Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mini art quilts

I would never have made a mini quilt if I didn't belong to an art quilt guild. We have worked our way through a couple of design books and in the process have made mini quilts to practice what the chapters were teaching. I moved from thinking that mini quilts were a waste of time as they had no purpose, to realizing that they are a great way to test out ideas ideas for a larger quilt, or to try new techniques.

This one began life as an exercise from Lyric Kinard. She suggested tracing around a pair of scissors and then playing with the tracing to make an abstract quilt. I liked the intersection of the handles, but when I repeated the design it insisted on becoming a flower shape. Some times you just have to give in... Next blog post I'll show you what happened when I explored that intersection further. Here it is the "flower" center.
Scissor "flower"

Something I find helpful when I am between ideas, or needing to do something mindless while ideas percolate, is to make strips. The strips here were fused from small leftover pieces. One day I fused long chains, just playing with colors and using up scraps. Lo and behold, I finally found a use for them.

Another reason to love hand-dyes: the ability to create graduated color. All of the outer sections came from one piece of fabric, which was dyed in a graduation from cerise through apricot. 

Of course a mini quilt is also a great excuse to play with some hand embroidery, and to couch some hand-dyed threads. Because it is so small it comes together quickly and is a breeze to sew. A mini quilt can be like a mini vacation after a big project!

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