I’d like to introduce you to the Special Quilters series I’ve recently started. These posts (marked with SQ in the title) share stories and inspirations from special quilters that I’ve encountered. The series started with Dianne Firth and How I Quilt and today is the next from Dianne Firth’s presentation on break throughs…
What I’d like to share today is Dianne’s observations about the breakthroughs that she has made in quilting over the years, and as you read, wonder about your quilting journey and “what has triggered you to start, change or modify your approach to the quilting, sewing or textiles?”.
To put this in context a bit, Dianne Firth started quilting in the 1970s and has been a prolific quilter for many years. There is some encouragement in these breakthroughs for those of us who are newer to this passion and some reassurance for those who have been on this journey as well J. What I find interesting is that some of these transitions come about from tools, others from new techniques and still others from the people encountered along the way. So here’s the break throughs.
- In 1993, getting a sewing machine with walking foot – a Pfaff hobby matic 935. This is still the machine that Dianne works with on her dining table today, having never been able to convince herself to part with it or replace it.
- Tear the fabric instead of cutting it. This gives much more flexibility and fluidity to the shapes and removes some of the invisible boundaries created by a pair of scissors and neat edges.
- Fabric Dying. Again this gives flexibility to get the colours and textures for Dianne to turn her vision into reality that commercially available fabrics cannot always fully support.
- Adding texture by using netting, leaving holes and generally challenging the definition of a quilt as an opaque square or rectangle with binding.
- Creating collaborative quilts for sharing with the community. As part of the tACTile Group in Australia, Dianne has shared in creating quilts for display that are flexible in size and shape so that they displayed in many different spaces as well as transported easily.
Sound like an interesting journey, it certainly seems that way from Dianne’s passion, inspiration and attention to detail in her quilts. Although I thought she summarized this journey well when she said “the world isn’t flat, you need fluidity in quilts”. It seems Dianne has chased fluidity and flexibility in her quilts. Next post I’ll tell you about where some of the inspiration for this has come from.
Finally, I gather from comments and clicks on the first post that some people are discovering Dianne’s work for the first time. If you’d like some more background on this fabulous Australian quilter, you can read her latest official biography and in a coming post I’ll be adding photos to the next SQ post showing the collection of quilts that Dianne brought along to her presentation for the Quilters Guild of NSW at Goulburn. So watch this space.
Happy wondering and stitching.
PS: Keep an eye out for the SQ series. More stories coming soon from another event in Goulburn this weekend….