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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Art with Fabric Blog Hop - Kara Walker

This is the third time I run this blog hop... and this season I decided to add a twist in my search for inspiration in fine art pieces.

I wanted to focus on WOMEN ARTISTS!

I don't have any formal training in art... but I studied art history in highschool... and I don't think I EVER encountered a female artist in my studies... how is that possible???? There are many women depicted in paintings, sculptures, drawing, but why only male artists made it into art history books (at least the ones used in my school)???

So for this edition I decided to pick not one but two female artists whose work spoke to me.
My project is actually much bigger than today's piece: the beauty of these challenges is that they open my eyes to work and ideas that have infinite ways for me to grow.

For todays artist I choose a powerful and talented woman: Kara Walker.

Kara Walker is an African American contemporary painter, silhouettist, print-maker, installation artist, and film-maker who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence, and identity in her work.
If you want to read more about her, check out her Wiki page or these two videos where she talks about her work Video1Video2.

While her work is very strong and socially deep, I wanted to include her visual aesthetic in a much lighter tone. So I decided to turn to my absolute love for Disney and to create a quilt that will include several artists, following the style of a recent Italian publication (Discover Art History with Disney Friends)... which as mentioned does not seem to include any female artist at least in the titles of the different volumes :( :(

Kara De Spell, 20'' x 20''

My plan is to build 12'' blocks (like Kara De Spell) surrounded by a fun sashing border that somehow relates to the main block. The yellow in the sashing is constant throughout the quilt, and I will be practicing free motion quilted feathers in those spaces.
Each block will be constructed mostly with raw edge applique and quilted individually.
Each block is finished by envelope turning it before quilting... and then I add a border of blanket stitches and a row of crochet border that will allow me to join all the blocks in a big quilt!

Having each block finished individually has several advantages:
  1. I can practice my FMQ in a small scale, without the frustration of managing a big quilt
  2. the blocks are really fast to assemble, so I easily get the satisfaction of a "finished" project
  3. once a block is quilted I can use the piece as a place mat, mini quilt or table runner until I actually have enough blocks to make a quilt! No unfinished objects hiding in a drawer waiting for the next step!
  4. the quilt can keep growing until I am bored or I run out of artists! And I can even switch blocks whenever I want, since joining crochet blocks is super fast and can be undone very easily
I don't know how a quilt like this will hold up in the wash, but I am willing to test it for many years to come!! 

Have you ever mixed techniques like this (crochet and quilting)? What do you think about it? Any advice?

Check out today's other amazing artists participating in the blog hop!



  1. Beautiful!
    Know exactly what you mean with only learning about male artists in art history.....wth!!

  2. I adore the colors you have chosen and your idea about joining the blocks. How cool is that? Like the old afghans that used to be on our grandmothers couches. they were all done that way - why not quilt blocks. someone that quilts and crochets - perfect match.

  3. What a great piece Alida and thanks for introducing me to a new artist. I love the idea of 12 different blocks joined together afterwards. I have seen quilted and crocheted quilts before and love the look of them.

  4. Have ventured to blend techniques yet, but you did a great job with yours! Thanks for sharing on Midweek Makers

  5. Hi Alida, thanks so much for introducing me to Kara Walker. I watched one of her interviews. What a courageous woman! I like your piece. It's going to be a great project.

  6. What a cool concept! This first block is a winner so the final quilt will probably be stunning. As usual, you've hosted a wonderful hop! Thanks so much.


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