I’m a Quilter, a Textile Artist and I create art from Fabric. I’ve been doing so for the past 45 years, first as a Fashion Designer and then as a Quilter. The main tool for my art is fabric but as an Australian, we don’t have a history of fabric manufacturing so it is imported from countries all over the world.
When I first started learning the intricacies of Quilting, I could go to the shop and buy a pattern, I poured over the American magazines, and wonder of wonders, we began to produce fantastic Australian magazines. The new fabrics coming into the quilt shops captured the imagination.
We take many the things for granted. We had it all. Everything that I needed to do my craft but imagine you are in a non english speaking country. Where do you find the necessary equipment and instruction.
But lets take a step further.
I was one of the first Teachers to teach in Mexico. In 2007 My husband and I just happened to be going there on holiday and I searched online for a Quilt Guild and voila, there it was a small guild in Mexico City. My contact was met with inquisitiveness and the guild asked if I could teach them a small project. And so it began.
The image below was on the following teaching trip in 2008.
Mexico has become a huge influence on my art, and the art 0f Quilting began to flourish.
Even in those first years the ladies wanted to do my most difficult classes, and they did it with great flair.
Quilt shops began and fabric was bought in from the USA. But think about it, how frustrating would it be to try and learn quilting with no instructions written in Spanish. Imagine how hard it would be if you had to have everything translated just so you could learn a craft. That’s the way it was in the beginning in Mexico.
Each one of these images taken on that trip became the theme for a quilt.
Everything I saw in Mexico inspired me, the color, the texture, the smells, the sounds and the art. I think I’ve been there every year since 2007.
I’m not saying that I have had an influence in Mexican quilting, but it certainly has an influence on me.
Quilting had become a huge recognised Craft in Mexico now. Our worlds meet over the machine now and my dear friends Eduardo and Lourdes Ramirez have shared the quilts of Mexico to places like, France, Russia, Houston, even Alamagordo NM. They are the movers and shakers of the Quilting movement in Mexico and I applaud their efforts.
But that’s not the whole story.
I have the opportunity to teach all over the world and in a few weeks I’m about to embark on a trip to Costa Rica, Mexico and then on to India, Dubai, Oman and a few other places.
Lets take India.
Oh India, the home of fabric. Unlike Australia, cotton is grown, spun and dyed and decorated in any number of ways. Fabric lies at the heart of the ancient economy of the Indian sub continent. The weavers and dyers of early India elevated it into an art form. But how much to we know about Indian fabric in Australia, England or the USA? There is no doubt that it is the oldest of traditions, reaching back into antiquity.
I am in awe of the art of India.
Kantha, Appliqué, embroidery and quilting have been in India since the 6th century. But now there is a movement into the quilting arts of the rest of the world, I have a vision of sharing my ideas on textile art using modern technology.
Mr Aditya Gupta is presenting this opportunity in Delhi to Indian participants from the 3rd to the 6th of March I will be teaching three of my own techniques to the ladies. Laurie Tigner will be teaching Quilting on the Handi Quilter. It’s a great honor.
I feel rather humble, my techniques for creating textile art are so different to the masters in India, but it will be a fusion of ideas, a fusion of culture and possibly the beginning of new techniques.
I was in India recently and these are some of the processes of creating fabric that we were able to be part of.
It’s long, laborious, many are home based workshops and then we buy the fabric without even thinking of the origins.
These people were dying with Indigo.
This fabric was washed and hanging in the fields to dry after printing.
I’m excited at the prospect and with advent of the internet, with Facebook we can share the process, share the growth and the excitement of taking our Textile Art to India.