This week I had the privilege of taking a workshop with and attending a lecture from the incomparable Jane Sassaman. Both were really inspiring. Jane is a contemporary quilt artist, Free Spirit fabric designer, author and internationally lauded teacher extraordinaire. The quilt above is called "Willow". It was named one of the best "100 American Quilts of the Century" and is featured in this PBS documentary. Her work is graphic and characterized by strong color and lots of subtle surface embroidery.
Below is a detail of one of her sample quilts showing how she uses standard machine embroidery stitches to both embellish and actually quilt her pieces... Jane encouraged us to explore our machines' capabilities in ways that would never occur to me before. She also taught us several unique methods of using tailor's lightweight interfacing to add body to our pieces and aid design and composition.
Here is the description of the class I took:
"Suns and Moons is a machine appliqué workshop based on the circle motif. Using Jane’s appliqué techniques and experimenting with our decorative stitches, we will begin by making a series of colorful fabric discs which will then be arranged into a dramatic and contemporary composition. "
Here is what I came home with. I still need to play with all the elements removing some and adding others. When I am pleased with the arrangement I will embroider and quilt my little sampler like crazy...
I learned so much in Jane's class and from listening to her speak. It is hard to convey how fascinating it was to hear about her influences and inspirations specifically the Arts and Crafts movement and see how she visually translates the minutiae of life in her garden into her work. What you don't read about in her CV is how incredibly warm and generous she is. I left with a serious "art crush" on her. Heads up to all you Southern Hemispherers. Jane Sassaman will be in Australia for the next month. She seems to travel exhaustively so wherever you live on this planet you can find her at some point. Can't recommend taking a class or attending a talk from the divine Ms. Sassaman enough. Am now on the hunt for a copy of her first book which outlines her artistic process and techniques in more detail...