Monday, November 9, 2015

"Sunflowers" by Judy Garrison Spahn

Sharing a beautiful piece of work from one of my favorite artists today.

"Sunflowers" by Judy Garrison Spahn
Here's what Judy says about her art, "Quilting is satisfying, an escape of sorts, meditative, creative, social, ego boosting. I just do it.  I am a "touchy/feel-y person and fabric is very tactile. I also like making stuff look pretty, whether it's a jumble of scraps or a pile of rocks, or planting my yard in a pleasing and functional way. 

"I love that quilts are both art and function.....which may explain why I stay fairly traditional. I enjoy looking at more avante garde pieces, but my personality is all about "usefulness" and "beauty" combined.  Practical, logical, and producing a useful end result....these are my guiding traits."

"Sunflowers" by Judy Garrison Spahn, 48" x 61",  made in 2001.
Judy has been quilting since the early 1970's, making original design quilts.  Her work has remained rooted in tradition, with hand piecing and quilting becoming a huge part of her everyday life.  Scrap quilts are the norm, as she drafts designs, sews pieced units and uses the trial and error method for deciding what direction the piece will take. 

After making all of the sunflowers, deciding on how to connect them was the next step.  Judy wanted the circles to be set into a background that created the look of a complete quilt top with, perhaps, a checkerboard effect, rather than having the circles turned into traditional square blocks.  Alternating the bold red stripe, the white shirting stripe, and the "tone on tone" red print created the desired effect.   The black, red, and cream rectangles combine to create a bold pattern forming a border that contains the central design area of the quilt.

This quilt has been published in "500 Traditional Quilts," by Karey Bresenhan and currently is on loan for a traveling exhibit.

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