I designed and made this small tiling quilt (12 inches square) to honor my friend from Tehran, Iran. I was inspired by the intricate tiling patterns found in the architecture of Iran, most of it dating back hundreds or more years. Tile making in Iran dates back to at least 1250 B.C. I designed 3 different block units that coordinated in size and could interlock in a design: a diamond, an elongated hexagon or lozenge, and a star. After machine quilting the top, I added glass beads by hand to make this wall piece sparkle. This is one of my favorite quilts.
I have been making quilts and working with fiber for a long while. Like many quilt/fiber artists, I started out by making traditional quilts, coverings for beds and babies, and couch throws. Wall hangings and quilted clothing followed. Somewhere along the way, quilting became a way of breaking through boundaries and expressing myself artistically.
I started adding embellishments to some pieces. Handwork is relaxing and portable. You can add richness and texture that can’t be added by machine, like hand embroidery, beadwork, and buttons. I do most of my work by machine but handwork lets you pause and think. With a sewing machine you tend to rush through things and not live in the moment.
Journal pages are the quilt/fiber artist’s answer to art journaling. The size of a journal page, they let you experiment with new ideas or express a feeling. They are often embellished but not always – they can be painted, stamped, or written on. Journal pages offer a lot of freedom when quilting can be a very precise and labored activity.
This small quilt was made in response to a call for artist entries by prolific author Patti Digh that I saw posted on Facebook. I put a lot of thought into this and did a number of sketches/ line drawings to come up with the design. I found a special round abalone piece in a bead shop that was perfect for representing the abstract body of an angel. I was so thrilled to have my artwork accepted for her book, The Geography of Loss. The piece is about losing someone special from your life so that they are now far away.
I am a member of a small art quilt group called JAM (journal quilts and more) and the group has monthly challenges so that we can stretch and grow. One of the challenges was to make a round quilt and it was a lot of fun coming up with something that worked in a circle. My round quilt represents the striations of the earth.
Printing photos on treated fabric opens up new possibilities. It gives you the opportunity to repurpose your artwork, honor a dear friend’s cultural heritage, or create a family memorabilia piece. It feels like I have just scratched the surface.
I designed this simple jewelry pouch after seeing and making a more complicated one with a gusset. This is an easy way to experiment with crazy patch piecing and embellishments reminiscent of the Victorian era. I had a lot of fun making this piece and plan to make several as gifts for special friends.
My mother taught me to sew. Mostly I taught myself because she found it difficult to teach someone who was left handed and did everything backwards as she called it. They made me write with my right hand when I went to kindergarten but that does not change you from being left handed. I adapted and am ambidextrous for some things. I cut with scissors with my left hand and rotary cut with my right hand. I can paint with either hand.