As opposed to the traditional quilt, an art quilt is more complicated in structure. In an art quilt, the fabrics and embellishments collectively work as a canvas on which an image is formed. While a traditional quilt is made as bedding, an art quilt should be displayed like any painting. By the looks of it, art quilting is a complicated process. But if you know the basics of quilting, you have a better chance of completing an art quilt. To help you, here is a general guideline in making an art quilt.
- Finalize the design. The design is the foundational element of an art quilt. It defines the overall appearance of the quilt and how the quilting process should go. Like in any form of art, you are free to choose the design you want for your art quilt. You can go for landscape, abstract, or portrait. In fact, you can even draw your own design. If you prefer to use your own design, make sure to print it in a size that matches the measurement you have in mind.
- Prepare the materials. You need to prepare several fabrics of different colors and materials. To lend depth and texture to your art quilt, it is important that your fabrics have varied patterns. Have lots of embellishments, too. Collect buttons, ribbons, wires, studs, laces, and other kinds of adornments because they are useful in making small details in the art quilt. Threads of different kinds and colors are also equally important. You may also find use for glue, so have a bottle of glue on hand.
- Cut the fabrics. Cut the fabrics according to the shapes your quilting pattern has. For instance, if you have a house in the pattern, cut out a triangle from a brown fabric to form the roof. Then, cut out a square from another brown fabric to form the body of the house. Arrange the fabrics following their positions in the pattern. Add embellishments if needed. In a sense, you are making a collage of fabrics, which you are going to stitch together to form the top. To prevent losing a fabric piece, you can label each of your fabric pieces or glue them directly to the top layer of the batting.
- Sew the top. Once you have assembled the fabric pieces and formed the image you want to create, begin sewing the fabric pieces together to make the top. Use a sewing machine to do this. Although it will take you time, you can also hand-sew the top. For added texture, use different kinds of stitch.
- Assemble the quilt. After creating the top, arrange the quilt sandwich—top, batting, and backing. Make sure to baste all three layers. Then, start the actual quilting by stitching the layers together. Again, you can either use a sewing-machine or hand-stitch the sandwich. Finally, sew a binding material on the edges of the art quilt to hide fabric frays.
When done, affix your name and the date the quilt is finished on the back part of the art quilt. Then, find a place where you will hang it in.