Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jane Sassaman Speaks at NOVA Community College

Last Thursday Jane Sassaman spoke at the NOVA Community College. If you're not familiar with her work, go check out her website or her blog

The lecture was all about the history of Jane's inspiration and how she translates that into art on her quilts. This lecture came at a very opportune time because the first Modern Quilt Guild challenge is to make a quilt based on your inspiration of choice. I've been looking everywhere for something to inspire me but I still haven't found the right source. I keep going back to an Orla Kiely pattern that I love but I haven't figured out how I would like to translate that into a quilt.

The lecture was a lot of fun to go to despite all the rain we had that night. It was quite humorous listening to some of her stories from the 60s and listen to her lovingly talk about her husband's passion for making art from found objects (and his hoarded collections of things in all their spare rooms). I can't say that I remember all of the influences she referenced (sorry Jane!) but what stuck with me is that she said if she can see it, she can make it. If she sees a shape, she can cut it. If she sees a color, she can buy it. If she thinks of a design, she can sew it. These concepts seem so simple but they resonate with me because all too often I rely on the fabric to 'do the work' in my quilting. I select beautiful fabrics and colors that go together...but am I creating art? Somewhat. Especially since I tend to not use patterns and come up with my own designs but I think I can do more!

Ginny took a couple of pictures from where we were sitting but we also had the opportunity to view a few of her recent quilts up close:
The three quilts on the right in the photo above were created by appliqueing solid or hand dyed fabrics onto a base fabric. The green vines on the far right were cut from one continuous piece of fabric. The pink in the tree quilt is a hand dyed fabric that adds so much depth and dimension to all of the roots and the egg shape behind the tree.

Below is a quilt made from diamonds and squares. All of the fabrics she used have a black background so they blend into one another seamlessly and make a kaleidoscope effect.
I think I would really like to try making an applique quilt after the holidays when I am not working on so many projects. It won't be in time for the first challenge but that's ok! It will still be a lot of fun!

Happy Quilting!

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