Maybe because I'm always working on something, in coffee shops, when I'm travelling, or just when I have a few minutes to spare waiting somewhere, people often ask me about my work. A website seemed like a natural place to both show my creative work and also to document the process and inspirations that are a part of my day to day. I started to realize, that when I show the latest finished piece, the process and the journey that I took to get there was lost. And for me, the process is at the core of why I do this. I find my greatest satisfaction in experimentation. Certainly I'm not executing a predetermined concept, but rather seeing where it leads me. My work tends to be slow and allows for lots of meandering driven by my never-ending curiosity.
The title, Playing With Colour, captures a lot of what I'm all about. If I bring one thing to my quilting it's a sense of play that I hope infuses my pieces with joy and happiness. I'm constantly delighting in the exploration of relationships between colours. My response to the juxtaposition of different fabric patterns and colours is immediate and instinctive. And I dare say unconventional. Give me a box and I'm going to get out of it.
My quilts are modern and unabashedly dominated by my passion for colour. Clean and graphic. Relaxed organic lines and shapes.
Quilting synthesizes all my creative passions: design, colour, fabric and stitching. It has a long pedigree of tradition that is rooted in purpose. Quilts are in equal measures practical, whimsical, beautiful and functional. My work goes with me everywhere and I find a thousand different occasions to pull a small piece from my bag. In this way, the finished piece has traveled my path and witnessed the world I inhabit. The places I have the good fortune to visit may not always be the direct catalyst for an idea, but they can't help but find reflection in what I'm making.
Even when I'm not quilting, I find I'm reacting to colour combinations all around me.
While it may be rooted in the simplest tradition of putting two smaller pieces of fabric, my quilts emerge unencumbered by convention. It's not random, but nor is it planned out in advance. In my improvisational quilting, I rarely work in a block format. Pieces are sewn together in irregular shapes and I build my quilt almost as you would a puzzle - trying and retrying pieces. If something isn't working, I'll take it apart, cut it up and sew it back together. A ruler is of little use to me, as I prefer irregular organic lines and work without final dimensions in mind. That's not to say that I don't aspire to achieve great craftsmanship. I want my work to be the best I can make it. For me the pursuit of mastery of various techniques, while in service of expressing my creative vision is immensely satisfying.
There is something intrinsically enduring about quilting. Quilts as a medium for artistic expression, are still anchored in their heritage as practical objects from a time when things were made by hand, and perfectly good fabric pieces were too valuable not to find another life for them. At the same time, there is something temporal about the quilt, particularly when it is put to use. The puckering around the stitches after washing, the fading of the fabric, the fraying of the edges - quilts bear witness to a life of usefulness. In the history of the scraps that go into making them, the hours spent sewing them, to the memories they will embody as they pass among generations - they exist and have purpose in the past, present and future.
When I look back I can see the connections. I can see how one thing has led to another and how an earlier effort echoes and builds within the next piece.
In the act of making, there are quiet moments of focus that inspire meditation and reflection. I find comfort in the elemental aspects of the process. But this is punctuated with moments of playfulness and surprise that come from improvisation and a hunger to explore the merging of shapes and colours.