I definitely think art quilts are my true passion when it comes to quilting. I have made maybe close to a dozen since I began quilting in 2012 and with each one, I feel a bit more free and creative. This week I finished another art quilt called “No Regrets” which features the inspirational quote “no regrets in life, just lessons learned” which I heard while watching another creative entrepreneur on YouTube, Jen Schow. She used the phrase in one of her paper art projects, but I loved the sentiment and spent several days with it kicking around in my head until I knew I had to make an art quilt with that phrase as a feature.
With that phrase as the jumping off point, I knew the quilt had to feature a seam ripper. A quintessential tool of regret, the seam ripper does allow you to repair and remove the regrets and move forward. I began to improve piece the shape of a seam ripper from tiny fabric scraps from my scrap bins. Then I built up a background around the seam ripper using additional white and off-white scraps from my stash as well.
After I extended the background I began thinking about how I could make the image a bit more dynamic. I created a pattern a few years back for small applique florals and I love using it frequently. I thought it would be perfect here to cluster a few flowers and petals around the seam ripper piecework. Then to add additional dynamics to the background and enhance the theme, I also added a few fabric applique wonky dots “splattered” amongst the florals. On to a few of the dots I embroidery stitched a few thread nests to represent the ripping of seams. I afixed all of the applique with a variety of top stitching in coordinating colors.
Besides using more improvisational piece work and applique in my art quilts, I also have a strong desire to work in more mixed media through various types of ink. I decided to use printing ink and foam stamps from Tim Holtz to stamp the “no regrets” quote phrase. Since I had used the blue leaf print for the seam ripper block, I decided to continue the cohesion of colors by using navy ink for the phrase. I double and triple checked the wording, spelling, and spacing of the phrase by laying out all of the stamps right-justified along one seam of the background of the art quilt. Basically, I held my breath the whole time I was stamping, I was so nervous to drop a stamp and get ink everywhere. Luckily, it all worked out and I didn’t need to seam ripper to undo any mistakes!
After allowing the ink to dry while taped to the media board, I heat set the ink and had a long think about how to finish the quilting, binding and backing of the quilt. I decided to add some simple straight stitches in white around the phrase and echo stitching around and through the applique. The backing and binding are the same navy blue tonal floral with corner inset pockets for hanging. To finish the quilt and add just a little something extra, I added a few additional “splatters” of ink in a lighter blue. I am so inspired by all of the paper crafters out there like Jen Schow who add additional touches to their paper layouts with ink and I feel it lends just the same finishing touch to my art quilts as well.
Of course, I immediately shared a few snaps of my finished art quilt on Instagram. Much to my delight, a patron messaged me that same evening to see if the art quilt was available for sale. We agreed to a price, but I asked for a few days to take more pictures and scan the quilt for my portfolio. It will ship out to her this Friday.
Do you love the “No Regrets” art quilt as well? Great, thanks! One of the things I did with the scanned image of the quilt was start a new Red Bubble account where digital images of my art quilts will be available on a variety of high-quality print on demand items such as mugs, notebooks, and tote bags. All of Red Bubble’s items are made and shipped from a location regionally close to where the order originated, meaning if you order from a US location, the item is made and shipped in the US; if you live in Europe, the item would be made and shipped from there, reducing emissions and customs. Artists on Red Bubble earn a percentage on all of the items sold and retain the rights to all of their images. I hope this will allow my work to generate additional more passive income for my business as well ass be widely available in ways it could not be otherwise. Thank you so much for checking out the page and considering getting a few La Rue de Fleurs’ designs for future gifts for yourself and loved ones!
Stay creative, friends! Janice
Visit the new La Rue de Fleurs’ Red Bubble site here and get some of your own “No Regrets” merchandise: https://www.redbubble.com/people/laruedefleurs/shop
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(©2020, Janice Bailor // laruedefleurs.com)