I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I have been able to translate my love of painting to fabric. Working with fabric - cutting, sewing, glueing, dyeing, painting, batik, surface design of all types - gives me great satisfaction.

I learned to sew on my Grandmother's Singer Sewing machine at age 12. The first outfit I made for myself was a dress and an orange tunic - bold, bright florals and solids.  Looking back I realize my taste in patterns and colors has never veered far from my early sewing days. I am still attracted to vivid colors and bold, decisive design. Simplicity and symmetry are my balance. I used to see this as detrimental, but as I get older, I grow more relaxed about trying to achieve complexity in design. 

The more I have sewn, the more I have wanted to use my own fabrics to translate my messages. As I began my foray into Art Quilting, in order to make a project mine, the fabric needed to be my design. I had been introduced to dyeing fibre while studying at Holland College School of Visual Arts. But well before that my sister and I had often had crazy fabric dyeing sessions where anything and everything was fair game. Our Dad still talks about his hand dyed underwear which got him some strange looks in the hockey locker room!

When my children were small, I would host dyeing parties for quilting friends. I often organized bucket dyeing of team t-shirts and t-shirts for birthday sleep overs. I hosted moms and kids for painting parties where we decorated t-shirts, aprons and pillow cases with hand prints. It seemed I was always searching stores for fabric paint, fabric markers, fabric dyes.....

Today my Mom and I found one of these pillows. My children had painted their hands and pressed them on a piece of fabric and signed their names. I then sewed the fabric into a pillow cover for their Uncle "Gimme". There a lot of mom things I didn't do - like keep up baby books, organize all the growing up photos, keep locks of baby fine hair - but these wonderful hand printed pillows? These are my version of cherished keepsakes.

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