Friday, November 27, 2009

Back to My Roots

Paper Quilt


I made this printed paper and fabric quilt about a month ago based on a class that Melanie Testa taught using recycled items such as cardboard, string. corks, etc. I love printing on paper and fabric and do it a lot with the mixed media collage class I teach.  The individual blocks were machine stitched together then layered with cotton batting and back. The binding was hand stitched and I really want to add some hand stitching in a circular pattern (what else!) but that will come some evening over the long cold winter when I have some extra time.

I have sewn for my whole life starting at about age 5. My Grandma Smith was an excellent seamstress but I don't remember her teaching me. I just picked up a needle one day to make some clothes for a doll and later taught myself to use a sewing machine when I was 12 and started making clothes. 

Quilt making came later when a friend taught me the basics of traditional patterns. This was back in the late 70's to early '80's when Art Quilts were just getting their start and I felt the calling to design my own quilts. I had quilts in a bunch of shows but soon tired of the labor intensive process and abandoned quilts in search of a more immediate process. This led me to being an apprentice at a handmade paper mill and making that my main medium for a number of years. Slowly I incorporated found objects into my work and they eventually won out over the handmade paper to become the stars.

Coming full circle I started playing with fabric again about ten years ago making much smaller quilts that didn't take as much time but were still incredibly satisfying to make. I probably have at least 20 small to medium sized quilts in various stages of finish that I will one day exhibit together. It's funny, I still have people from when I was known as a quiltmaker that ask me how my quiltsmaking is going and soon I can say, "really great and I'm having a show at......."


deb said...

I love your quilts, I am never happier than when I am sewing something, my mum taught me before I was even in school and I've never stopped... I'll sew anything!! Glad you're back, looking forward to lots of new posts.

Liz Curtin said...

Hi Deb, It's so good to be back and thanks for the compliment on my quilt. It sure was fun to make. I'll take a look at your blog to search out your quilts.