Warm and Cozy Quilting Ideas!

What better way to stay warm and cozy during cold, wintry months than to explore quilt making from home. Whether you're an avid quilt maker or a quilting admirer, you can enjoy this expressive art by nestling into your favorite chair or corner to view magazines and visit websites devoted to quilting, some websites featuring how-to videos, as well as written instructions for creating these beautiful handmade pieces of art.

There are many facets to making quilts; this article focuses on the following:

·         How to Make a Quilt: www.quiltingarts.com/topics/How-to-Make-a-Quilt.aspx
·         Embellishment Techniques: www.quiltingdaily.com/topics/embellishment-techniques.aspx  
·         Memory Quilts: www.quiltingdaily.com/Making-Memory-Quilts

How to Make a Quilt: Recently, contributing author Lindsey Murray (Assistant Editor of special projects for Quilting Arts and CPSS Studios magazines) interviewed quilt enthusiast Kathy York, quilt artist and fabric designer. When asked how she began creating her own fabric line, Kathy stated because she “couldn’t find a fabric that would work.” What did this arts and crafts entrepreneur do next? She “started playing with surface design techniques,”…and eventually “took a batik and shibori class,” and set up a batik wax pot in her garage.

Kathy features a line that is Urban Landscapes, reflecting bright, bold patterns. She states that most of her art quilts reflect events happening in her life. Kathy uses objects she finds interesting and creates designs in fabric “by using batik, hand dyeing, bleach discharge and overdyeing,” and any combinations of techniques to achieve her product. She relies on the diversity of inspiration for her products that include bags as well as quilts. For her textile designs, she states that it takes “almost a full year for a new line to be produced and printed.”

What are Kathy’s hopes for other quilters? “My hope and desire is that my fabric will inspire quilters to create!” What advice does she offer with regards to art? “Be prolific and be fearless! If it doesn’t look good, it just means you aren’t finished yet!”

Embellishment Techniques: Each quilter wants their creation to be unique, and there’s no lack of resources on how to make your quilts and fiber art creations stand out from others. Special design touches like beads, beaded fringe, buttons, found objects, appliqués, even eco-quilting tips exist to stretch your imagination and bring just the right look and feel to your product.

Susan “Lucky” Shie uses hand embroidery techniques that bind layers together, techniques like a ladder or satin stitch or French knots. Pamela Allen uses a technique that shows how adding beaded trim and hand embroidery can embellish your project, as well as how to add texture with appliqués. Belinda Spiwak uses recycled pieces and scraps of fabric for her wall hangings. She repurposes items, even metal scraps and paper, to elevate her unique wall hangings to inspire other art quilters. 

Memory Quilts: Making a memory quilt can be, not only creative, but also therapeutic and healing for those who have lost a loved one. In essence, a memory quilt is a collage of textures and mementoes that requires a small amount of measuring put together to tell a story. Judy Murrah suggests that a photo memory quilt is perfect for beginner quilters still becoming accustomed to working with fabric and batting. With basic handcraft talents, this quilt is fairly easy to make, combining elements like photos, fabrics, jewelry, quote and poems, and other items near and dear to the one remembered, as well as to the quilt creator.

Collage journal quilting is another type of mixed-media inspired quilting that uses paper and paint techniques. A selection of the materials mentioned above, as well as stamping, screen printing, and other items and processes can be used for this type of quilt.

Three other examples of memory quilts include holographic memory quilts, canvas book quilts, and stitched layer quilts, each containing an assortment of mixed media crafted into a unique expression of memories, frequently designed with a definite purpose in mind.   

To find out more about quilting ideas and techniques or for a list of quilting fairs, shows and international festivals, visit your neighborhood or online bookstores and websites like those listed above. Simply enter targeted keywords into your favorite search engines for more information.

Why spend cold, dark days and nights uninspired and waiting for warmer weather, when you can enjoy the beauty and creativity of talented quilters who share their creations through various venues. And if you've never thought of yourself as a quilter, now may be the perfect time to begin!

CYNTHIA BULL (www.cynrje.com) is an internationally published writer and editor who helps international authors, marketers and speakers add greater value to their products through her top-quality writing, editing and transcription services. She is the author of How To Be A Medical Transcriptionist and Winning At Work While Balancing Your Life, a contributing author of Walking with the Wise Entrepreneur (Mentors Publishing House), cited in Make BIG Profits on eBay (Entrepreneur Press), and Managing Editor of Mentors Magazine Think & Grow Rich Edition. Cynthia has created over 200 book products in the past two years for her clients and, as mentor, helps clients reach their goals through her products, experience and genuine caring. Cynthia writes this feature article exclusively for Debbie May (http://www.debbiemay.com/) an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.