in a small amount of blue metallic thread to give it some sparkle. The rust-colored bars on the left side breaks the frame at the top of the quilt and the bar on the right hangs down past the bottom edge of the quilt. Four light blue beads are on the left bar and four copper flower beads are on the right bar.

"Floating Feather" has curved piecing. This is the first time I've done curved piecing and it took a few tries to get the hang of it, but it was actually fun! The feather that is floating is the same cream fabric used in the other quilts with a little bit of fabric paint on it. There are small blue beads along the curved piecing and also some in the ripple under the feather. There are four frosted feather beads on each of the copper bars and six green beads with gold feathers etched in them along the bottom edge of the quilt.

"Painted Feather" was painted with fabric paint and then appliqued to the cream-colored fabric, with a piece of netting over the top. The background uses insert strip piecing, and although I used a different piece of fabric, the color tones are similar for a subtle effect. The strips are quilted, even when they go under the cream-colored box. There are six blue discs on the corners of the feather, sequins on the strip pieces, glass beads in the bar at the top of the quilt and wood beads in the bar at the bottom.

The final piece was made by doing "wonky" piecing, in this case using the "Log Cabin" block. There is color-coordinated couched yarn where the fabric changes and color-coordinated seed quilting (little random stitches) of different lengths and proximity. This was the first time I've done the seed quilting and I found it relaxing. In the center there is a blue button and a bronze feather charm, which is why this quilt is called "Little Feather."

More about the Feather series

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