Hilary, by the way, is a fabulous artist living and working in the UK, please check out her work here. You will be amazed!
I was given four questions to answer, so here goes:
What am I working on?
At the moment, I am madly sewing facings, sleeves and labels on 8 or so quilts that I am sending to various shows in the next two weeks. Why, you might ask, do I wait until the last minute to do this important task? Because as much as I love to design, piece and quilt, I ABSOLUTELY HATE to do the finishing handwork. Why do it any sooner than I have to?
Here's the pile of quilts, draped over a chair in my living room, to give you some idea of the depths of my procrastination:
Well, I have the answer to the "why do I wait?" question. Because I'm silly, that's why! I have 2 quilts that must be delivered this week to "Art in the Garden" at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 5 quilts that will be in the Trinity Valley Quilt Show in a couple of weeks, one quilt that must be mailed to Houston this week for the International Quilt Show silent auction, and one tiny quilt that needs to be mailed off to a traveling exhibit. All must be done by Friday. Omigosh, now that I've listed them, there are actually nine. At this point in time, I am wishing like mad that I had had the foresight to do the finishing work a little sooner.
I've also spent the last month working on a quilt that can't be photographed. I am entering it in an exhibit that insists that the work has never been shown on the internet, so all I can show you is this:
These are the fabrics I used. Murky, huh? But I am very happy with the quilt, and look forward to someday showing it off.
I've also just finished two projects. Tuning Fork #23 is 18" x 23", and is ready to go to Houston for the silent auction. Please note, it is COMPLETELY finished. I finished the hand sewing yesterday.
I can't wait to quilt it, but I am forcing myself to wait until I finish all of the facings. Sigh.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think it is a little different. Many quilt artists do intensely pieced quilts, but there are several things I do consistently that make mine different.
Firstly, my work is almost always asymmetrical. I like to flow the pieces of the figure across the background.
Secondly, I love to play with value. My backgrounds are often graded from light to dark or vice versa.
Lastly, I love to play with scale. I love mixing large scale pieces with very small scale pieces.
I think you can see all of this in Tuning Fork #11:
Why do I create what I do?
I love to piece. I really really love to piece. I have been quilting for 34 years, and I have tried many many types of piecing, appliqué, surface design, etc, but I always come back to piecing.
And I always wanted to be an artist. My parents forbade me majoring in art in college, for some reason they felt that I needed a degree that would enable me to make a living, but I have always felt compelled to create. And I am fortunate enough to be at a point in my life where I can focus on art. I am a full time studio artist.
I also am lucky enough to have learned from some of the greatest art quilters around, Nancy Crow and Lisa Call. They have both helped me get to a place where I can create art that makes me happy.
What is my creative process?
Generally, I start with a color palette. I love to choose the fabrics, colors and textures for a project. And I love to choose gradations of values in each of the colors I have chosen.
Once I have established the color palette, I make a very general plan. For example, in Tuning Fork #12, I decided that the colors would flow over the background from upper left to lower right. And I decided that the background would grade from dark to medium values of black, gray, red violet, blue and brown.
And then I start to make tuning fork blocks. Lots and lots of them. I make background blocks first, and stick them on the design wall, and then I start making the "figure/foreground" blocks and stick them up. So after a week or so, it might look like this:
And then I start sewing sections together. And continue making new blocks to fill in the sections and to maintain the flow between colors:
Finally, here is the finished Tuning Fork #12. I quilt most of my work this way -- very closely spaced straight (more or less) lines. I love the way they look on the surface of the quilt.
And on to the next hop. On September 8, three quilters will post their contributions to the hop!
First up is Maria Shell from Anchorage, Alaska. Maria is an abstract art quilter who does the most intricate piecing and quilting. Check out her work here -- it's fabulous!
Next is Jay Dodds, the "Creative Crone from studioQ." Jay is a fiber artist from Texas. Her work is fabulous and her blog is always a fun read. Click here to read it!
And last, but by no means least, is Julia Graber. Julia is a quilter and fiber artist from Mississippi who does exquisite work, and you can see it here.
I look forward to reading their posts, and learning about their processes and their latest work!
I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Richard and Tanya's Quilts Link a Finish Friday, Friday Fabric Frenzy, Confessions of a Fiber Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday. Go see all the wonderful work there!