Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Fat quarters, stashes and stitches are part of quilting!
Sherriequilt is an avid art quilter. Her mission by writing this article was to make quilt connoisseurs of all of you.
I wanted to share her words with you!
(Rule No. 1 of quilt appreciation: Don’t call them blankets.)
A good word to throw around with quilters is “stash,” as in: “I think you need that fabric (thread, gadget, $12,000 machine) for your stash. You’d better buy it.” Good stashes are bursting with “fat quarters.” These are quarter-yard pieces of fabric cut the fat way, which makes them cuter, and that’s all you need to know.
A “rotary cutter” is like a razor-edge pizza wheel that slices through six layers of fabric as if it were milk chocolate. All quilters have rotary cutters, so if the quilter in your life wants something new for the stash, you’d better just say, “Yes, you do need that. And some chocolate, too.”
So, basically, today’s quilters (and we are all around you) cut perfectly good fabric into little pieces with their rotary cutters and then sew them back together with expensive machines into colorful “quilt tops.” The top gets placed on top (get it?) of the “batting,” which is the fluffy filler. The “backing” fabric goes underneath it all, and now you have a “quilt sandwich.”
Then the layers are held together with “quilt stitches,” which can form a whole new pattern that overlays the fabric design — unless it’s “stitched in the ditch.”
Tidy and compulsive quilters “bury their tails” instead of snipping them off. (I’m talking about the thread tails; what did you think I was talking about?)
Not being one to follow the rules, I like to let my “tails dangle.” I use glittery gold thread, so dangling tails reflect light and add another design element. So do beads, shells, feathers and just about anything else that can be tacked on.“Art quilts” have no rules and are made to hang on the wall and to be enjoyed solely as art. They are totally original and often use fabric that the quilter has first dyed — or painted, foiled, screen-printed, rusted, ripped, whatever.
They have a quilt’s basic elements — layers held together by some type of stitching — but you can have an art quilt without a shred of fabric.
I like to use those shiny wrappers from chocolate kisses that come in seasonal colors. Or you could use window screening, net produce bags and balloons all “quilted” together with staples. In fact, many art quilters build up their stashes at the hardware store.
Art quilts can be quirky, humorous, pretty, political, abstract, experimental — just like any other art.