Friday, March 2, 2012

Why Create Art?

   Why do people feel the need to create art? We’ve been doing it since the beginning of time. Of course we began with line drawings on cave walls using charcoal, but still we felt the need to express what we saw around us. As the ages went by, we got better at it and found more mediums to use,(although I’ll have to say charcoal drawing are still a beautiful medium to use). I started out drawing and painting but as I grew into myself, I found I needed something more dimensional. I tried all sorts of crafts as I was raising a family and of course I had been sewing since I was a small child, mostly clothes and toys. For about five years I was a Mosaic artist and I loved the 3 dimensional aspect of mosaics, but it was hard on my hands and my back! It wasn’t until I started quilting that I really found the medium I wanted to work with, thread. 
   Thread comes in every color imaginable. It can be shiny or matte. It can be thick and it can be very fine. I even have thread that is invisible! Fabrics are woven threads and very easy to manipulate into the shapes I want. I took classes from quilters that shared some of their knowledge with me. I read every book I could find about quilting and I practiced and practiced.
My first quilt, Mountains thru the Trees
   I look now at the first real quilt I made, as it lays across our bed. It is tattered and torn and well used. I used cheap fabric that didn’t hold up to the test of time, nor to my puppies, who insist on romping across it, but, I learned more with each quilt I made. After I felt I had mastered the art of piecing a quilt I started to learn how to actually quilt it. At first, I had taken my quilt tops to professionals to have them quilted. I hated giving up control of my art work to some one else and they never quilted them the way I envisioned them, so I learned to quilt on my machine. 
   I had a great teacher, she was knowledgeable and sure of herself, and we became friends. I stared working at a quilt shop, going to more classes, and even joined a quilt guild. My wonderful husband, Jess, surprised me one day with a brand new, top of the line, Bernina sewing machine! The machine I had been using was over 20 years old and no matter how I tried, it would not free motion quilt! Now armed with my dream machine I went to work! 
   It was shortly after, that Ellen Anne Eddy came into my life. I had bought her book some time before and had marveled at her beautiful thread paintings, never dreaming I could do anything like them. Then my guild had her as a speaker. I was there with all my friends from the quilt shop, (they all knew how much I admired her work) and when she was done speaking she announced that she had one spot open in a 2 day work shop she was giving in town. I wanted to go so bad but I was scheduled to work that weekend. My friends all insisted that I go to the class and they offered to cover my shift! They didn’t have to twist my arm much! That was the beginning of my journey into the world of thread painting. A world with endless possibilities.

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