The Columbia Public Library will be hosting a 2016 Quilt Exhibit featuring art quilts April 2-16. So I wondered, “How is an art quilt different from the quilts I’ve been making for the last five years?” I checked out a number of books to find out.
The quilts I’ve made are for babies to lie on or to keep someone warm. An art quilt is not made to serve these purposes. It is made primarily as a creative expression of an artist and meant to be displayed. These works are called quilts because they are layered, usually made of fabric, and they are held together by stitches, knots or other means. Artists sometimes transform the cloth through dyeing, printing or painting. The library owns a number of books with wonderful photos of art quilts.
“500 Art Quilts: An Inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work,” published by Lark Books, includes examples of abstract as well as representational art.
“Art Quilts of the Midwest” by Linzee Kull McCray includes quilts by two artists from St. Louis, Missouri and one from Kansas City, Missouri.
“Cutting-Edge Art Quilts” by Mary W. Kerr presents the art of 51 quilters who offer design and technique tips to those interested in textile art.
“Fusing Fun! Fast Fearless Art Quilts” by Laura Wasilowski explains how to make your own art quilt using fusible web.
“Brave New Quilts: 12 Projects Inspired by 20th-Century Art from Art Nouveau to Punk & Pop” by Kathreen Ricketson takes you through the process of designing an art quilt and encourages you to create your own work of art.
Looking through these books was awe-inspiring, but nothing beats experiencing works of art in person. I am looking forward to seeing the exhibit. I hope you can find time to drop by the library to enjoy it, too, and maybe even attend one of the related programs. If you are a quilter of functional quilts, join us at the Callaway County Public Library in Fulton for Quilting Learning Circle on Wednesday, April 6, 2-3:30 p.m.