Art Quilt Collage Design Guides

Art Quilt Collage Design Guides

Posted by Deborah Boschert on Jul 5th 2016

Hi! I’m Deborah Boschert and I’m the author of Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch. I can hardly wait for the release in October! (Would you believe I technically “finished” the book several months ago? It does take a while to create a book!)

I love books, and I’m thrilled to be an author. In fact, you can even see my bookshelf in the back of my photo on the About the Author page.

I’m excited to tell you about just one section of the book: the Eight Design Guides. You know how creative people freak out a bit over the proverbial blank page? Where to start? How to come up with ideas? What is the first step?

To help with this struggle, I created the Eight Design Guides. They are simple templates or blueprints for getting started composing an art quilt.

The Eight Design Guides are based on classic formats used in art—whether it’s quilts, collage, or painting.

Let me introduce you to one of the Eight Design Guides: Magic Three. (It’s named after the classic Schoolhouse Rock tune “Three Is a Magic Number.”)

My book includes a simple thumbnail sketch of each of the Eight Design Guides and an original art quilt inspired by each guide.

Here’s the very simple Magic Three thumbnail.

My Magic Three art quilt is River Gathering, 8" x 8".

The components of an art quilt inspired by the Magic Three Design Guide are simply three figures—fish in this case. But they could be flowers, houses, coffee cups, or even abstract shapes such as circles or chevrons. A composition works best with figures slightly varied in size, placement, and color.

Choosing fabrics and laying out the initial design is easier when taking inspiration from one of the Eight Design Guides. After the first hurdle of composition is crossed, details can be added. I added free-motion stitching and hand embroidery. (There’s a whole chapter about stitching too!)

Would you like a sneak peek of one more of the Design Guides?

Here’s the Symmetrical Design Guide. (I think this one is my favorite.)

Deceptively simple, right? That’s the idea. Basic enough that any fabrics, colors, or style can fit into the guides. But they are specific enough to provide a place to begin.

You’ll have to buy the book to see the art quilt examples of this guide, plus all the other guides and art quilts. The book also includes ideas for transforming and expanding the Design Guides. You can even combine the Design Guides.

I really believe in this technique of using these Eight Design Guides to move from a pile of fabric into the creative process. If you’d like to begin creating art quilts, or if you make art quilts all the time and would like some new ideas and inspiration, I think you’ll like the book.

As you’d guess from the title, Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch isn’t just about design. I also wrote about creating with layers and paint, fusing, color, construction, personal symbols, found objects, working in a series, and more!

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