WIP: art quilt

I got so inspired by both of the art quilt exhibits we went to see last week. After seeing them, I came up with an idea for my own first art quilt project and I’m quite excited about it. I’d like to make something that tells a story, but I’m bearing in mind that I also want it to be a manageable project that I can realistically finish in a decent amount of time. I only really have time to sew on the weekends, and even then, usually only a couple of chunks of more than an hour at a time since we usually have other obligations or plans that seem to take up at least half of each day. I’ve totally mastered that time crunch thing, can you tell? (HA HA)


I started out with good ol’ graph paper and sketched out a vague idea of what I want to make. Of course through the process of graphing it out, I changed my mind about three times about the way I liked best. That’s half the fun of making your own designs, though, right? I cut out squares of 2.5″, so I end up with about 2″ squares after seaming. The quilt will be a little over 40×40″ altogether, possibly closer to 50×50″ depending on what I decide to do for the border and binding.


Because we have a relatively limited amount of space in our apartment, I’ve come up with some probably incorrect ways of doing things that allow me to work on things in sections. In the photo above, you can see that on the left side of the table, I have squares laid out next to one another so I could get the combination of fabrics I wanted, and on the right, the work in progress. You might notice that there is just one row of blue squares at the top of the green, and this is because I don’t have enough space to lay them out all at once. This is where the incorrect part comes in: ideally, I’d like to be able to do full rows all at once including both blue and green, but as it is I’m doing it half and half. My seaming is fairly accurate so I think that I’m doing a good enough job that you won’t be able to tell that it wasn’t done all in one.


Here’s the lower (green) portion of the quilt all put together (not including the border yet).


And now you can see that I’m adding in the blue. I laid it all out in the same way I did the green so that I could place each square purposefully and get the overall effect I’m going for. Then I started constructing each row of blue and adding it to the larger piece. I still have quite a bit of blue left to add but ran out of time to do more (even with a three-day weekend, it’s just not enough!).


As you have probably guessed, the green and blue will represent earth and sky. I’ll be adding an applique motif on top of this background. I’m looking forward to that, as I’ll be able to try out some new-to-me techniques. I’m quite pleased with how the green and blue sections are coming together so far. The diagonal placement of the squares gives it some movement and I think the colors/patterns I chose have created the patchwork effect I’m going for. I also spent some time this weekend planning out the applique design. I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to work out just yet, but I’m using photographs I’ve taken and then manipulating them (using photo software) to create a rough guide for my design.

I listened to a bunch of Welcome to Night Vale and The Indoor Kids while working on this project. I highly recommend both of these podcasts.


2 thoughts on “WIP: art quilt

  1. Anne, I like your WIP looking forward to the finished result. Have you checked out the Great Lakes Quilt Center at M.S.U.?

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