Tuesday, October 9, 2012

More than "Just a Quilt"

At our September meeting, Jennifer Ley treated us to a trunk show of quilts that showed us quite a bit of her journey into this art. She began by showing us a beautiful, traditional, appliqued king-size bed quilt -- Dresden Plate was the pattern and the colors were the warm earth tones so popular in the 1970s.

Jennifer realized she had a talent for the quilting, but wanted . . . a little more, so she entered a "wearable art" show with a dress, hat, and purse inspired by the beach and the sea. She never did "just a quilt" again.

Jennifer embellished her dress with shells, beads, elaborate stitching, and three dimensional design. (the Jelly Fish just above the waist on the right is a shimmery translucent fabric with ribbon tennicles.)

Hem detail
The perfect purse
Sandy couldn't resist wearing the Sand Castle hat that completed this top to bottom, sandy beach to ocean depth, ensemble.
After the dress, the quilts kept coming out of the truck, each one more spectacular than the last. One was a tall bookshelf -- with favorite books, potted plants, family photos, even the cat sitting on a stack of books on a lower shelf -- just like a bookshelf in anyone's home -- but this was . . . a quilt. My camera could not begin to capture it.

Jennifer combines artful piecing, applique, painted fabric, and sometimes photographic reproduction to give her quilts their vibrancy. And she quilts them herself.

This quilt was made for Art That Works' 2011 show of work inspired by Charles Towne Landing. Jennifer's piece came from a photograph of a thatched roof.
Identifying information and dates are unknown on many older quilts so Jennifer and many modern quilters go to the extra trouble to label their work for future generations.

In the last part of our meeting, Jennifer taught us a few of her tricks for adding beads to a quilt, keeping even curved lines smooth and even.
Jennifer had prepared 3-layer quilt squares, threaded needles, and a supply of beads for each of us. Even the youngest ones jumped right in.

Pretty nifty!
An inspiring program to be sure! Jennifer has had pieces exhibited in several national quilt shows, was part of the North Charleston Arts Festival with the Art That Works fiber group and has won awards in local and region quilt shows. She currently teaches at Stitch n’ Sew in Mount Pleasant, SC. To see more of Jennifer's stunning work, see her Marsh Isle Fiber Arts blog.

It should also be mentioned that "Show & Tell" at our September meeting was Awesome! Since our last meeting in June members have been busy and so-o-o creative. Many had combined vacations or travel with art workshops and/or projects. Anita Sloane attended Carolina Fiber Fest in Raleigh back in May and she was the lucky winner of the drawing for this wonderful sheep to shawl project.
As an accomplished knitter & new weaver, Anita attended Carolina Fiber Fest in Raleigh NC in May. She was the lucky winner of this beautiful handwoven shawl in twill made from hand spun wool.

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