Wednesday, July 13, 2016

artist: Jessica, quilter

Like many crafters, I have lots of projects in the works.  One of my current projects is a personal little photo essay, if you will, on artists and craftsmen.  This involves finding such people, and then convincing them they should be photographed.  (This has proven a little more challenging than I had expected.  I think many artists have a difficult time sharing or explaining their process.)  The idea for this project came simply from my appreciation of all the people I've encountered over the last five or ten years who, like me, enjoy making things with their hands.  I've met everyone from dyers and spinners to car fabricators, wood workers, painters, and more.

Of course, I am not the first person to think of this.  Check out the Craftsman's Legacy for a fascinating video series on everything from handmade clocks to long bows.

I'm working a little closer to home, though, with Jessica, a quilter.  Jessica heard about my project through a mutual friend, and inquired over email whether I had photographed a quilter yet.  I had not, and we made a date.  

I showed up at Jessica's studio expecting to snap some pictures and chat a few minutes.  However, as often happens, I really enjoyed the visiting, getting to know a little something personal about another human, and craft.  I stayed a couple of hours while she answered all my questions about her process, her inspirations, her own projects.  Jessica teaches, and quilts for hire; she has an extensive fabric stash, which comes in handy when students need just the right contrast.  After I'd wandered around taking pictures, she said, "I saw you found my reds."  Did I ever!

I also loved her thimble collection, which reminded me of a dear friend who was also a thimble collector.

Amazing blocks and quilts poured out of piles, racks and boxes: blocks just pressed, and blocks to be pressed; and bobbins and fat quarters, quilts on walls and quilts on chairs... blocks on tables, ready for assembly, and fabrics auditioning for the next quilt.

Jessica encourages all her students to make or contribute to a Quilt of Valor.  

After teaching students to piece blocks and quilt tops, they often ask her to do the quilting on her longarm machine; she showed me her queue of upcoming pieces, and gave me a demonstration.  Beautiful work.  To be sure, I walked away inspired.  Perhaps my quilting muse has returned after all these years.  Hmm... to be continued.  Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your beautiful work, inspirations, and smile!

For more pictures of Jessica and her work, you can look at the whole album here
For more on my series of craftsmen and artists, check here.

What inspires you?  Do you find you rub elbows with makers in unexpected ways?  


Thimbleanna said...

Oh So Fun! You know how we love a good quilter LOL! Jessica looks like she's a lot of fun and a very busy quilter. And YAY -- I hope your quilting muse is back!!!

Julie Crawford said...

oh wow, such beautiful photos! Looks absolutely amazing, and such detailed work.

Janet Reese said...

Jessica is a very dear friend of mine. I am always amazed at her talent.
I am not a quilter like Jessica, but a seamstress. Her work is absolutely amazing. And a personality to match her amazing talent.