What a nice way to finish up the year with an Around the World Blog Hop! I will jump right in and answer the questions for you.
What am I working on?
Well, December for me is traditionally a month for making gifts for others, doing some charity quilts and finishing binding or sleeves . The holidays make things busy at our house so I use this time to clear up and clean up the studio to start fresh next year and jump back in to work right away on December 26th or 27th. I am working in a new series called “Time Fragments” which involves my hand dyed fabrics and line work. I can hardly wait to get back to it.
I am also working on machine quilting an improvisational sampler that I made for a class that will teach in January at a new sewing studio called Stitched Studios. I haven’t work with commercial prints in eons so this was a bit of a challenge for me. And I separated all the sections out with sashing so the students could see the different techniques.
improv sampler for a class
Improv class sampler, 72×72
Not at all what I am use to doing, but I am super excited to teach again. I feel a sense of responsibility to teach others this craft so they , hopefully, have a desire to create art of their own.
Why do I create what I do?
I love the feel of the fabric. I love the texture of the stitch on the fabric whether it be sewn by hand or machine. I love the definitive cut of my ruler to design. I even like the gratification of a frustrating piece that I seemingly unlock the puzzle of. And the color -oh the applying of the color onto the fabric with dyes-it just really does it for me! I can’t stop and its a part of who I am -my hands, my heart and my discerning eye all coming together to create a quilt. Nothing better-other than my family, of course.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I make abstract improvisational quilts which you can see in my website gallery here. I consider my work part of the abstract improvisational genre of studio art quilts so my work has some of the same characteristics of those who have taught me. I am proud of that. But, at the same time, I am a “young” artist seeking my own voice amidst the crowds. I have been quietly working away in silence the past year to have a strong and courageous voice that I can shout from any mountain top . I think I may just have found “me” in this quiet phase of working silently – fine line work interspersed with large shapes and bold colors. I am working in a new series called “Time Fragments” and I am wildly excited about it. For now, I am not doing much sharing of it but I will show you when I have lots of work finished .
How does my creative process work?
I usually start with a photograph or a simple sketch as an inspiration and pick a pallete of colors I would like to work with.
Then I free hand cut and sew what I call elements and make each piece as beautiful as I can.
I place a few elements on my design wall , move them around incessantly and obsessively until I have a broader vision of what the larger composition will be like .
And then lots of sewing occurs sewing even more elements together. I may have 2 or 3 pieces in process at one time. If I get stuck on one piece , then the other one is up in cue. There is always a piece in process. Finally, a new composition is made after many hours of design.
Rooflines #14 awaiting facing
To get all theses wonderful saturated colors, I dye my own fabrics.
Processing the fabric in the barn
I spend the summer hand dyeing my fabrics so I have a stockpile of fabrics to work with during the cold winter months. I absolutely love this part of the process. When the dye hits the fabric and you now have color- it just really jazzes me up to spend hours in the hot sun creating such beautiful color. Isn’t that how all people spend their summers?
Lighter neutrals on the line
The entire process of making a quilt in this improvisational manner has become a very cyclical and rewarding process for me.
How does this blog hop work?
I was recently tagged by Maria Shell.
Maria and I initially met at the Crow Barn and have taken several classes there together. The last class involved lots of laughs at night and much hard work for 2 weeks. She did a fantastic job of sharing who she is as an artist and how she creates-prolifically and without any holds barred- Maria produces lots of beautiful art. Thank you Maria, my friend!
Now, I will tag 2 artists whose work I admire. And they will answer the same 4 questions and tag a new artist or two for you to discover.
1. Beth Berman : I have been following Beth Berman’s blog titled Sewsewart for many years. She is relentless and brave in trying new surface design techniques and is very generous in sharing her process. I can only imagine her fabric stash as each piece of fabric is really beautiful. I made a journal cover using her Best Ever book cover post here.
From Beth Berman’s desk today
From Beth Berman’s desk today
2. Barb Mortell : Barb and I also met at the Barn and she was my roommate for 2 weeks at the last Barn class. I have to admit I was worried about a roommate I have never met before. But I have found a lifelong friend in Barb. Even though we live in different countries, we have kept in contact with each other and spurring the other on when the art gets hard. Barb has a new love of making spoons which are very popular amongst the locals on Denman Island. Check her out at her blog House of Bug .
Barb Mortell’s spoons
Barb Mortell’s piece titled Unruly
And they will answer the same 4 questions and tag a new artist or two for you to discover. If you trace backwards through this Hop, you really can learn about many artists, their processes and their art.