After the “Road to California”

 Last year I wrote a post about my experience entering my first art quilt in a traditional quilt show in Ontario California.

“ By the end of two days at the show I learned that I needed to improve my technical skills and rethink what might be a better fit using my current technique. I am even thinking of making a more traditional quilt to enter in next year’s show.”

                        Post from January 2018


I have definitely devoted myself to improve my skills as a quilter. I used quilts for my guild’s philanthropy group to practice free motion patterns. Once a month I participate in  a long-arm club at my local quilt shop. At that shop I recently I attended a three day hands on class sponsored by Handi Quilter. During those three days I began to understand and appreciate how quilting can transform even the most basic quilt top.

Like all artists, quilters use design concepts. In planning the quilting for a quilt top, a master quilter is able to transform the composition. A pattern created during quilting will enhance the visual depth of a quilt by densely filling or sparsely  filling an enclosed shape. Quilting provides a visual pathway around the surface of a quilt and can even create a focal point where there wasn’t one.


Quilting lines can be straight or curved, can be heavy or light.  These lines used in a predictable pattern create a visual rhythm which plays across the surface of a quilt. The possibilities are limitless.

Taking the time before I begin to quilt to draw out the designs  has really helped me. I now spend a few minutes doodling with a fine point marker before I quilt. I don't always choose to draw the designs that familiar to quilters like feathers or ribbon candy. I always am thinking about what will add to or enhance the quilt.

 

quilt

 

Recently I made a simple block quilt. I used a ruler to create a line of oblong shapes. I filled each row with a difference free motion motif. The exercise helped me to expand my design repertoire. 

I am beginning to see how these stitched patterns are important for the visually rich backgrounds in my portrait quilts. The potential of a using motifs in my landscape quilts to mimic natural elements is making me reconsider using primarily thread painting to enhance the design.


This year, as I toured the show; I was able to appreciate the technical prowess of the award winners and of many participants.

The quilt I entered this year (Jana)  had already won an award at a art quilt exhibition but did not get a nod from the judges at Road. So next year, I still have a goal of entering a bed quilt and to enter an art quilt that demonstrates my improved technique.


The goal is not the award.

The goal is to grow as an artist.


Until next time.....
Margaret