Karen Johnson is a textile artist and an instructor with the Fibre Art Network. She taught a workshop for the guild on April 13 called “Textured Backgrounds” where we learned several methods for creating interesting visually textured backgrounds for art quilts.
These backgrounds are made from two or more fabrics. They can be woven, assembled with snippets of fabric, or pieced together in various ways. The backgrounds complement surface designs created with such things as applique, thread couching, embroidery, stamping, fabric paint, machine quilting, and other embellishments.
She sometimes quilts the background before using it in a quilt. She puts backgrounds she has made onto her design wall, where they serve as inspiration for future projects.
As Karen told us, ideas for creating a textured background for your quilt are limitless, and by making your own “background fabric,” your quilt will really be one of a kind.
It was a stimulating and enjoyable workshop, full of new ideas, resources, and tips for learning about construction, colour and design. Karen brought lots of her own wonderful quilts to illustrate some of the many techniques and materials she uses as a quilt artist.
Karen mentioned the following quilters in her presentation:
Gloria Loughman – contemporary quilter, teacher and author, Australia
Judy Villett – textile artist, B.C.
Jan Krentz – quilt designer and teacher, California
Here are some photos of the day, with thanks to Sonia for some of the pictures. Click on any photo to enlarge and view in a gallery.
Here are some of Karen’s quilts, which illustrate her ability to create magic with fabric and embellishment. Click on any photo to enlarge and view in a gallery.