|Black and White Desert|
What draws you to working in fiber art?
I have made things with fabric since I was a wee child. My first projects were clothes for troll dolls. They were in the Fred Flintstone style, very primitive, and finished all raw edge. I was way ahead of the raw edge finished movement! I have been working with fabric for so long now it is just part of who I am.
I made clothes in high school and college, but stopped when clothes became so inexpensive it didn’t make sense to sew them any more. I took up quilting to continue to have a use for fabric I wanted to buy. At the same time I was painting and drawing as a hobby. Somewhere along the line these two activities merged and my art is now mostly made with fibers.
I am inspired by the works of Patt Blair and Grace Errea. I usually make art to create a permanent record of a place or memory.
I like to create representational art with fiber. This can be a landscape or still-life image. I love nature and beautiful things I have seen in a natural setting inspire me. I also like the dark and light contrast of buildings in cityscapes, and have made several art quilts of buildings.
Techniques and Process
I prefer to use fabric collage or paint an image on fabric. I am definitely not a fabric piecer. I love my HQ Sweet Sixteen Sit-down machine for quilting and can’t do without it.
To make an art quilt I make a small scale drawing of my image and then enlarge it to full size on paper. That full size sheet becomes my “pattern” for the quilt.
I do not have a formal art education, but instead have taken several adult education classes. My formal education was in Chemical Engineering. That is what I did for a living, art is what I do for me.
I teach classes in beading, embellishing, and making cityscapes with recycled men’s ties.
See more of Eileen’s quilts on her website.