I have decided to do an art quilt for my sister’s birthday. We are identical twins and I wanted to do something special this year since we won’t be together on our birthday (she lives in Virginia and I live in California). I have always loved art quilts, but never felt the courage to call my work art. I did one piece using saris and folded fabric that would be considered an art quilt. It took me three years to complete and endless arguments with traditional quilters about not using cotton…exhausting! I am easily intimidated by the work of others and often struggle with having faith in my abilities. I am amzed that as an adult I still sruggle with self esteem, but this is something I am vowing to get over. My sister has been one of my biggest supporters and one of the few non-quilters I know that will talk me through an idea. She also encourage me to use an eclectic mix of fabric and she is my primary source for my extensive sari collection, so it is only fitting that she receive one of my first “art” pieces.
My sister and I got matching tattoos on our 23rd birthday saying “Two birds born of one flesh divided.” This became my inspiration for the piece. I started by bubbling a fabric scrap I received at the January East Bay Modern Quilt Guild meeting. This meant poking wet fabric through holes in a cooling rack and letting the fabric dry. I then ironed on fusible interfacing before removing the fabric from the rack.
I cut the piece to size and found a solid green cotton to pair it with. It is one of my favorite shades of green, I can stare at it for hours…(sigh). I quilted the fabric using a baseball stitch because it looked like little bird feet. Using my stitch regulator, I wrote our tattoo saying onto the bottom of the green fabric. I also created some free form birds and a twig using coral thread on black fabric. I glued these onto the bubbled fabric (one of my favorite things of art quilts is the freedom to use glue when necessary!).
I then added some pink opalescent beads my sister gave me and snuggled them in amongst the bubbles. I then took a feather stamp and used a bronze pigment ink to add a little more sparkle. I finished the edge with a satin stitch using a coral thread.
I am happy with where I am going, but do not feel it is done yet. I don’t know what else I will do, maybe a bird’s nest in the corner or something. I am open to suggestions….hint, hint!