Art Quilts for Home or Office, Textile Heaven!

Art Quilts for Home or Office, Textile Heaven!
09/20/2016 Rachel
Quilted technique on Artizan Made
Cindy Grisdela stretches many of her smaller art quilts so that they can hang as a dimensional and sturdy piece. Her colors look great in any home or office!

Cindy Grisdela stretches many of her smaller art quilts so that they can hang as a dimensional and sturdy piece. Her colors look great in any home or office!

A quilt is commonly defined as a textile which has a front, back and a middle filling that is held together by stitching through all three pieces. The technique can be used to make bedding, runners, place mats, pillows, bags, hats, vests, and anything else a creative person can come up with.  As quilts have evolved, so has function, moving from the bed to the wall. There is a definite place for both, but most of our quilts here on Artizan Made have been created as art quilts for home or office, warming up spaces with color and design.

Many cultures have quilt traditions, but American quilts established the language of design and standards for the rest of the world. Pioneers moving West worked in groups to build barns, can food, and the quilting bees made quilts. Over time, the technique achieved status and competitions honored the best designs and workmanship. But, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that the form became recognized as “art”. To this day, quilt artists struggle to penetrate fine art circles with their work, although all textile techniques currently experience a rich and explosive investigation of how far a technique can be pushed to expand on what we already understand as art.

The quilt industry, including sewing machine manufacturers, pattern makers, book publishers, and all of the suppliers dealing with specialty threads, tools, batting and fabric, bring in over 3 billion dollars in revenue to the US economy. They cater to beginners and professionals, encouraging new uses and materials. Most art quilters start out by making a functional quilt, perhaps as a baby shower gift or as a future heirloom for newlyweds. If the bug bites and creative juices flow, confidence and curiosity keep pushing the boundaries until a signature style evolves. Unfortunately, there is a rift between traditional and art quilters which I hope will heal someday. Some art quilters don’t even want to use the word “quilt” to describe what they do. And, some traditional quilters feel threatened when the non-conformists go outside of the box…  But, we’ve had several decades to adjust to each other and most recognize that excellence comes in many shapes and forms. It really has to do with money and the public perception that a quilt is just not worth as much as a painting.

Art Quilts on Artizan Made

Our quilt artists have several things in common: they are driven by color, composition and function, mostly creating art for the wall. Several dye their own fabric, giving them control over colors and textures. Once you start following them and become familiar with their work, it is pretty easy to recognize an artist by their style. We have an Art Quilts Niche in our Market, so definitely explore there, too.

Art Quilts by Sharon

Sharon Koppel started quilting in 2010 after retiring from a management position. She took off with it and has kept a busy shop on Etsy. Although Sharon has created many abstract compositions, much of her work celebrates the natural world: flowers, woodland, celestial bursts of color.  Etsy Shop

 

Sharon Koppel, Art Quilts By Sharon - Three Red Poppies

Sharon Koppel, Art Quilts By Sharon – Three Red Poppies

Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Cindy has made color studies of her quilts for many years now. All of that knowledge has led to writing a book, currently available for pre-order on Amazon.  Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Freemotion Quilting will be available for purchase on November 1st. Cindy sells most of her quilts through art festivals, but keeps a selection on her web shop and on Etsy.

 

Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts Wildflower Honey

Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts Wildflower Honey

Castilleja Cotton

Diane McGregor runs a family quilt pattern business and creates her own art quilts. The patterns are a great way to learn how to work with fabrics and compositions which can then lead to new ideas and creative expression. Castilleja Cotton has over 500 patterns on their website! Diane has also created several tutorials which can be found on her YouTube channel. Her finished works are available in her shop on Etsy.

 

Castilleja Cotton Purple Crocus Flower Quilt

Castilleja Cotton Purple Crocus Flower Quilt

Doughty Designs

Before Eileen Doughty got into making thread sculptures, she made art quilts, a lot of them. This one is about her dog dreaming that he was adopted by the Obama girls…  She has a great series on light houses and historical locations (US), along with patterns for many of them. Explore on her website!

 

Doughty Designs - What Do Dogs Dream About, art quilt

Doughty Designs – What Do Dogs Dream About

Fiber Into Art by Heidi

Although Heidi makes the occasional landscape quilt, most of hers are jeweled abstract collages. She loves to embellish with beads and sometimes adds dimensional elements like the leaves on this quilt. Heidi’s quilts are documented on her website and blog.

 

Fiber Into Art by Heidi - Butterfly Day

Fiber Into Art by Heidi – Butterfly Day

Floris Flam Art Quilts

Floris dyes all of her own fabric and creates abstract compositions that speak to her love for geometry. She feels that growing up in New York City attuned her to spatial relationships, heightened by later travels and an interest in architecture. Visit Floris’s website for her full portfolio and purchase her quilts through her shop here on Artizan.

 

Floris Flam Art Quilts Symmetry-2

Floris Flam Art Quilts Symmetry-2

Mardell Rampton Textile Paintings

 

Mardell also likes to dye her own fabrics along with using commercial batiks. Her technique involves creating compositions with thin strips of fabric, exploring values and direction and then quilting intensely. The tight sewing adds an extra design element to the conversation and together, achieve a painterly effect. Purchase Mardell’s work through her website.

 

Mardell Rampton Art Quilt - Textile Painting, Equilibrium 1

Mardell Rampton Art Quilt – Textile Painting, Equilibrium 1

Rose Hughes-Quilt Artist

Rose has traveled around the US (an on cruises!) teaching the technique she created, Fast Piecing Applique. Her work is usually pictorial, showing off landscapes and living beings (like the ravens she loves) in glorious colors and curves. Rose often uses silk and embellishes with beads, both adding a sheen and a sparkle to the piece. She has written four books on her technique, teaches online, and is very active with local and online art groups. Rose has her quilts, supplies and patterns for sale on her website.

This is an excellent video tutorial she made using her technique:

Rose Hughes Art Quilts - Pathways

Rose Hughes Art Quilts – Pathways

 


 

I am constantly bowled over by what people come up with when they take a needle, thread, fabric and some imagination…  Sure, there are lots of cool tools nowadays, but it really comes down to what the artist sees through that third eye that can play, tweak, and zoom into an idea, finally coming down to the hard work of making it all come together.

By the way, both Floris Flam and Cindy Grisdela have a few works available for purchase on our sister site, TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List. If you like art quilts, you will go bananas over the talent that is over there, so be sure to look around and explore.

Of course, traditional quilts are also beautiful and collected as art. Valerie Ley Alter of Fairlyworn sells vintage kantha quilts from Pakistan in her shop on Etsy.  She also cuts them up to make wonderful garments, pillows and bags. I have several old kantha quilts and keep one at the foot of my bed and another on my living room couch. Whatever your taste in design, art quilts and other textiles work beautifully for home and office decor!

Fairlyworn kantha quilt blue and maroon

Fairlyworn kantha quilt blue and maroon

 

Here are more beauties available from our Artizan Market!

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