September 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Thanks to Cindy of Live a Colorful Life, it's now my turn on the Around the World Blog Hop.
Cindy and I will be roomies at QuiltCon and I'm looking forward to meeting her in person for the first time after spending the last couple of years getting to know her as part of the Mid Century Modern quilt bee. I'm ever so grateful that she invited me to be a part of the MCM bee because I have gotten to know so many wonderful quilters not to mention make some great blocks.

What am I working on?
Seems like an easy enough question doesn't it? Yet I find it hard to put into words since I'm working on lots of ideas and designs with little to show for it in terms of sewing. My studio cabinet doors are covered with sketches as I contemplate which quilt(s) I can get done in time to enter in the QuiltCon show. I was lucky enough to have two quilts in the 2013 QuiltCon show (you can see them here) but I didn't get go. This time I am going (yea!!!) and would really like to enter something. The deadline looms so I need to make progress from sketches to real sewing very very soon. Are you going to QuiltCon? Do you plan to enter a quilt?

How does my work differ from others?
The main thing I bring to my work is my sense of design. I almost always make a quilt from my own original idea and believe they have a strong graphic quality to them even when they are block based. As a matter of fact, I love designing a block and then exploring all the possibilities for how it can be used. Another aspect of my style is color which is usually bright and saturated. The final thing I might mention is my love of large scale prints . . . especially from the Kaffe Fassett collective. I love the color and the riot of activity a large scale print offers. Many of my more graphic concepts are well suited for solid fabrics and I do love the look of an all solid quilts. But once I've worked with solids for awhile, I'm drawn right back in and need a strong fix of prints to feed my addiction. One last thing about my style is an interest in sometimes using traditional prints like batiks and florals in more modern, unusual ways. I've got to find some way to use up my older stash.

Here's a glimpse at some of my work both old and new.

All solids make for great bold, graphic compositions.

All prints make for a riot of visual activity. This is where I'm most at home. And the second quilt shows the variety within a single pattern design which is another thing I love about designing. Same design, same arrangement, just a different fabric application.

Here are some traditional fabrics used in a bold new ways. 

Why do I create?
It's who I am at my very core . . . a designer first and foremost. I have a graphic design degree and over the years felt drawn toward quilting which provided the opportunity to combine color with printed pattern to create designs in fabric. My husband and I recently went to Taos, NM to visit the galleries and get a little art fix. During one conversation I commented on how I love to photograph nature and yet those photos don't necessarily translate directly into my quilting. In other words, I don't make art quilts from my photos. But nature is very inspiring to me so I found myself wondering why it doesn't make a more direct correlation to my quilt designs? Later in the trip I finally made the connection  . . . it's a matter of composition and it does impact my quilting. I'm always composing when I take pictures. I love the details, the line and shape, the color of what I see. I do the same thing when I design a quilt. I play with a composition using line, shape, pattern and color. Sometimes that inspiration might come from my photos other times another source like fine art. I guess that makes me a composer which is certainly ironic because I know nothing about music.

Here's one such composition from our trip . . . do you know anyone who photographs a garden hose?

How does my creative process work?
You could sum up my process this way.

  • I play. I play on the computer way too much designing and manipulating to see all that's possible. This exploration is also part of what I include in my patterns because I really want you to explore the options that a given design might hold. I also play with fabrics to see how they speak to me. I'm trying to spend more time with the fabrics and less time on the computer but it's hard. Guess I'm addicted to both. The computer is my sketchbook and I could seriously play all day.
  • I consume a healthy dose of dark chocolate on hand at all times.
  • I consult with my colleagues.

This is me playing with fabrics . . . this concept will hopefully become a new pattern next year.

This is me playing with the design possibilities of an idea on the computer.

These are my design colleagues. I am fortunate to have several . . . 

Sometimes one of them has a strong opinion . . . 

Other times they just don't pay attention . . . 

But I can always count on these artistic consultants and am grateful for their input and support . . . 

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know a little more about me. It's been fun thinking about these questions and has given me a chance to reflect on what I do and why I love it.

To continue the fun of going Around the World, I'm nominating Stephanie of Venus de Hilo. Stephanie was one of my earliest followers and blogs from the lovely Hawaiian tropics. We share a love of color and Kaffe Fassett. In her bio she says; "I like intense prints (the kind with 18 different color dots on the selvedge), bright colors, bold design, and in-your-face color and pattern combinations. I get a kick out of exploring new possibilities with traditional blocks and methods, combining them with current fabrics and bold colors in unexpected ways."  I couldn't have said it better myself. Can't wait to meet Stephanie for real at QuiltCon.

I am also nominating someone very very close to home, my daughter Emily of Emily Claire Studio who just started blogging this year about her jewelry and living the creative life. I'm hoping she can spread the blogging fun into another creative area beyond quilting.

Emily and Stephanie will be posting next Monday, October 6. I hope you'll visit their blogs and keep the journey Around the World alive. And thanks again Cindy for inviting me on this blog hop.

If you've read this far, thanks. I know you've probably already read plenty of these posts and no doubt may have participated in it yourself. I don't know the background of this hop other than it's been going on for awhile. It's a really fun way to share a little about yourself plus meet and get to know more about other like minded bloggers . . . so enjoy the journey.