Appraising art quilts can be very challenging because the techniques and the materials used in them are constantly changing and evolving. One of the ways that I keep current is to take classes from successful art quilters. I was privileged to take a class from Norma Riehm on fabric layering techniques. She provided us with kits in several different color ways which included everything but our sewing machines. Each quilt was beautiful and despite having the same things in each kit, each of the quilts made during the class looked different.
This was the first time I worked with Angelina fibers, roving, yarn, silk flowers, beads, and crystals–all together in one piece. Norma discussed the sources for her materials and impressed me with her bargain hunting ability! I am sure that I will be checking out garage sales for art supplies once the weather gets warmer.
We started with a typical quilt sandwich and then layered fibers and flowers onto it, finishing with a layer of tulle. The next step was to quilt it. In future works I might try using some wool batting because it has the ability showcase quilting well. I loved adding crystals to the piece with the hot fix crystals and the aid of a pin. Norma then taught us how to bead so that the beads would be shown off to the best advantage and so that they would be securely attached.
The biggest takeaway from the class for me was her attention both to the craftsmanship and to the artistry of each piece.
Thank you Norma!!