File Under...Potential Art Quilts!

sue beevers headshotAileyn Ecob

By: Aileyn Ecob– QCN
Date: 03/23/2010


I love the process of making an art quilt! It usually starts with an inspiration for a design, but the inspiration really continues through all the other steps that finally achieve that original idea. One of my sources of inspiration is a file of design ideas---potential art quilts. In it are sketches, notes, clipping from the newspaper, photographs from vacations, greeting cards that I’ve received---any source for a neat idea. I look through this file and one or two ideas will take my attention. Even though I have looked at them many times, this may be the time that I get a spark of inspiration that I want to pursue. Occasionally, when the piece is finished, it has morphed into a different quilt from my original vision, but that’s OK.

Usually the idea has to gestate for a while as I think about which construction methods would produce the result I want. I often make a pieced background, with a hand appliquéd design over it. There is also inking, beading and thread work to consider, and whether it should be hand or machine quilted.  Each of these choices will affect the feel of the piece and so must be considered in developing that original idea.

Choosing fabrics is both satisfying and frustrating.  It is satisfying as I get to buy all that wonderful fabric. However, at times it can be frustrating when I have a particular vision of what I want, only to find that none of the fabric companies have come close to what I had in mind!


The fabric is, of course, where color and pattern enter in. Color combinations themselves can be inspiring, and if pattern is involved, the result can be even more exciting. I love the moment when the first two pieces of fabric are sewn together and pressed! I get the feel of how the fabrics will relate in the quilt. This continues through the construction, the quilting, and binding. 


My methods are quite structured, and yet so different from traditional quilting. I am only happy with the results that I get from precise sewing techniques of  piecing, appliqué, quilting, binding, etc. ( I think that comes from learning my sewing skills from my mother!)  But in art quilts, the design is my own.  It is inspired by an experience, a feeling, a combination of colors, or a bit of nature that resonates with me. This design has a special meaning to me, and is mine alone!


sue beevers headshot

Aileyn Ecob is a long time active quilter, and is a partner in the Fiber on the Wall design team. More from Aileyn, along with images of her quilts, can be seen at the Fiber on the Wall website

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