In this new showcase I’m featuring four Modern Quilters that you will love!
Though I’ve sewn clothes and household items since I was a teenager, I didn’t begin quilting until 1987, when at the encouragement of a friend, I took a class at a local quilt shop. Fabric was cut with scissors, and every stitch was done by hand. There were precise ‘rules’ about every construction detail, and I followed them closely for years. It wasn’t until 2011 that I discovered modern quilting, began to let go of all the rules, and to try new things. I’ll never forget the first time I made a quilt out of all-solid fabric – I felt like I had really stretched my wings.
All sorts of things inspire me, but lines and other shapes are key, whether they are in nature, architecture, or other objects. Finding a little escape from the day’s work is what usually sends me to my sewing and it doesn’t take much to keep my interest.
If pressed, I lean to cool colors, but no color – or non color – is off-limits for me. I like to play with unique combinations, neutrals, as well as wild and scrappy. It’s all fair game.
I’m especially fond of improvisational piecing, playing with scale and asymmetry, and creating modern twists on traditional designs. Wonky shapes make me very happy and I often use them in my work. I also enjoy focusing on a specific improv technique in a quilt, such as organic stripes or triangles, or making a large piece just to cut it up and reorient it. Discovering what a piece will become as I create it is about the most fun of all.
Eighth grade art class introduced me to art and I haven’t been the same since. I went on to graduate from college with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Art, but it was being at home with children that pushed me into working with textiles, eventually leading me to explore dyeing and patterning fabric.
For several years I worked primarily as a fiber artist and was lucky enough to be included inshows and publications among including Visions, Quilt National, and Fiberarts: Design Book 7.
Fast forward a few years and my focus shifted to making more functional textiles, designing fabric for Moda and Robert Kaufman Fabrics, teaching and lecturing, and writing two books,Color Your Cloth: A Quilter’s Guide to Dyeing and Patterning Fabric and Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration.
I’ve designed for a host of other craft books and magazines and taught workshops across the country as well as online via Craftsy and CreativeLive.
Of late I’ve been drawn to designing and crafting one-of-a-kind quilts for clients and resale as well as creating hand dyed fabrics, both quilting and apparel weight, for other home sewers.
I use an ancient process to create modern fabric ideal for patchwork or garments. I love the intensity and luminosity of color this method affords. This saturation is created by soaking the fabric for long hours, often overnight. Add to that, these fabrics retain that rich hue even after many washings. Corny as this sounds, I think it’s kind of magical.
Color and simple, clean design are the hallmarks of my work. I want every choice, every element I include in my pieces to communicate clearly to the viewer.
I come from a family of quilters in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. We have family quilts dating back generations and my mother took up quilting during the quilting revival of the 1970s. When I was a teenager, my cousins and aunts made wedding quilts for each member of the family each contributing a block and it was my first personal introduction to quilt making. Searching for a creative venture outside of my work as an Emergency Medicine physician and inspired by the modern art movement I started making quilts about 15 years ago. My first quilt was a Kaffe Fassett quilt kit I bought off of Ebay. Since then I have been drawn to making quilts with meaning and using and developing new piecing techniques that makes quilting feel more spontaneous like painting on a canvas.
‘I have always made things, but I really began sewing about 10 years ago when I joined a good friend whose mother was teaching her to make a quilt. We started several sampler ‘monthly block’ quilts. My 3 kids were still very little and I had very little time to myself and lost interest quickly in the precision of cutting things to size and matching up points. Several years later I began again, but this time I just sewed things together, without a pattern and without a plan. I had discovered several books from the library on art quilting that provided me with so much inspiration. I joined The Modern Quilt Guild, and soon, all the quilt guilds in my area. I have met so many amazing people through quilting, all who have been so open and supportive of my non conventional ways. I miss seeing my sewing friends, getting together and sewing and chatting, solving and sharing. . .
At about the same time I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and ‘You Are a Badass’ by Jen Sencero and my journey to becoming an artist had begun. Books became my art school and I read obsessively about creativity, art, and artists. Having studied and practiced architecture I have always loved art, but nothing peaks your interest like realizing you are an artist. Fast forward to today, I sew everyday, my work is my art and my art is cloth and thread, quilted and embroidered. This is what I do, it is who I am. I continue to push myself to play, create and experiment with layers of cloth and thread and I don’t see my love, passion or interest ever fading away. I think as quilters we can all relate to the moment we fell in love with the process, this is definitely what happened to me!