I recently got juried into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and with that came an opportunity to have my work represented in their eight locations across New Hampshire and a solo exhibit this summer at the Eversource corporate headquarters in Manchester (more on this as soon as I have confirmed the dates). I’ve been going through my inventory of quilts pulling pieces to be a part of the exhibit and it struck me how much my work has evolved over the last seven years…
My very first quilt that I made in the “coloring book” style was this “Tutti Frutti Triple
Decker” quilt. I remember being in the studio making this quilt like it was yesterday – I had fused all the buildings, window and door pieces in place, quilted it but it felt like it was boring and it needed something else to make it pop. I looked at the sketch I had done of it and realized that I had pretty much replicated it exactly the way I had drawn it with the exception of the drawn lines and that’s when I decided to outline everything with strips of black fabric. And so my journey began and I jumped right into my second quilt, “Tutti Frutti Village”
Both of these quilts went to the International Quilt Festival in Houston that year (2012) and the Village quilt won an Honorable Mention ribbon. That ribbon felt like a stamp of approval, a validation that I was on the right track and more good things were on the horizon. And indeed they were. I went on to win several more ribbons from IQA in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018.
Since making Tutti Frutti Village in 2012 I’ve made a lot more quilts in this full color style
and they’ve all been a lot of fun to create but by 2017 I was beginning to get a little bored and felt that the work was getting a little stale. So I decided to take a break from working in full color and made “Moon over Concrete Jungle” – I really like this quilt but by the time I finished it I knew that working completely without color was not going to hold my interest for very long. So I broke from my usual way of working again and made “If I Were a Tree”. This quilt was very different for me for a
couple of reasons – it had a white background and I used batiks instead of working with my own hand dyed solids. When I look back now I can see that making this quilt was a pivotal moment in the evolution of my work. While it’s not the best quilt I have ever made either in style, content or design it was the use of the white background that got me headed in a new direction. Although I have created a couple of full color quilts over the last couple of years (my two Graffiti quilts) I have worked almost exclusively with a white background. The emphasis in my work has been focused more on the use of line, composition and design to draw the viewer in than the use of color.
and my latest quilt in progress…
I think my black and white series work has a more refined sensibility and the use of color is used as an accent rather than a focal point. I know that even this style of working will continue to evolve too but for now I will continue to explore, refine and push the boundaries of my techniques and materials and see where they take me next!