A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

To Art Quilting And Beyond (with apologies to Buzz Lightyear)

I want to look at some alternative uses to art quilts and art quilting. A different perspective? A twist on the theme?
Making Do and the Zombie Apocalypse

There is a reason I don't particularly like watching or reading the news. Doom and gloom everywhere. The world as we know it is about to end. Now...I'm no chicken little (chicken chubby perhaps....but that's another story) I am not hunkering down curled up in the fetal position waiting for the end of all things.
But I have to admit recently it had me thinking.

What prompted this moment of introspection was not the sighting of a zombie. It was the recent upheaval of moving to another state! My sewing machine (and just about everything else I hold dear) was packed away and not to be found for weeks. Who knows where my rotary cutters are even yet! (Still working on unpacking my studio!!) The parallels of what might be the conditions after an evil EMP strike or something caught my imagination.

I realized I take a lot for granted...electricity, sewing machine, rotary cutters, etc. That started me wondering just what art I could make when there are zombies (or politicians) clamoring outside my door!?

Ok, then came the question of "Would Art even be important when everything is going down the drain?" My answer in my head was that it would be MORE important!! Even during the Dark Ages people were making art! Illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, mosaics and fresco paintings were the main forms. So if they needed art in the Dark Ages....I think we will still need art during an extended power outage from a storm!

So I began imagining what art a fiber artist might be inclined to make. Are you with me so far? Can you guess the challenge of this week of fiber art??

Now I'm not going to ask you to weave your own fabrics, although you can if you are so inclined! The challenge is this:

Make fiber art without rotary cutters, sewing machines, the purchase of any new fabric or thread. What art can you make only using what you see before you, what you might find and recycle...you get the idea! The less prepared stuff you use, the more fun the challenge! The upside of this is that I'm pretty sure all of us have rather extensive stashes. But what if the nuclear winter lasts longer than your stash?

Here's what I will be doing and I hope you will join along. Each week I'll just grab stuff in my studio....a handful of fabric, some thread, yarns, doo-dads and thing-a-ma-bobs. and put them in a paper sack. After that I won't allow myself to use anything but what has already been chosen. Nothing new will be purchased

Can I make art from that?  Can you?

I would LOVE it if you would take a photo of your "stuff" at the beginning of each week and then a photo of your finished project. Send them to me via e-mail and I will post them here! I know this is a gigantically talented and creative bunch so I'm excited to see how you are inspired and challenged and where you take all that!

Let's see just how far we can push the envelope!!

So....grab your paper bags or zipper bags or project boxes and get ready for the first week! You have over the weekend to pick stuff out but the more random you do it the more fun it could be.  I'll show you my "stuff" tomorrow and them be back on Monday to get started.


  1. Okay, Kelly - I'm in!Just the kind of challenge I love. Can't wait to see what's next.

  2. Interesting thoughts. Yes we take things for granted and yes, we need art, especially to counteract dark times.

  3. I always find it interesting where inspirations come from. I just always assumed that I will make art...well...forever! But when faced with the challenge of going waaaay outside my comfort zone, I had to really look at things as elemental as WHY I make art? I have come to the conclusion that it is essential to my life...no matter what the circumstances are. I just have to take what I have and find a way. I'm so glad you guys are interested as well.

  4. I have so much stuff and the majority of my work is done with hand stitching. I should be able to do this kind of challenge. I am nearly finished with one project right now, maybe I can post it.

  5. How fun. What a great challenge for my fiber group!


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