Jean Ray Laury offered this advice, “Avoid looking for magic rules to rely on–you can only learn by working, and your mistakes have as much to offer as your successes. There are no rules, no rights, no wrongs….” Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine (QNM) October, 1994 p. 45
This talented woman is widely acknowledged as a leader of the quilt revival that started in the 1960s. Her wit and wisdom, as well as her unlimited creative energy caught my attention. Jean Ray Laury’s quilts with a feminist message–especially about women’ lives–have inspired some of my own quilting adventures. Her quilt named “Barefoot and Pregnant or Senator van Dalsem” is a 1987 piece which illustrates the sexist comments by an Arkansas senator. This quilt was selected as one of the top 100 quilts of the 20th century. For a quick introduction, visit: https://journalstar.com/entertainment/arts-and-culture/visual/l-kent-wolgamott-jean-ray-laury-retrospective-of-influential-quiltmaker/article_71d919ec-0ad2-5d27-b683-c1d41cf3246e.html
“Do Your Own Thing” is easier said than done! As women and as quilters we often encounter rules and admonishments to “do it the right way”. Setting aside time to experiment and to play is one way to begin to know what really thrills YOU! Finding the time for ourselves may not be easy, but continued interruptions do interfere with creativity.
Exposing yourself to a variety of quilts is a valid way to “educate your eye”. You can see how other quilters have solved particular problems. You may notice new color or fabric combinations that really appeal to you. Taking classes is a time-honored way to expand your skills. However, as Laury suggests, “you can only learn by working”! Make it a small, medium or large quilt–but make it your own!
Final Post of Photos from my Trunk Show at Cuttin’ Up, January 18th
Blue Poppies, my original design, is made of simple squares (cut 5″), and began when I fell in love with two particular fabrics. (If you are curious–I was drawn to the bright blue and the floral print on both sides of the center diagonal.) I had to invent something to feature these two as “central characters”. Of course, without a “supporting cast” it would be a boring quilt. This was my challenge: create a grouping that would be visually interesting and even offer a few surprises when one got close. I cut squares, then shifted them around on my design wall. I soon realized I needed those dramatic nine patch blocks for some “drama” on my stage. Note how the nine patches do extend into the border.
Thank you for your willingness to explore, with me, my passion for creating with fabric. If you would like to take my two session class Circle Play 101 based on the book by Reynola Pakusich called Circle Play: Simple Designs for Fabulous Fabrics call Cuttin’ Up at 479-846-2611. Two sessions: February 8 and 15 from 1-4:00 at Cuttin’ Up. Book included in the $50 class fee. See you next Saturday!