My lovely blogging friend from Alaska Maria Shell tagged me last week in the Round the World Blog Hop. I discovered Maria’s wonderful quilts through Pinterest and wrote to her when she posted a photo of her marmalade cat Kato who looks much like my dear departed Rufus. We have become email/blogging friends and I hope we might meet at Quiltcon. Go take a look at her stunning work which is intricate, bright, colourful and truely unique.
What am I working on?
At this time of year I am working on gifts for friends and colleagues for Christmas such as quilts, table runners, aprons and potholders. I haven’t been able to post them yet as WIPs as some of the recipients read my blog.
I’m also still in the midst of making baby quilts. About 18 months ago when one of my young colleagues was expecting her first child I made her a quilt, not knowing that within the next 12 months another four colleagues would also become pregnant. Once I had started the trend I felt I needed to continue, so I will be finishing two more baby quilts during my Christmas break.
This is the front of the latest – the colours are much brighter than shown in the photo.
I hope to be able to make some things for myself after I return home from QuiltCon in February as I’m sure I’ll be brimming with ideas and inspiration. I’m really looking forward to the workshop with Gee’s Bend quilters. I’d like to experiment with different techniques without any specific purpose in mind.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
As a relatively new quilter – I made my first quilt in 2012 – I’m not sure if I can say I have a distinctive style as yet. I do however, love bright colours, using solids and designing my own quilts. I enjoy making things which have a purpose rather than just being decorative, although this may change in future when my skills have improved and I feel that smaller pieces could be viewed as “art”. Lately I have enjoyed “upscaling” blocks for some of the baby quilts and have enjoyed this process.
To me the joy in the process is about the colour, the design and the piecing together, not the actual quilting, so I prefer minimal quilting.
Why do I create what I do?
I have a busy, and at times very frustrating, full-time job, so playing with colour and fabric is a way to relax. I also enjoy creating something that gives others pleasure and comfort. I think that many people in our modern world have lost touch with those who are “makers” and they are often almost overwhelmed at receiving a gift that has been made specifically for them.
I learnt to sew from my maternal grandmother and sewed most of my own clothes when I was younger. I also had a small part-time business selling hand-woven textiles from around the world to support women in developing countries, and I have a love of anything to do with textiles, and quilting is one way to express that.
How does my creative process work?
Most of my quilts thus far have been gifts, so I usually start with the person in mind – such as their favourite colours. I’ve discovered that I’m not really a “block” person, particularly if they are small. I find them too fiddly and my precision is always off as I seem to be naturally wonky! As a result I tend to improvise. I did a one day workshop with Gwen Marston last year and I found her truly inspirational.
I know I should sit down and carefully work out all the measurements etc, but I don’t. I have a general idea and then pull out fabrics to play around with the colour. I then start cutting and piecing and putting pieces on my design wall which is where I really feel that I create. It’s where my ideas, shapes and colours come together. Unfortunately the only space I have for the design wall is in my hallway which is dimly lit, so I often take pieces out to my apartment balcony to check colours. I’m hoping to install some better lightning in 2015.
I enjoy abstraction and look to modern art for inspiration. Colour is my key interest. I have a large personal library of books on textiles from around the world and often look through them for inspiration.
I’ve found that quilting has really caused me to “see” things differently, for example I now look at things and think about angles and shadows.
I take photos of strange things like rubbish bins and footpaths which have interesting patterns and then study the design features.
I also look at Pinterest and read blogs to see what others are doing.
I am tagging another email/blogging friend who is another wonderfully talented and creative quilter from Switzerland Maryline Collioud-Robert whose blog is written in English and French. Once again I found Maryline through Pinterest and contacted her to say how much I loved her work. Like me, Maryline is fascinated by all textiles, fabrics, embroideries, etc and she fell in love with quilting when she was 18.
Maryline exhibits and also teaches workshops on colour theory and quilt design. You can find details on her website.