Have you ever met an award-winning quiltmaker who didn't know how to sew? Well, here I am. Of course, calling myself an award winning quiltmaker is completely tongue-in-cheek. The truth is, I can barely thread a needle and it takes me about an hour to do that. Sure, I've got a couple ribbons and maybe eight quilts under my belt, but they were all a big challenge to make because I never had much formal sewing instruction. To me, the quilts felt like outsider art, and I had no complaints about that.
|"House of Wonky" 2012, Viewer's Choice|
Small Wonders Challenge, Sisters, Oregon
|"Wild Eyed Susans" 2013, Honorable Mention|
Small Innovative, Pacific West Quilt Show
|"Oregon July" 2014, quilted by Jolene Knight - click on photo to enlarge|
|Michelle Freedman shows me how to piece at Modern Domestic PDX|
|citrus wedges fabric I designed using Spoonflower|
|sashing and cornerstone repeats designed with Spoonflower|
|composite photo made from first block, sash and cornerstone sample|
|antique pieced quilt, an inspiration for my "Fruity Beauty"|
The "Fruity Beauty" project is basically cheater fabric designed as blocks, sashing and cornerstones without all the elaborate piecing. It is a postmodern, digital-age spin on historic quilts. I came up with the idea as a way to create an impressive looking New York Beauty quilt without having advanced skills. There is cutting and piecing involved, and precision is important, there's just not as much as there would be with a traditional New York Beauty. Michelle pointed out that Modern Quilters do not often include traditional sets of blocks with sashing and cornerstones in their quilts, and mastering these elements is harder than it looks. She's right about that, but with her guidance and great information, I did pretty well matching up corners.
It was a good time to learn how to sew, and I am enjoying the one-on-one instruction with Michelle at Modern Domestic. It's like being back at art school with a friend in another department, and in fact we both went to art school in New York at the same time. She was at Parsons studying fashion design with Tim Gunn and I was just blocks away at School of Visual Arts studying photography with Andy Grundberg, then photography critic for the New York Times. Sewing is a whole new thing for me, another process-oriented practice, and no longer a spectator sport. I thoroughly enjoyed working on my own project while learning how to make it work.
"Make it work!"
Where have I head that before?!?