A few weeks ago I got another one of my favorite emails, a customer email with photos!
Heron by Sally Papin
18" x 36"
Sally Papin is an artist who works in several mediums. She created this beautiful Heron wall hanging using the Abundance gradient. You can see some detail shots of the wall hanging on the Etsy listing.
Sally agreed to let me introduce her to you.
First, would you tell us about the inspiration for this new piece and how you went about creating it.
I spend a lot of time with my photography and out at a National Wildlife Refuge called Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Sherman, TX. My favorite time out there is right when the sun comes up and the birds and wildlife are really active. I feature some of my photography on my photo blog and my Flickr site.
When the light is right and the sky is just a bit overcast the most amazing colors emerge and mirror reflections on the water, and its this that gives me ideas I can use in my fiber art. The cranes and egrets are the most fun to watch, they are great fisher’s of anything in the water. I use to try and use more bland colors for my birds and backgrounds but in the last couple years I have been adding more and more color.
How did you get into fiber art and quilting? I am a big lover of textiles and came from a spinning and weaving era in the 1980’s. I had big floor looms, 2 wheels and loads of fleece and silk I carded and spun. I hated leaving that behind, and so I eventually found myself years later exploring fiber arts with fabric and pictorial quilting with raw edge appliqué. One little swatch of fabric can take me in a direction I didn’t see coming or something I have had in my stash makes me think – Oh this would be so fantastic used in a certain way.
What inspires you? . I love taking photos and re-creating ideas in fabric. I can use photos as part of my art which has led to ideas like a trio of Lemurs (see photo below). I have done several sets of trios of various subject matter but it really takes something special that works with long and skinny to accomplish the look I am after.
I am also inspired to create something that is attractive and fun to a wide range of people while being affordable. I created my signature look called Slice Of Life, a long skinny slice of a scene. This serves a couple purposes for me, allowing me to indulge in the graduated fabrics which make my ideas have more depth and a long skinny size easier to quilt by hand on a domestic machine and fit in more people’s space on a wall. The size also keeps your eye moving up and down to different atmospheres of the landscape, climate or daytime.
Do you find that you lean toward certain color palettes?
I don’t seem to really have a color palette that cries out to me, but a piece of fabric will draw me in and eventually an image comes to mind that would be lovely on it. I wish I could say I was an earthy color person or a pastel person, it would make life so much easier. My friends think I am the odd ball of the quilting world as I have very little stash, in fact probably less than 10 pounds! I gather fabric based on one idea for a project. When I had the Lemurs in mind, It took ages to collect greys, blacks, whites and all shades in-between before I felt like I had enough to begin, but I had that background fabric! So I treat myself to background fabric and then 1/8 or ¼ yards of fabrics in colors I need.
Wood Ducks (left panel)
How can we find you on the web? I keep my blogs under http://windyglenquilting.blogspot.com and http://shutterbugok.blogspot.com and I sell my art on Etsy under the shop name of Timelessdog. From time to time my work gets showcased on The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson’s section called Quilt Of The Day. The latest were the Wood Ducks, The Humming Bird Garden in Yellows, and the Pink Hummingbird panel, but many more have been spotlighted, I just never seem to remember to post it.
Wood Ducks (right panel)
Do you teach and if so, where can we find information about your classes? I use to teach but do not offer this any longer but love to mentor any who ask. I am self taught in the fiber world of spinning, weaving and quilting. One thing I always say to people is to create what you like in the colors you like because first and foremost you have to like it no matter what others think. Once that is accomplished you give that work of art its courage to be shown off proudly even with mistakes <G>!.
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.
I am always excited to see what customers make with my fabric so you can imagine what a great day it was to receive this in my email.
It's called Orange Sunset and was made by quilt artist Rene Iannarelli. She used the Navajo gradient. I thought it would be nice to get to know Rene a little better and I asked her to spend a few minutes with us today.
I've sent you to see the art of Gene Black before. In fact one of his paintings was the inspiration for the very popular Transcend fabric palette last fall. He is a fearless artist and will try anything and use all kinds of materials. He's definitely not afraid to cut into any of his fabrics and that's what he did with some shibori fabrics that he got from me.
This photo is only a sneak peak but look at how he used the shibori patterning for the tulip blossoms.