Melanie at Catbird Quilt Studio and Gwen the Textile Ranger have passed the around the world blog hop parcel to me, so I’ll try to explain my relationship with quilting to you by answering the questions below. Feel free to just look at the pictures if I go on too long.
How does my work differ from others?
Since my work is, ahem, sui generis, it’s hard to say where it fits in. Essentially I’m a quilt slut, ready and willing to try just about any style of quilting as long as it doesn’t involve needle turned applique. I don’t do beading, either. Other than those two no-nos, I’m ready to embrace about any technique.
I began with traditional quilts, and fell in love with the possibilities of half square triangles.
I also took up paper piecing as a way to deal with my inability to match points.
I found I hated to follow a pattern exactly, but made adjustments in size, shape and color to suit my whims. That led to drafting blocks, which I think is good training for the math part of quilting.
As I made more adjustments to patterns I found I was creating my own designs using traditional block structures. I find it a lot more interesting to make it up rather than repeat a pattern. I don’t do quilt patterns that require piecing 572 flying geese.
In 2011 that led to the itch to step away from the ruler and take a walk on the art quilt side. That’s been good and bad as I don’t have the crutch of blocks to rely on. Some art quilts have come together easily while others are still unfinished.
Then, when modern quilting burst on the scene with a younger, social media savvy group, I loved that enthusiasm and willingness to ignore rules, assuming the first moderns knew there were rules.
The moderns’ use of bold color and strong graphics drew me into their fold. Then, modern quilts began to look more like traditional quilts, only with cooler prints in cooler colors. And there were patterns, too. Let’s just say the bloom is off that rose, though there’s spectacular quilts being made by modern quilters.
So, my work is a mashup of many different quilt styles. I still occasionally make traditional type quilts, though with a contemporary twist. I think my work is characterized by strong colors and abstract shapes. I hope my pieces reflect my love affair with fabric.
Why do I write/create what I do?
I write because I wanted a record of my work, how it was created, and a handy place to keep links to online tutorials.
Because I found other quilters’ blogs to be such a wonderful resource, I wanted to add my bit. That’s why I blog rather than keep a private journal. The generosity of the online quilting community is astonishing. I can’t believe the advice, ideas, patterns, techniques, and inspiration shared freely.
As to why I create quilts – did I mention I love fabric? I grew up with a grandmother who sewed for a living so I learned the vocabulary of sewing at her feet. Since I already knew many of the techniques and owned a sewing machine, quilting seemed a natural creative outlet for me.
I know some find quilting meditative. I find it exciting and full of suspense. Will I have enough fabric? Have I pushed that color combo far enough? Have I gone too far? Is it edgy or dorky?
How does my writing/creating process work?
You’re supposed to have a process? Actually, I have a compost heap in my brain that spits out ideas every so often. It can be set off by anything from a pile of scraps left from trimming a quilt to a photo to a particular piece of fabric. I’m not given to big idea quilts. I don’t think my brain works like that. That scatter shot approach also characterizes my writing.
What are you working on?
Right now I’m actively finishing up three quilt tops. I have about four tops awaiting quilting, plus several small pieces that need decisions on whether they’re to be combined or sent singly into the world. We won’t talk about the stalled quilts.
Then there’s the “let’s just have some fun with scraps” top I started last week. I’m sure I’ll make adjustments before I start sewing. I tend to work directly on the design wall rather than think everything out beforehand, though I’ve made some really planned quilts.
To paraphrase Marianne Fons, it doesn’t matter what you quilt; it matters that you quilt.
Because variety is the great thing (OK, one of the great things) about quilting, I’ll pass along this blog hop to two other quilters.
First up is Patty The Quilt Lady, who has a unique improv style, the largest stash I’ve ever seen, and an incredible depth of quilting/sewing techniques. And she’s quilter to rock stars. Really.
With her totally different take on quilting let me present Pam at Jump Cut Arts. She was a video editor and now makes quilts by hand. Her quilting process is the opposite of mine (think hand quilting), so I enjoy reading about her thoughtful, more meditative approach. Her photos are lovely as well.