The Beauty Of Fiber Art Quilts

By Arline Bradley

Announcing a little-known art form! If you love color, design, and fine craftsmanship, fiber art quilts are for you. If you are an artist, this form of expression can expand your horizons. If you are looking for bold decorations or useful accessories for your home, you really need to explore this niche of fine art.

Go online to learn more about creations made of fabric, thread, and decorative objects chosen by the artist to enhance the effect. You'll find quilts to use as wall hangings or as bed coverings, of course, but also pillows, table runners, coasters, placemats, and other pieced, quilted, and embroidered objects.

Go online to see how artistic flair brings bold color and design to the world of quilts. Some creations evoke traditional patterns that quilters have used for generations, although they might be explosions of color our grandmothers never envisioned. Others take inspiration from nature - from backyard birds to the cosmos - or spin off into abstract designs.

Those who prefer realism will enjoy the garden flowers, landscapes, and recognizable silhouettes. People who like to see unbridled energy in action will find it in the bold colors and use of shape and line of abstract creations. These artists use textiles like the masters used paint to get effects those of us who are less gifted can only marvel at. The online galleries are great for exploring the diversity and impact of this lesser-known art form.

It's fun to visit the websites of various artists and see how different and individual quilts can be. There are also galleries that sell the works of many artists. Exhibits where you can see actual works on display are held all around the US and in many other parts of the world. Awards are given at these exhibits, and many works will be for sale.

Fabrics used are often cottons - chintz or batik or hand-painted organics - but actually almost anything can be and is used. Foils and metallic threads are used for highlights. Texture, color, and details embroidered by hand or machine finish what color, shape, and pattern have started. Some artists use only fabric and thread, while others add beads, 'found objects', ethnic dolls or fetishes, shells, wire, cording, and more.

All the works are, of course, one-of-a-kind. Each exhibits the unique handiwork, color and design sense, and vision of the person who created it. The quilting, embroidery, and detailing makes this art form different from any other, but it is the artists' vision and creativity that brings it vibrantly alive. One artists advises owners of her quilts that hanging them at different angles changes the way viewers will interpret them.

This is truly art, not a crafter's imitation of it. It really must be seen to be believed by those of us who haven't been aware of this niche. This is an affordable way to bring art into your home, or you may want to visit galleries and exhibits to simple appreciate what artists have achieved using fabric and thread - and, of course, imagination, talent, and skill.

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