At the Gloria Loughman retreat I attended in June, I went against the flow and decided to create a single tree for my art quilt. This blog post shows the original photo that was my inspiration and my progress up to the end of the retreat weekend.
Since then, I’ve finished it.
I added a lot more stitching, then a thin border (orange) and a wider dark border, followed by batting to puff out the main tree trunks, then the main batting and backing. Then I quilted it. Even more stitches… I estimate that there are over 100,000 free motion and quilting stitches in this quilt, but I didn’t keep track of the number (my quilting machine can be reset to zero but I forgot to do so!)
I quilted the border with some freehand eucalyptus leaves then used a dark thread to fill in the spaces between the leaves.
Once it was quilted, I added a hanging sleeve (ready for display on a wall), binding, and a label.
I’ll put it up for sale on Etsy soon. It’s now available for sale on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/77935502/estuarine-eucalypt-art-quilt.
Deciding on a price is an interesting exercise. I have to factor in part of the cost of the retreat (where I learned the fabric painting and other techniques), the cost of the fabric and threads (I guess I used 20+ different coloured threads in this piece), the cost of the electricity used to run my machines (and perhaps even a little towards the cost of the machines), and then there’s the time… I estimate that this art quilt took a total of 40 or more hours to make — if I charged by the hourly rate I earn at my day job, it would cost much more than I’ll charge for it.
In deciding a price, I checked out the Quilts category on Etsy, and then sorted the 36,000+ quilts found by price from the most expensive. I am amazed at the prices some people are charging for some of their work. In many cases, I can see the value as I know how much work goes into a piece. But for some of the $5000+ pieces, I have to wonder, especially when it is obvious that the quilt that’s for sale doesn’t even hang straight. Update May 2014: I’ve had this quilt valued, and the certificate of valuation is below. However the valuation only takes account the materials and techniques used and the quality of both — it takes no account of the time to learn the techniques nor the time taken to make the piece, which can be hundreds of hours.
Here are pictures of the finished quilt — click on a small picture to see it even larger, then click on it again to see it full size: