"Sea Urchin" Art Quilt by Bette Busby
TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List was launched in February, 2010. As it has grown, now over 200 members, so have the members who have Etsy shops. About half of us use Etsy as our retail platform. We decided to organize as an Etsy Team (a program Etsy has for sellers to organize under themes or locations) and set up a blog where we can talk about what is important to us and where we can show off our shops. The blog has eight pages of shops, divided into themes and serves as our Team Catalog. Although many of us sell things that do not fit neatly into those categories, most of us do have a focus. I am introducing each of those categories here, hoping that this will encourage you to go over there and shop, shop, shop, until you drop! These eight pages have over 100 shops, filled with wonderful eye candy that will surely delight anyone who appreciates all the many techniques and traditions that are found in the needle and textile arts.
Today's focus: Art Quilts
"Rainbow Spiral" Art Quilt by Terry Aske
When I first launched TAFA, Art Quilters were the first ones to jump on board and become members. A natural connection, perhaps, as they are my peers. I consider myself an "art quilter" although I haven't produced much work lately. (Could it be that TAFA is taking up ALL of my time??!!!) Their support surprised me as I didn't know most of them, even in cyberspace, at the time. Then, as I began to connect with them through TAFA, I found that they are an organized bunch. They have a huge and vibrant presence on Facebook and of our TAFA members, currently 40 are also members of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) and 27 are members of the SDA (Surface Design Association). They seem to be more organized as a group and interact more with each other than the weavers, felters, and other types of TAFA members. They also seem pretty savvy in terms of using social media as a tool to promote themselves. I am not sure why this is, but many have also chosen to use Etsy as a platform where they can sell their work.
"Waiting" Art Quilt by Terri Stegmiller
Etsy is often perceived as a marketplace where cheap crafts are sold. When Etsy was first launched, almost everything on there was gorgeous art eye candy. As it exploded as a marketplace, it is true that the higher end ticket items became diluted by little barrettes, domino pendants, cutesy things that appeal to a younger, less affluent crowd. However, Etsy continues to offer a place for artists to showcase their work at an affordable price. The platform is beautiful and there are also affluent customers looking for the perfect piece for their home or office. Our hope is that our TAFA Team will be able to attract these buyers who can support larger work like our art quilts. One of the reasons that I haven't been able to make much work is that these pieces take a lot of time to complete. My largest piece took nine months, over 1,000 hours to make. Most of the art quilters are not investing that kind of time in each piece, yet they are substantial works.
Art Quilt by Constance Rose
Our studio artists explore a whole range of techniques in their art quilts. Some focus on strict sewing possibilities, while others manipulate fabric and add texture through dyes, beadwork and incorporate both new and old approaches used in the textile world. We also have functional quilts made by our Team members, but they have been categorized under the Home Interiors tab. Why separate them? Partly because they really do appeal to buyers for different reasons. Art quilts are normally displayed on the wall as an art piece, while "traditional" quilts (which can also be artsy and exquisite!) are sought after for their function as a bed cover or throw.
"Autumn in New York" Art Quilt by Diane Evans
We currently have 12 of our TAFA members who are art quilters selling on Etsy. Explore their shops. There are so many treasures there! Spread the word about them!
Click here to visit our Art Quilts Page in our TAFA Team Catalog of Shops.
And, while you are there, click on the other tabs to see our other Team member shops. We aim to be the best in textiles and fiber art on Etsy!
Interested in membership? Click here for more information.