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!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Inspiration comes in many forms and when I was a stay at home mom, my inspiration came mainly from my children. Trying to keep chaos to a minimum, yet still feeding my creative urges, I found that fabric was the best canvas I could use. I began using more and more of my son and daughter's drawings as the focal point of my art quilt pieces as I incorporated various methods and techniques. I distinctly remember many more traditional quilters expressing dismay that I used wonder under and a glue gun to achieve the effects I wanted! Add clay embellishments, ripped fabric tassels, braids, beads, paint and shells and some weren't really sure how to be polite about their remarks!

I did create a small collection of fairly distinctive pieces and was asked to display them as part of a quilt show in a small community near our town. This was a big honor for me to be asked to show my very non-traditonal pieces, especially at a very traditional show! I stayed up almost all night finishing bindings and hangers the night before the pieces were to be transported and hung.  At this point, I don't think I necessarily considered my work art quilts; I didn't really have a way to classify them. As far as I was concerned, I was creating small quilts that honored the talents of my children, encouraged them in their creative pursuits and let them know how much I valued their input into my life.

Over the years I have been glad I kept these pieces small. As life passes I seem to gather more and more items that hold meaning and memories. And as I age, I realize I want to keep less and less to look after and organize. As my husband says, less to hold you down. (The words of a man who thinks everything he needs should fit in his backpack!) But, I have also found the next generation in our family doesn't feel the need to keep things for sentimental reasons. They all live in smaller homes, or are in transient stages of their lives, and they want less to worry about and less to carry with them. 

So, when I keep my art pieces small, I can store them in drawers and display them on table tops until the day comes that perhaps my son or daughter might want to add one or two to their own collections. Keeping work small has also allowed me the opportunity to try multiple techniques without a huge time commitment. 

                     This is a piece based on my then 4 year old son Gabriel's drawing of a snowman. It measures approximately 18.5 sq inches.


  1. Love that piece Jen! Very artsy, colourful and expressive:):) I know it is also beautifully and carefully crafted :):)