Make 2015 the year of the art quilt

Holiday-Recipe Blog BlitzWelcome, Holiday Blog Blitz visitors! See our contribution to SewCalGal’s holiday-recipe blog hop at the bottom of this post—a decadent dessert from the book Coffee-Time Quilts. Enjoy!
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Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t. It’s not that I haven’t tried, but despite my best intentions, my enthusiasm begins to wane by the middle of February. I believe many resolutions don’t last because they focus on something negative: we resolve to diet because we think we’re overweight; we plan a new exercise routine because we’re feeling out of shape. But what if the resolution was to do something positive and creative just for the fun of it? Now that’s a promise I can keep.

I hereby resolve that 2015 will be the year I broaden my horizon and dip my toe into the world of art quilting.

I love to make quilts from patterns; it suits my rule-following, color-inside-the-lines nature. But I’m ready for a little fabric adventure. It’s time to get in touch with my inner quilt artist for a bit of bend-the-rules, color-wherever-I-want excitement. Will you join me?

The world of fiber art quilts is vast, with as many different styles as there are quilt artists. The first step is to decide what type of art quilting appeals to you, then look for a book to help you on your journey.

Landscape quilts are a good starting point. Points of View by Valerie Hearder and Dream Landscapes by Rose Hughes feature two very different techniques with equally stunning results. Both books include patterns, but the technique instructions are so thorough, you won’t need patterns for long. You’ll be creating your own designs in no time!

Quilts from Points of View
“Fern Hill” and “Summer Marsh” from Points of View

Quilts from Dream Landscapes
“Oak—King of Trees” and “Making a Stand” from
Dream Landscapes

Another great starting place for new art quilters is the story quilt—after all, everyone has a story to tell. Mary Lou Weidman is the queen of story quilts. When her book Out of the Box came out, I was captivated by the creative lessons, ideas, and encouragement that filled its pages. But then came Out of the Box with Easy Blocks by Mary Lou and her co-author, Melanie Bautista McFarland, which gave me even more tools to create the story quilt of my dreams.

Quilts from Out of the Box with Easy Blocks
The purple cow and the shoes are just two of the 13 blocks and 7 quilts in Out of the Box with Easy Blocks. Now, couldn’t you have fun telling a story like this?

If you really want to stretch your creative muscle, Design, Create, and Quilt by Rose Hughes is practically a design class in a book. Through exercises and projects, Rose explores the five basic elements of design: line, shape, texture, color, and space. By the time you’re through, you’ll have the techniques and the confidence to design your own abstract art quilts.

Quilts from Design Create and Quilt

So what do you think? Are you ready to try something new and different? This is one resolution I’m looking forward to keeping.

What’s your quilting resolution for 2015? Tell us in the comments.

Holiday Blog Blitz Recipe:
Double-Shot Mocha Cheesecake

Rich and creamy, this decadent treat is for true chocolate and coffee lovers.

1¾ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
¼ cup butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
¼ cup coffee liqueur
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1¼ cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
3 tablespoons milk

1. Prepare the crust: Mix the cookie crumbs, melted butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Press into the bottom and along the sides of an ungreased 9″ springform pan. Chill the crust while you continue with the recipe.

2. Prepare the filling: In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate morsels in the water and add the coffee crystals. Cool; then add coffee liqueur. Caution: Do not heat liqueur in a saucepan. Be sure the filling has cooled before adding the liqueur.

3. In another bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Add the vanilla, eggs, milk, and chocolate mixture.

4. Pour the filling mixture into a chilled cookie crust. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Leave the cake in the oven with the heat turned off and the door ajar for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven; allow to cool for 45 minutes, and then remove the sides of the pan. Chill at least 4 hours before serving. Serving option: Top with fresh strawberries or raspberries.

Coffee-Time QuiltsFind more recipes perfect to pair with coffee—
plus 12 coffee-inspired quilts—in the eBook Coffee-Time Quilts >>

Visit these other blogs today for more holiday recipes!

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