FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
by Studio Artist Dottie Gantt

  Page 2  
Photo of "Tillie and Millie" art assemblage by Dottie Gantt
"Tillie" of the Tillie and Millie ©2005
Tea Cup Assemblage

What is a Quilt?

What is an Art Quilt?

What is Fiber Art?

How do I maintain and handle fiber wall hangings or art quilts when not displaying them?

How do you hang fiber wall hangings or art quilts?

How do you design your work?

What kind of sewing machine(s) do you use?


How long have you been an artist?

How long have you been creating art quilts?

How have you learned the different techniques that you use in your art?

What are the "things that you know for sure"?

What is Collage, Assemblage, and Montage?

What is Melange, Ephemera, and "Stuff"?

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Photo of antique "Favorite" sewing machine owned by Dottie Gantt
Art Quilt in Photo above is
Myself and I ©1999

The antique dressmaker stand was my Grandmother Montgomery's.

Photo of antique "Favorite" sewing machine owned by Dottie Gantt

Do you know anything about this 1896 "Favorite" treadle sewing machine?

Contact Me
if you have any information about this antique sewing machine.

What kind of sewing machine(s) do you use?

I currently own 8 sewing machines and two sergers.  I never planned to have multiple sewing machines or sergers - it just happened!

My husband purchased a Sears Kenmore sewing machine for me as a surprise for our first Christmas.  I had loaned to my Mother-In-Law 17 years ago, and it has come back home.

Six years ago my Aunt Eva traded me a treadle "Favorite" [that's the actual brand name of the machine!]  sewing machine for my labor to piece together and quilt her quilt blocks.  This machine has been in my Mother's family since 1896.  It came in a beautiful oak cabinet with six side drawers and one middle drawer that swings out.  The wooden lid for the cabinet is often called a "coffin" lid because of its shape.  I have used this machine to do straight seam piecing when our electric power goes out.

Two years ago our friends, Bill and Norma Robinson, gave me a 1947 Featherweight Singer Model 221 sewing machine that  they found in the garage of their new "old" home.  Bill and Norma also gave me a second sewing machine, which was a 1923 Singer Model 128 machine, that had belonged to Bill's Mother.

The machines I use the most for sewing are my Pfaff Tipmatic #1019, my Viking/Husqvarna Model 1100, a Viking/Husqvarna #1+, and a Bernina 1260.

I also have a Bernette 33DS serger and a Baby Lock Serger Model B24-838D.  All of my machines are in working order, including the 1896 treadle machine.

Often when working on a new piece I have multiple machines set up with different types of threads and for different types of stitching.  There is always one machine set up for household mending, but somehow that machine gets less use than the others.

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1964 Newspaper photo of Dottie Gantt
Article from "The Journal",
West Columbia, SC
April 15, 1964

How long have you been an artist?

From the time I could hold a pencil or a crayon, I have created pictures of my real and imaginary world.  As a child I could never color within the lines, nor did I always paint my grass green and the sky blue.  So it depends on what you call art.

How long have you been creating art quilts?

Sewing has always been an integral part of my life.  Because my Mother and both of my Grandmothers were always sewing and creating beautiful needlework, I learned early on how to crochet, knit, embroider, and thread a needle to join pieces of fabric together.  I made my own doll clothes as a little girl, and since age 12 have made many of my own clothes.

During the early 80's, I saw contemporary art quilts by Yvonne Porcella, Melody Johnson, Ann Fahl, Caryl Fallert, Laura Wasilowski, Michael James, Nancy Crow and other art quilters.  I realized that there could be an exciting, wonderful marriage between art and quilt making. My art and my quilt making have never been the same since.

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Photo of book collection owned by Dottie Gantt

I not only enjoy reading, I also enjoy collect books and information related to my art interests

How have you learned the different techniques that you use in your art? 

I read all the time, and try to keep up with new techniques via books and magazines about art.  I also take formal classes in various art topics and media, such as pottery, woodblock printing, lithographing, etchings, watercolors, acrylics, and oil painting.  Whenever I can, I take traditional and contemporary quilting classes/workshops from internationally known quilters. I am self-taught in creating book/paper art, making jewelry, photography, and printing my own photographs in a darkroom.  I have used an acetylene-welding torch to create metal sculptures.  Currently, because I couldn't find just the "right" accent embellishments for one of my wall hangings, polymer clay is my latest interest and learning experience.

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What are the "things that you know for sure"?

Photo of "Orchard" art collage by Dottie Gantt
"Orchard" 2004

Interesting question! 

Things I know for sure - I know I like to create with my hands.  I like to explore and learn new ideas and concepts.  I like  merging different "things" together - for example fibers, textures, colors, images, found objects.  I know that art has always been an important part of my life.  I know that I use my art to express myself.  I also know that when I create, I find my own voice without being verbal.

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Photo of "Tillie and Millie" art assemblage by Dottie Gantt
"Millie" of the
Tillie and Millie ©2005
Tea Cup Assemblage

What is Assemblage?
  Artwork created with assorted three-dimensional objects (usually found objects), and often using collage techniques. An assemblage can be sculptural, framed, or self-framed

What is Collage?  Artwork utilizing paper, adhesive, and a ground or support surface to create an artistic composition

What is Ephemera?  Anything short-lived, but also refers to printed matter of passing interest.

What is Melange?  A mixture of objects.

What is Montage?  A collage with the dominant theme or the use of photography materials.

What is Stuff?  Stuff can be   1."The material out of which something is made (substance) ",    2."The most central and material part (essence) ", or 3."Unspecified material"

Please visit our "Melange + Ephemera = Stuff" Art Gallery, which is a gallery of mixed media - Collage, Assemblage, Montage

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All items listed are personal opinions and recommendations by Dottie Gantt. These link and FAQ's pages will always be a work-in-progress. The information will be updated on a regular basis. If you have suggestions, please feel free to contact us. We will review and consider your input. Your input and suggestions are welcomed. All photos are art works by Dottie Gantt unless otherwise indicated.

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Page Last Updated August 21, 2007
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