Graffiti Quilting 101

There are 2 things in this world
that I ABSOLUTELY love.
Quilting.
(duh.)
and Graffiti.
I will say this,
I was never bad-a$$ enough to actually do illegal graffiti
but I had plenty of friends in high school who were.
Nevertheless
I have always just been so fascinated by ephemeral art.
e·phem·er·al
əˈfem(ə)rəl/
adjective
lasting for a very short time.
  1. “fashions are ephemeral”
  2. Most people get upset
  3. getting stopped
  4. at a railroad crossing.
  5. But I never seemed to mind it much.
  6. I would become mesmerized by the passing cars
  7. and watch in the hopes of catching
  8. a glimpse of some beautifully done graffiti.
I feel like I need to clarify one thing…
To me,
this is not graffiti:
This is just hooligan vandalism.
On the other hand,
this is real graffiti:
Artistic - Graffiti Wallpaper
Artistic - Graffiti - Junlia - George Wallpaper
Artistic - Graffiti - Trippy - Psychedelic - Urban - Urban Art Wallpaper
And it is SO beautiful to me.
There is just something exquisite to me about seeing beautiful pieces
like this on old abandoned buildings, or passing train cars.
And I feel like I have to take it in
as much as I can because I know that
it may not be there very long.
There is something bittersweet to me about graffiti.
Sweet because it takes pure skill to execute a piece like the ones seen above
and bitter just knowing that it will not last long and be erased
by a bucket of white paint.
The main premise of graffiti is
doing art for one single reason:
because it is what you love to do.
Passion.
These artists don’t do it for fame or recognition.
In fact, most times it is the opposite.
They strive to have their work speak for itself,
tot he point where their work is the only thing we know about them.
I really admire that about them.
When I was in school,
some of the best visual artists I knew were also
the “misfits”,
the “thugs”
and “gang affiliated”.
Now,
You are probably wondering
how the crap graffiti has anything
to do with quilting.
Growing up,
graffiti was a huge inspiration
and influenced the direction my art took.
It still does.
I have simply found my
own medium.
Some use spray paint, stencils, paint markers,
wheat paste, and slap stickers.
I use fabric.
I use thread.
And sometimes some spray paint too.
(but don’t quilt over spray paint unless you feel like ruining your hook)
As I have gotten deeper and deeper into quilting
I have really developed my own style.
I hated when people called it doodling.
Because that implied that it was just some
“doodle” that was done on a lined notebook paper.
*shudder*
I didn’t like when it was called Zentangling.
Don’t get me wrong on this one,
I think Zentangling is absolutely beautiful,
but I just don’t think it is quite what I am getting with my quilting.
But one day,
it just clicked!
All of the designs that I had been drawing
in my sketch book since freshman year
were now appearing in my quilts!
Hence,
Graffiti Quilting was born.
I know that there have been quilts done
by very talented artists
themed around graffiti.
And just as there are many different
styles of graffiti,
there are many different styles of quilting.
And this is mine.
So I guess it is now official.
Some people make extravagantly pieced quilts.
Some people make applique quilts.
Some people make computerized quilts.
Some people make wholecloth quilting.
I make graffiti quilts.
Be great to each other.
-Karlee

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