Sunday, June 14, 2009

My First Art Quilt, QBL 2001


Psalm 1:3 - "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." 36" - 36"

Its funny what leads us to create art. There were hints all through my life, but the final shove was in 2001 when a good girlfriend asked me to teach art at a summer program she was creating. I told her - I don't do art. She laughed and said - Ohhh you'll be fine. The next thing you know, I'm sitting down and creating different art pieces the kids could try.

So when it came time to chose a class at Quilting by the Lake 2001 (Morrisville, NY), I signed up for a design class rather than a technique one. The class was taught by Joan Colvin (who passed in 2007). She was an amazing artist and teacher. She explained her method of looking at photos for inspiration and then creating a version onto a batting/backing. She had us just freely cut with our scissors into the fabric to get the shape we needed. Then we pinned it up onto the batting. So for 3 longggg days, I cut and shaped, cut and shaped. I remember sitting on a gym floor with fabric all around me in little piles. By the end of the week, the piece was well onto its way to being finished. I was actually a little shocked that I could create what my mind's eye saw. Joan had us sew it all down to the batting/backing with a little zig-zag stitch and nylon thread. Then with the help of a couple of new friends, Phillipa Naylor and Christine Fries, I learned to add free form thread work.

The whole process was very far from what I had been doing. I had been working on a lot of traditional work up to this point and liked (and still do) to work by hand. To use my sewing machine to do something other than a straight scant quarter inch seam was liberating.

I never did hang that piece in my house - don't ask me why. But I did show it last year locally where it was sold. I thought I would miss it, but now I'm glad someone is actually enjoying it.

2 comments:

  1. I also prefer design over technique. I haven't actually taken any classes but I do have lots of books on the subject.

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