This is a very cool book for inspiration...
Masters: Art Quilts: Major Works by Leading Artists, Lark Books/Sterling Publishing, New York/London ©2008
I discovered it on my last trip to the library and I'm drooling over the gorgeous art quilts. These are not your typical patchwork quilts—they're more like paintings or sculptures. Experimentation is key and the use of non-traditional techniques is common—untraditional shapes, fabric manipulation, collage (layered fabric and found objects), surface decoration (hand and machine embroidery), and the use of photographic imagery.
I particularly love the work of Jane Burch Cochran whose quilts are heavily embellished with paint, embroidery, beads, buttons, and found objects (gloves feature prominently) all sewn to a free-form strip-pieced base.
"My quilts are considered narrative because some of the imagery is recognizable. The quilt does not usually tell a particular story—it's left to viewers to see and translate what they will. My quilts are highly embellished with beads, buttons, and paint to enhance the narrative with a unique and personal texture."
Moonlight, 2007, 77 x 61 inches. Photo by Pam Monfort.
I'm terribly neat with my work—perhaps too much so—and viewing quilts like these lets me now that it's OK to be get a little crazy sometimes. I do need to work on breaking out of the box a little more :)