What is an Art Quilt?

As a beginner art quilter I am constantly trying out new techniques and saw a tutorial where you use wool felt for batting and backing.  It looked like a great idea so I headed off to my local fabric store.

Upon reaching the fabric cutting counter at Joann’s, the clerk asked me what I was using the wool felt for.  I told her it was for backing and Art Quilt.  She seemed horrified and asked me what an Art Quilt was.  I said it was fabric art that you hang on the wall.  She still seemed bewildered and then said; “Are you planning on washing it?”  “No, I said, it’s art.”  She was finally relieved but by this time I was beginning to doubt myself.  The clerk said “That’s very expensive wool felt.”   I thought maybe I was making a mistake but boldly responded without showing any weakness;  “It’s for backing and wool doesn’t stretch and move when quilting.”

Upon checking out I discovered that cut fabric is returnable as long as it is in the same condition as when sold and you have a receipt.

I left the store feeling unsure but determined to proceed with my project and I could return the “very expensive” felt if  it was a mistake.

I re-watched the tutorial and was elated to discover that yes, it was indeed “wool” felt and proceeded to attach it to “Tidal Reflections”.  The needle went through the layers of fabric and embellishments like butter. It laid flat and didn’t stretch.  It was the perfect choice.  Whew!

Art Quilt Websites I Love


As I am  researching websites to learn the Art of Quilt Making, I  find a website I love and then forget what it was called or why I liked it so much.  I hope to expand this list and use it to help me find that special tutorial or cute little store that I use for special items.  Hope it helps other beginners like me get started on their quilting journey also.

For FREE tutorials that teach you how to quilt, plus wonderful fabrics and daily deals; https://www.missouriquiltco.com/

To SELL your handmade items:  http://www.etsy.com/

For Beginner Quilters FREE tutorials: http://www.qnntv.com/videoscategory/quilty/

Mother and Daughter quilting  team with great help for beginner Art Quilters:  fonsandporter.com/

For Quilting, Art Quilting and other Craft classes (cost run from $19 to $39) These classes are lengthy videos that you can back to anytime to see.  You can ask questions and the instructors post answers.  You are also able to take notes at crucial points and revisit them any time.  craftsy.com/

Free tutorial for Confetti technique by Gail Hunt:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X67xrvKOek&noredirect=1

Art Quilt Books

500 Art Quilts published by Lark Crafts:  Excellent book for inspiration.  Beautiful photos of 500 quilts

Fabric Art workshop by Susan Stein:  Many art quilting techniques and materials to explore.

The Complete Photo Guide to Art Quilting by Stein:  Detailed instructions for all types of art quilting.

Painting with Fabric by Jeanine Malaney:  This is the technique that I use.  Great photos and good instructions for this technique.

Latest Work In Progress


This is the older version 5/24/13.

Next, I will be glue basting the appliques and then machine quilting the background.

Three Palms This is the updated version 6/2/13.

I painted in waves with acrylic paint and attached the leaves with a zigzag stitch.

I need to decide on the free motion technique that I will use.  My confidence is flying right out the window in this area but since I am trying to not take my art so seriously, I will consider this a practice piece and forge ahead.

Misc. Quilting Tips



To enlarge small art quilts; use borders and extend stitching or applique onto border.

For small art quilts:  Instead of making a sleeve, I use D Rings.  Hand stitch the D ring’s straight edge to the backing at top left and right and use the curved edge of the D ring to slide onto nail.  I found a pack of 50 for $12.95 from Country Brook Design Inc.  on Amazon.com.


TIPS from www.aliceinstitches.com


Washing Fabric:  Fold long lengths of fabric into arm-length sections and safety pin along the top before pre washing to eliminate tangling in washing machine.

When arranging fabrics by value, squint to see if a fabric jumps out at you.  It’s easier to spot a piece that is out of place.

To display your work in progress for getting a better perspective; cover your design wall with felt, flannel or pellon fleece.

Chain piecing:  Use a scrap of fabric as a starter when chain piecing.

Pin Basting your quilt layers together:  Use #2 safety pins.  Start from the center of your project and work out any wrinkles that form along the way.

Use clean pizza box lids for storing blocks or cut pieces of fabric. (I use  cardboard for separating my fused pieces. J)

Run your needle and thread through a fresh dryer sheet to eliminate tangling in your thread. (I have also heard that dryer sheets are good for getting fusing material off your iron) J

Put batting in dryer for 15 to 20 minutes before layering it with your quilt. It takes out wrinkles and will be easier to use.

Misty Fuse is an ultra thin fusible  product that is easy to quilt through and won’t add bulk.

Easy Way to Finish a Small Art Quilt

Be sure to check out www.quiltingdaily.com,  it is a wonderful website instructional tutorials for art quilts plus free downloads.

Here is a sample of what you can learn from them.

Quilting Daily wrote:

On their Quilting Arts Workshop™ video Improvisational Fused Quilt Art: Create Beautiful Art Quilts the Easy Way, these experienced, award-winning quilt artists show several options for finishing their quilts.

Here is a very simple technique that Frieda demonstrates.

1. Create a frame by fusing fabric to both sides of a piece of Timtex® interfacing.

Timtex is a good choice because it is firm without being bulky and you can stitch and cut through it easily, says Frieda.

For complete instructions visit Interweave at www.guiltingdaily.com

New to Fabric Art Quilts

Tail Biter (2)It’s a little crazy around my house today but I will get this post done and get started on my new blog.  It’s my intent to use this blog to put all the new information I locate about art quilts into one location.  I have tips on binding, techniques on fusing, where to shop for fabrics, quilting tutorials and mounds of valuable information scattered about my studio just waiting for me to use but it takes forever to locate them.

So welcome to my blog.  Feel free to gather information, post comments and  use my site as your place to go for ideas and help negotiating your way through the internet to find help with your art quilt project.

Tropical Purse 001  You can purchase this purse and more art projects at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ColorcrazyCreations

Come back again; new tips and techniques are posted daily.