Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My First Quilt

     I realized that this my 104th post! I missed celebrating my 100th. So I'll take the time now to reminisce.      
     About 14 years ago, I was shopping for a comforter for our bed and couldn’t find one that I liked. A quilt shop, Quilt Shop of DeLand, had just opened up in our town and I was walking by and stopped in. I asked if it was difficult to make a quilt, and Judy, the owner, said she was offering a weekly class at night on how to make a sampler quilt that would be a perfect way to start. So I decided to take the class and make the sampler for our window seat in the bedroom and then later make a quilt for the bed to match. I had an old Singer Touch and Sew Machine from the 70’s and the class was a machine sewing class.
     I bought the book to go along with the class, Start Quilting with Alex Anderson and fabrics under the direction of Judy. I remember her telling me that such and such a color would make it “pop”. She was right about all the fabric choices. Now I know that I was choosing light, medium, and dark values. And I was choosing some complimentary colors, too. But at the time, I had no art training and had no idea about those terms or concepts. I just followed the directions of the book and her advice. Both were excellent. I still visit the shop whenever I need advice on color choices or just the right fabric.
     I found out then, that I was a rule breaker, though. We were supposed to put on one border and I put on three. Not much of a rebellious act, but a hint of my stepping out of the box tendencies to come. I think I did a very good job with the piecing and making the quilt top. But I did a terrible job quilting it. I should have just done stitch-in-the-ditch, but I tried to get fancy and do free-motion when I had never done that before. My stippling on that quilt is pretty ugly. But it sits on the window seat with pillows covering some of it, usually with some clothes on other parts of it, and two cats often sitting on it when we’re in the room so the quilting isn’t noticeable. Here’s a photo of it in its home with the pillow covers I made to match it.

Sampler quilt with pillows
     As for the bed quilt, I never did make it. I eventually found a comforter that played well with the sampler I made. And as for my sewing machine.... well, Judy had art quilts hanging in her shop, and a few years later I saw an issue of Quilting Arts Magazine with a quilt by Laura Cater-Woods on the cover and I said "I want to make those!" So I bought a Bernina, started taking taking workshops, read everything I could about art and art quilts, and started a new chapter in my life. 
     If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve been working on building a cohesive body of work. Here is a photo of the latest quilt in that series with rock cairns. It’s almost completely made with my monoprinted fabrics. 
Rising
And here's a detail photo of it.
Rising detail

      I’m amazed how much I’ve learned over the years and a lot of it is from the generous sharing of other bloggers. I hope, when I show you processes on my blog posts, I show you enough detail so that you can learn from me, too. I still do love traditional quilts and would like to make them, but there just isn’t enough time in a day to do it all. So for now, my main art love and focus is with making art quilts.
I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find more art quilt blogs. Please make comments so that the artists know that you stopped by.
     By the way, this post is part of a contest from Quilting Daily. If I win, I get to choose five prizes from the Interweave store. These are the five prizes I've chosen:
1. 12in x14in Gel Printing Plate  (as you know I make most of my own fabrics from gelatin monoprinting now and I'd love to try the commercial plate)
2. The book  Mark Making  ( I'm really getting into hand-stitching and would love to learn more)
3. The book Mixed Media Technique for Art Journaling ( I don't really do art journaling, but I could apply some techniques to fabric and it would be fun to go through the exercises in this book.)
4. The book Journal Fodder 365 (It has 365 prompts and exercises that seem fun to do that I could apply to my designs on fabric, I'm sure.)
5. The DVD Texture Transformation Stitch Alter Recycle (I love the art of Natalya Aikens and would love to learn some of her techniques.)
     The contest winner is announced in mid-April so we'll see then.
     

    

14 comments:

  1. Ahh yes! I can very much relate to your story of how you came to art quilting. The new piece shown here is very lovely. Beautiful colors!

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    1. Thank you, Terri. Yes, art quilting has a way of drawing us in.

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  2. Minor rebellions have their purpose. And an intuitive knowledge of value is a real asset, something to build on with theory.

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    1. I've always had a rebellious streak in me. I'm a what if person.

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  3. I love your "first quilt" story! And, seriously, "Rising" is a wonderful piece!

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    1. Thank's, Heather. I appreciate your comment about Rising. I put it up for sale on my website, but at the same time I'd kind of like to hang on to it for awhile longer, too.

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  4. Hi, Regina. You demonstrated well the possibilities of creativity and growth when one gets into quilting. I had to look up "cairn" in the dictionary. Lovely piece, very subtle.
    best, nadia

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    1. I first came across rock cairns when I was hiking in 1984. Until then, I had never encountered them or heard of them, either. I took many photos of them then. When I started art quilting, I knew I would use them in my art someday.

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  5. I've led a similar path to art quilting. Keep up the good work!

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  6. I love your story of how you came to quilting and subsequently to artistic quilting! Your quilts are such a subtle statement -- I am on my way to check out some previous posts and to take a look at your Etsy shop too!

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    1. Thank you, Susan. And thanks for looking at my Etsy shop. I keep my smaller things there. My art quilts are on my website reginabdunn.com

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  7. Much as I love your work, what really surprised me is that you live in/near Deland! My mom lives there and I'm very familiar with Judy's shop. We're down every year...maybe next Feb. we can meet for lunch! Small world...

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    1. Definitely put it on your calendar to get in touch with me next time you are here. It'll be fun to get together. Yes it is a small world. I grew up in Michigan and I see you are from Michigan. Bring me down some Blue Moon ice cream from Stroh's if it's near you. LOL.

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