Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Inspiration - Free Motion Quilting Artists

Leaf, 7 x 7 inches
While I've been working on my free motion quilting skills, I found several quilting fiber artists whose works are wonderful examples of why I want to get better at this.  A great quilt top can still become an okay quilt when everything's quilted and finished - but add great free motion quilting to that top and it becomes fabulous!

Fannie Narte's work is a good example of this.  She dyes and colors her beautiful backgrounds, but it's her free motion quilting that really makes the pieces.  I love how she uses black on the bright colors.  I swore I'd never use this phrase, but it really does make the piece "pop"!  She's inspired me to also work on my line drawing skills.  Fannie has a tutorial on her blog telling how she created Leaf, using Neocolor II Watersoluble Wax Pastels.

Happy Birthday Ku'ulei, 7 x 7 inches

Another artist with great free motion quilting skills and tutorials explaining how she creates her pieces is Shirley Anne Sherris.  Following the lines of the flowers and leaves and then filling in the background with quilting in the same shapes pulls the pieces together and gives them depth.  Shirley takes photos, manipulates them in Photoshop, and prints them onto fabric before quilting.  If you're unfamiliar with this technique, look at this past blog post on printing leaf photos or this one on printing travel stickers.  Shirley's tutorial for the quilt below is here.

Quilter Stacy West uses free motion quilting to add more details to her painted quilt tops.  Look at the texture on the woven mats, the water in the pond, and the leaves.  Each uses a different pattern, yet the whole piece is pulled together.  She does this beautifully in all her pieces - be sure to look at her website.

This weekend I'll be busy practicing on my quilted scraps!

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