Art Quilts vs Bed Quilts

People unfamiliar with quilts or even art quilts have asked how they are different. As I have made the transition from making  bed quilts to creating wall art, the question is something that I have lived through. May I offer some generalizations?  Bed quilts and art quilts are made with the same tools; sewing machine, rotary cutters, cutting boards, see through ruler, a variety of feet for their machines. Many of the techniques are also the same; three pieces sewn together, applique, stitch in the ditch, binding and others. Bed quilts generally have squares or blocks of fabric sewn together. Bed quilters prefer to use 100% cotton. It is the best fabric to work with, it lies flat and most importantly, it is washable. When a quilter moves away from the necessity of washing their piece, a whole new realm of fabric possibilities open up.

For me, foregoing the use of patterns also forged my way toward art quilts. I have been “scarred” by my pattern disasters. I flatly refuse to use them anymore. By not following anyone else’s ideas, colors, or materials, I have been able to create my own style.

Silk, linen, synthetics, yarn and decorative threads have become my go to materials. I am very focused on redirecting fabrics and materials to keep them out of the landfill. I keep the smallest pieces of fabric to try and find a use for it instead of placing them in the trash. Of course, my first focus is on creating a beautiful piece of art that someone will want to live with.