Although enchantment with fabric seems to have always been a part of my life, I began my quiltmaking journey in 1985. Today, I look back at the development and exploration of my creative process. Even in 1985, the adapting of traditional time-honored designs and techniques was significant. Somehow, even then, I experimented, finding my own way, my own song, my own work within tactile dimensions. From that moment on, this became my Hard ‘n’ Fast Rule: find out the rules and determine a way to break them.
I honor diversity.
I celebrate new approaches.
I challenge concepts.
To stretch the rules and locate fresh boundaries is my desire. By approaching quiltmaking this way, I embrace technical skills while not allowing techniques to overshadow image.
I am a colorist who intuitively responds to the joyful way colors intermingle. I require vibrancy to speak out but never shout, yet boldly sing. That song is interpreted in fiber, strings, strong design and intense vitality of color.
Here is a look at my quilting workspace…
I love hand-dyed fabric, or commercials that look hand-dyed. I adore having them arranged and color-coordinated. However, when I work, this place is never organized and there is fabric all over the floor. This image is a photo-op that wasn’t included in the book, Vivacious Curvy Quilts, just released in October. It took me weeks and weeks to clean up these shelves and durn, the image wasn’t used! I am so glad to share it with you so you can enjoy all of my work. 🙂
Design wall, large surface ironing board, and OLD iron that won’t shut off (thankfully)… although I cannot tell you how many times it’s stayed on overnight.
I thought I might share a good teaching story. There have been many funny things that have happened, but one incident stands out above all others. Always, there is great laughter, chaos, mayhem, and terrific fun in my classes. Here goes:
Sarah***, a very talented hand-dyer, was working on her lovely piece designed with many shades of brown (from deep chocolate to taupe, sand, peanut, etc.) with greens (olive, forest, mud, camel, etc.), an array of purples with black and white accents. Truly, it was beautiful, but as she noted, it wasn’t quite singing the way she wanted it to. She asked, “what would you do?”
Silly girl…because, as everyone knows, I have the coloring sense of a first grader, so I went straight to an explosive color that most folks thought didn’t belong within her palette and cut an unblock (definition: a 4-sided figure with nothing equal, no right angles, no parallelograms). She saw what I was doing and said, “if that color works, I’ll kiss your butt!” Everyone in the room heard her and was now focused on her work space, wondering what would happen if the intruding color might actually be an acceptable addition to her piece, and…
I pinned the hot little reddish-orange-pink unblock into place. Walking to the front of the room, turning my back to all the students, I then bent forward at the waist, smiling at Sarah with anticipation.
Next thing, she was right there, kissing me on the behind, Everyone lost it laughing, but especially Sarah and me. BTW: we are now very special friends.
(Sarah’s name and her chosen colors have been changed to protect the innocent. Everything else is true.)
Dianne is teaching the following classes at the 2011 AQS Quilt Show and Contest in Lancaster, PA, and she is also co-hosting the Quilter’s Fun Night (#42202) with Bonnie Browning on Thursday night! They will definitely be more colorful than these photos when you see them at Fun Night!