I decided to be brave this week, and sign up for the 4 x 6" Art Swap on Craftster. What makes it a brave move for me is that I haven't really done any art bigger than an ATC recently (Artist's Trading Cards are 3 x 5") . That may not sound like much of a difference, but I decided not to draw a piece of art this time; instead, I wanted to make some sort of fabric collage-type piece.
In this swap, unlike most swaps, you make the art piece in your own style, rather than in a style your partner likes, because you don't know who your partner will be! That made it especially fun, but it also left me without a starting point. Usually I read my partner's questionnaire and something jumps out at me right away, giving me a direction to go in. So I needed some inspiration.
I sometimes buy a magazine called Sew Somerset, and the winter 2012 issue (pictured below) was nearby, so I picked it up and paged through it.
Wow, did I ever find inspiration! On almost every page I saw something that I loved and wanted to use in my art piece. It was hard to narrow my focus, but I finally decided to do something with a house, like the one on the cover, above, and a collage element, like the two pictured below. I started pulling fabrics off the shelves in my sewing room, and I cut and arranged and finally sewed it all together...
...and I ended up with this:
The funny thing is, it really looks NOTHING like either of the pieces I was using for inspiration! The only thing that is the same is the word "Home" from the houses on the magazine cover.
I love bright colors, so it's hard for me not to reach for them when I'm free to choose anything I want. I left all the edges raw, with many of the threads dangling. I added some beads to the flowers, and hand embroidery to the roof and leaves.
This is just the first of what I hope will be many art quilts; I'm sure I will refine my style and color selection as I go along. A year from now I will probably look back at this little art quilt and find it amusing; but I'm satisfied with it, and I hope my partner--whoever she it--will love it.