Finish Art Quilt or Bust

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  I have some creative plans for the long weekend ahead and have made it my mission to finish the art quilt that I am working on.  The art quilt is 30″ x 80″ and will be wrapping the headboard I am making for our bed.  We just moved into our newly remodeled master bedroom, and our bed is against a big wall with lots of potential.  I decided that it needed some fun and color, so the art quilt idea came about.  

art quilt tula pink alicia spilde wild north art

A small sample of the art quilt!


You can see in the picture that one the left side there is some mesh looking fabric.  That is actually magenta tulle that I bought at JoAnn Fabrics.  After reading this book about art quilts, I learned about using tulle to cover pieces of fabric that were glued down first.  This way I can have the loose and frayed edges on the indiviudual fabric pieces, but it’s all held together with the tulle.  I bought tulle in nearly every color you can think of and the look the different colors gave the fabric was pretty cool.  I found that blue and white dulled the look but magenta made it SING. 

Can we just all take a moment to acknowledge how amazing my husband is for being cool with a big glittery magenta headboard?  I’m a lucky gal.  He knows color is my soul food! 

Anyway, back to the project.  I started with a piece of fabric that I had laying around and cut it just slightly larger than 30″ x 80″.  If I could choose a different base fabric, I WOULD.  I had a huge curtain panel from JCP that I couldn’t return – it is thick fabric, similar to upholstery actually.  I would choose a thin muslin if I could do it all over again.  When I was quilting the first half of this project, I was literally sweating from the effort I had to give in order to move the project and all its layers around to make a decent stipple pattern.  

Wrong base fabric aside, this project has been exciting and scary.  I spent one afternoon cutting pieces from gorgeous fabrics and arranging/gluing them to the base.  Here is a photo from that afternoon. 

art quilt collage alicia spilde wild north art tula pink

After I finished this step, I rolled this project up and pretended to forget about it for a month or so.  I tell ya, I was scared about quilting this beast.  I knew the base fabric was too heavy and all those little pieces… how would I keep it all together so it looked like something when I was finished?  Enter Serendipity Quilts to save the day!  This is where I read about the tulle.  Whew!  That problem was solved.  Now to learn how to free-motion quilt, haha!

I bought a new sewing machine so I could finish this project the right way.  I love this machine!  It came with tons of different attachments, most importantly the free-motion quilting foot.  I feel like I caught on quickly to free-motion quilting basic shapes and swirls, so after a few nights practicing I got the courage to start on the project.  I spent about two hours quilting half of the project together and now the remaining half is left.  Did I mention that I really wish I would have chosen a different base fabric?! 

I haven’t touched this project for about a month and I know I’m procrastinating because I know it’s going to be hard physical labor to finish this beast.  It must be done though.  We are moved into our new room and definitely need this headboard piece completed.  This is the weekend!

Well, the quilting will be complete.  I bought a large assortment of beads because I will be hand sewing on beaded accents throughout the art quilt.  I may also do some hand embroidery.  When it’s finished it will be a sight to behold.  I can’t wait. 

*The fabric is a mix of primarily Kaffe Fasset and Tula Pink, and then a bunch of assorted designers.