Sunday, August 30, 2009

Taking Classes

Soon, I realized there is a parallel universe in quilting -- the universe of Art Quilts. These people didn't seem to care about matching points, following patterns, or making stuff from kits. they were "anything goes", "let's try it" and if the results were less than perfect, who cared!

My kind of people!

So, I began taking classes from the ones who taught and starting learning lots about creative stitchery, painting and other new techniques.

My first teacher was Carol Watkins -- a fiber artist living in Boulder, CO. She taught a 6 week class at the Art Student's League of Denver and I learned about free-hand cutting and piecing, stamping, free motion stitching, and numerous other techniques that fiber artists use to create their art quilts. It opened my eyes up to the possible.

I started making lots of art quilts. Here the first art quilt I made using my own design and the technique of free hand cutting. It's called Moonlit Rockies. I also stitched freehand, following the curves of the pieces.

After it was done, I decided to enter it into a local "shop hop" contest since I had never done this before and low and behold, it won first place! I was shocked! But the best part was, I got a check for $200 as my prize.

This changed everything for me. First of all, it made me think I might have some talent in this new "hobby" of mine. Secondly, I found that the clerks in the local quilt stores started to call me by name (was I getting famous?) and thirdly, I realized there could be a way to pay for all my art supplies -- entering and winning contests.

But it was a much longer time before I actually thought of myself as a real "artist". In 2006, I was still fooling around and thinking my fiber art was just a hobby.

Here's a close up of the machine stitching in this piece.

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