Candied Fabrics: Art Quilt Construction

Hello there! My name is Candy Glendening, I'm an art quilter working solely with fabric I dye myself, so they're Candied Fabrics - it's almost like I was born to be a dyer! ;-) My little part of the blogosphere is located here: CandiedFabrics.com. The fabulous Natalia has asked me to share with you a bit about my process, so I thought I'd show you how I've begun to actually construct art quilts in all 3 dimensions!

I was inspired by Jane Davila to make a 3 dimensional house, where each side of the house is it’s own little art quilt. I REALLY LIKE creating smaller pieces that are part of a larger whole, see some examples of my art quilts: “Once in a Blue Moon” or here or here for example. To make 8 small pieces that are specific dimensions (those gable ends being neat spaces to fill) and hold together as a unit but are at the same time pieces that can stand on their own really stimulates my creative juices!
My 1st house, Titled "Home is Where the Art Is: Olive Avenue" was inspired by the street I live on:
Now that you see what I'm talking about, I thought I'd take you through the construction of my second house. For even more detail on this whole series, take a look at my archived blog posts on my 3-d work here.
  1. I star with one beautiful piece of inspiration fabric I dyed from a color palette I’ve been working with:
  2. Dye a couple of dark to light pieces I dyed to go with the fancy dancy fabric:
  3. Pull lots of shades & tints of the main colors of the inspiration fabric. Value is important! A simple lesson that was years in the learning!
  4. Possible layouts decided upon. I designed the house pattern on the computer (so it would actually fit together!). I printed some smaller versions of these out and sketched some possible layouts on them. This helps me get beyond the “what do I do” phase when faced with a blank sheet of release paper, just waiting for fabric. A genius tip from Melody.
  5. I then worked on all 8 sides simultaneously, moving from side to side when I got fed up or stuck on one, sometimes moving a particular motif from one side to the other. My goal again is 8 small art quilts that work together. This is what I ended up with:
  6. Final result! “Home Is Where the Art is: Baltic Avenue” When it was finished I realized I wanted a base to ground the piece (which made me go back and make a simple one for the Olive Ave. house). The way I finished the edges of the base, combined with the simplistic house shape reminded my husband of the game Monopoly. Which property name do you most associate with Monopoly? For me, it’s Baltic Avenue (that and Ventnor, but it’s such an ugly name).

Here's the 3rd house "Home is Where the Art is: Cabot Trail" These colors reminded my Hubby of the houses on Cape Breton in Novia Scotia. Cabot Trail is a spectacular drive along the coast. It sold very quickly, and of all the things that I've sold, this one was the hardest to let go of! (Of course, I blogged about it!)

After finishing these 3 in time for a deadline, life sidetracked me. I've been yearning to make more houses since March, but it took a contest to make me focus! There’s nothing like a deadline to get those creative juices flowing!

Things We Make was having a recycled, repurposed DIY ornament contest, and I have a huge amounts of scraps of prefused hand dyed fabrics and Peltex. Although as an art quilter I can always use the fabric scraps SOMEWHERE, a big basket of small, oddly shaped scraps of peltex has been sitting in my closet for just such a recycling project as this! I didn’t care about winning the contest, as I’m sure there are some clever people repurposing in a much more creative way than I, but my boys understand a contest deadline, and were much more forgiving of me ignoring them last night than normal, which let me get them photographed. In fact, between the pix I took last night (and processed and sent in to Amy 1 minute before the deadline!) and the ones I took this morning, I do believe I’ve spent more time photographing them and processing the photos than it took to actually make them!
But I awoke this morning to the news that I HAD won - woohoo! OK, I've taken up way too much of your time, so I'm signing off for now. If you'd like to see lots more pix of the ornaments, click over to this post! And thanks Natalia, for introducing me to all your fabulous readers!

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  1. Congratulations on winning! I love your work! I have to say that house #3 is my favorite! I absolutely LOVE it!! Thanks so much for sharing Candy! :)

  2. I love these houses; they must have been so much fun to make! Amazing!

  3. These are so fun Candy! I love the colors in baltic ave :)


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