Art Quilts in a Modern Way

Folk Music, digital art from handmade elements, by Peony and Parakeet

Here’s something that I have wanted to show you for a long time! I have been working with a custom order which made me think of a new idea: to create fabric prints and make quilted wall hangings from them. This idea is very versatile as you don’t have to be a quilter, you can print your art on fabric and use it for bags, purses, clothes – anything!

The artwork above has been composed digitally of various art pieces that I have made. The person who ordered the wall hanging is a fan of modern folk music and the color red. (If you have not listened to modern folk songs, try Hanneke Cassel for example!)

A leaf motif by Peony and Parakeet

I created one new collage piece for the artwork. All the other details are picked from my archives.

It was pretty exciting to send the artwork to Spoonflower. When I received the fabric, the print quality was really sharp and detailed! I already knew from the previous experiences that big areas of black don’t print well, so I avoided those.

A digital fabric print designed by Peony and Parakeet

If you are a quilter, you know that the fabric will look so much better when quilted! I sandwiched cotton wadding, two layers of fusible interfacing and backing fabric and took out my sewing machine.

Quilting an art print by Peony and parakeet

I am not very experienced with free-motion quilting using the free-motion foot, so I used even-feed foot instead. But with patience, I was able to create quilting that enhanced my brush strokes.

Making art quilt by Peony and Parakeet

The finished quilt is about 45 x 39 inches.

Art Quilt using digitally printed design, by Peony and Parakeet

I used various colors of shiny embroidery threads for quilting. Using black thread brings the real black that was not produced by digital printing.

A detail of an art quilt using digitally printed design, by Peony and Parakeet

Quilting on watercolor!

A detail of an art quilt using digitally printed design, by Peony and Parakeet

Entering the flow state when playing modern folk was in the center of my inspiration.

A detail of an art quilt using digitally printed design, by Peony and Parakeet

I added the label to the printing file too.

A detail of an art quilt using digitally printed design, by Peony and Parakeet

Here’s another project that I actually made earlier to test the idea. This one does not contain much digital processing, I only took a good photo of the original art and enhanced it a little bit.

Original paper artwork and a fabric quilt made from it, by Peony and Parakeet

I think this artwork looks really good on fabric! The actual idea when creating the original was to mimic hand embroidery! Read about creating the original artwork: When Pens Replace Needles

Folk Leaves, digitally printed fabric quilt by Peony and Parakeet

I added some embroidery before quilting but found out that quilting works well as decoration.

A detail of a digitally printed art quilt, by Peony and Parakeet

A printed fabric label can be found from here too.

A detail of a digitally printed art quilt, by Peony and Parakeet

I also have more fabric prints waiting to be transferred into art quilts!

Fabric prints from paper artworks, by Peony and Parakeet

Paper prints news: New card sets have arrived at my Etsy shop.

Art Postcards by Peony and Parakeet

Life can never be too colorful!

Art Postcards by Peony and Parakeet

Stella and Cosmo send their greetings to all artists and quilters: Have a relaxing weekend!

Beagles with quilts by Peony and Parakeet

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I Dream to Create …

I have big creative dreams: to create something that makes a huge impact – I mean HUGE!

1) Interiors

Trick photo: entering the room decorated by Peony and Parakeet. Read more about my creative dreams.

I dream about people entering the room and feeling that they almost faint. Colors, patterns everywhere! The best thing would be to see their reaction: “OMG! You must be kidding!”

2) Exteriors

Trick photo: Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona pavilion decorated by Peony and Parakeet

I dream about painting street art for buildings and great architectural places. I would change all those white boxes to something overwhelmingly colorful. It did not matter if it would be a temporary mask. At least the building could say: “There was a time when I was alive!”

3) Huge Paintings

Trick photo: huge painting by Peony and Parakeet. Read more about my creative dreams!

I dream about people sitting on the bench nearby staring at them. A big company could have them in their lobby area. What a wealth of colors!

4) Big Quilts

Trick photo: quilted fabric by Peony and Parakeet

I dream about designing every single fabric piece which is sewn in them. All original, all full of patterns!

5) Stage Backgrounds

Trick photo: concert background show designed by Peony and Parakeet

My ultimate creative dream: Creating a stage background for a concert – a picture show which visualizes the music! I dream about the steps to design the backgrounds: how I would listen to the music, again and again, create sketches for evaluation and work with a big team to make it all happen.

Obviously, all the photos here are trick photos created in Photoshop by combining my own photos. These creative dreams might never come true but dreaming is kind of playing. And playing is a key factor in creativity, so let’s keep on dreaming – BIG!

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Experiencing Art

Expericence Art in an Art Museum, a digital art journal page by Peony and Parakeet

I read an article about how strongly people respond to art. It claimed that art museums are like churches. A visit to them is an experience which can change you. That reminded me of the unforgettable experience which I have illustrated in this digital art journaling page.

Art Museum Experience

About 15 years ago I visited a modern art museum in Nice, France. I was traveling alone, attending a conference which was located near the museum. Walking in the isles of the museum, I began to think of my busy life and how I approached it. Suddenly I noticed that I was staring at a painting. I could not take my eyes off it. It. Half of the painting was painted black, and another half was white. It was the kind of artwork that many people would have commented: I could have painted that!

But really, if I talk about myself, I could not have painted that! Still, it was not only the visualization of my thoughts but also some kind of solution to my anxiety. I realized that I loved that painting because I so strongly believed in black and white: how good it was to pursue extremes. I had difficulties to accept that most of the days are practically various shades of grey. There in the museum, I was in my church seeing my ideals. When I left the museum I decided to make some compromises, make my life a bit easier. It did not anymore mean that I had to work against my values. It was more about accepting human errors as a part of the life.

Even if I never saw that painting again, thinking about it still gives me consolation and perspective to life. And even if I often write how you need to experience art by creating it yourself, art can truly offer experiences in many other ways too if we just open ourselves to it.

I have experienced ART by Peony and Parakeet

What has been a significant work of art for you and where did you experience it?

If you art journal – now there’s a subject worth documenting! (Read my tips on how to get inspired by fine arts)

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Painting with iPad

Painting with iPad, ArtRage painting, by Peony and Parakeet

My latest toy: ArtRage app for iPad. Only 5 dollars which is nothing considering the fun you will be having with finger painting! You can create mixed media in electric form: tubes of paint, pastels, markers … most of the supplies you can imagine are there.

Painting with iPad, ArtRage painting in progress, by Peony and Parakeet

It’s surprisingly easy to change the supply and its’ properties as well as picking color palette. ArtRage has also layers so that you can keep the flowers separate from your butterflies and work with each layer without messing up the other. Love it!

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