While I am working on my Paula Nadelstern quilt my customers have come to my rescue to share their great work here on my blog. Today I want to introduce you to Linda Swanekamp. I think that Linda and I share similar quilting personalities. We both like doing some art quilting but are probably traditional quilters at heart. I've shared this quilt of Linda's before but wanted you to get to know her better. We "met" when she asked me to dye the blue and green fabrics for this quilt.
First, would you tell us about the inspiration for this quilt and how you went about creating it.
The black and white quilt was started in a class where I wanted to learn how to do triangle piecing. I had to use the assigned pattern, but wanted hand dyes to set off the black and white commercial prints. I did learn how to match the pieces well, but I wish the quilt could have been more original. I was thrilled with the colors that we worked out and that you custom chose for me.
The newest quilt- the denim lily. This is original. I saw Hollis Chatelain at a tour day at Quilting by the Lake and saw her quilts. I bought her pattern to get the instructions, but I designed my own quilt. It uses denim in value shades, stitched together side by side on freezer paper, then layed over hand dye fabric, batting and backing. Then all the denim is machine quilted in colors. Last, the zig zag seams in the denim are cut out revealing the hand dye like stained glass. I had lots of issues with getting out the freezer paper, cutting the seams outs without cutting the hand dye, and keeping all the fabric from bunching up. I love the look and need to figure out how to make these bigger without the issues I had. I will use brighter gradient hand dyes. Instead of using denim to bind the quilt like Hollis, I used your hand dye blues to make a skinny binding which I think looks terrific.
How did you get into fiber art and quilting?In the late 70s and 80s, my mother in law and grandmother in law were avid sewers and taught me how to quilt with an art edge and a recycle bent. The rainbow quilt on my blog I started then, just finished recently. I ran my own graphic design business, raised two children, and then taught public school art so I had zero time and energy until two years ago (left teaching). My influences back then were Jean Ray Laury and Michael James. I had difficulty with new sewing machines, found vintage ones and have not looked back. I love color and texture which takes me to batiks and hand dyes. I can't believe how much difference rotary cutters and plastic rulers make! I try a lot of different art quilt techniques and I make lap quilts ongoing for chemo patients which is a great joy.
What inspires you?
God's creation- landscapes, florals, colors and textures closeup, juxtaposed and recombined
Here's another quilt that Linda made with some hand dyed fabrics and fabrics from her stash.
Do you find that you lean toward certain color palettes?Well, I know I don't like low volume prints, medium value fabrics alone, but good value structures that have something unexpected that make it pop. Values are the whole key. I used to try and hammer that in my students. If your values are dynamic, it will be great no matter the color.
Do you teach and if so, where can we find information about yourclasses?
I am still a humble learner. I could teach techniques to my guild, but there are so many out there better than me. I have taught some tangle and drawing classes, but not quilts.
Thank you Linda! Be sure to visit Linda's blog. She always has fun projects underway and has a great love affair with vintage sewing machines.