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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fear, Quilting "green" and introducing a new Art Quilter

Since it is Halloween night...well, theoretically it is Halloween night, but since it's after midnight, it's really All Saint's Day.... but I thought it might be fun to talk a little about fear and quilting.

Not too long ago, someone on the Artquilt message board posted about fear and quilting...thinking that you and what you produce just isn't good enough. This creates blocks and also in most cases prevents others from enjoying your work.

I was surprised at the number of really well recognized quilters who acknowledged this feeling of insecurity. I think that we all have moments, but we need to take that blind leap and just try.

These pieces are by Joan Sterr. Joan has been a member of the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network for just over a year, if I remember correctly. When speaking to her a little while ago, she said that she felt that she wasn't as experienced or "as good" as some of the other quilters in the group.

Now mind you, I quilt with some very good art quilters. Sometimes the work is so breath taking you really do feel that there is never anyway you could live up the their work. But...why should you? You're you. You should be quilting in your style and finding your own path.

The other aspect is that we will never be as good today as we will be tomorrow. I have always felt that the day that I didn't learn something new or better my ability in some area was the day that I would be six feet under pushing up daisies.

These two charming pieces are what I call Joan's "green quilts." Joan made these using raspberries to dye (or rather stain) the fabric. In addition, she used some black dyes and some more of the stain with commercially available stamps of Queen Anne's Lace.

She was quite clever in using fancy paper clips with beads for the little flowers ont he bottom....or maybe they are from the scrapbooking section of JoAnn Fabric's, but I swear I've seen similar ones to these at Staples.

In addition to using the natural berry stain, Joan worked on these while at a camp. She used her Singer Featherweight hooked up to a solar panel to provide the electricity, so she was green in the sewing of the piece as well...although I recognize that she could have been just as green by stitching by hand or using a treadle sewing machine.

I find Joan's work here charming. Tomorrow, I'll show you another piece which is just exquisite.

Please share what you think about Joan's pieces in the comment section and I'll pass them on to her. She needs to know that others think her pieces are wonderful...not just the crazy old goose.

I like the simplicity of this piece and I wish you could see the quilting better. She used a tight echo quilting but didn't do the whole piece, just the areas right around the flowers.

Here's a close up showing the stain and the bead and thread work she used on it.


norma said...

You may tell her that these are wonderful. I especially like the raspberry stained flowers with the beads.

For Quilts Sake said...

Just wonderful! I also really like the close up of the raspberry stained flowers and beads.