Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thanks, Gig Harbor Quilters!

"Garden Gone Wild" by Sherrie Spangler.
Raw-edge collage, feathers, yarn, painting, beads, machine quilting.

My trunk show for the Gig Harbor Quilters guild was a few days ago, and what a fun afternoon that was! One of my friends took about 200 photos and presented them to me on a disc. She gets all the credit for the photos here, although she apologized for the warm tint. I like the effect because orange is my favorite color, which you can tell from the quilts and my dress. Thanks, Sheila!

"Winter Twilight Spirits" by Sherrie Spangler.
Painted, raw-edge collage, machine quilted.
Guild members took turns holding up my quilts, which made it easy for me to point things out. Thanks, guild!

My unfinished Lone Star top from the mid -'90s.
I'm afraid to quilt it.

I wanted to give them an idea of how I got started, way back in 1980, and how I progressed through various stages up to my current fascination with painting and layering sheer fabric. I made this Lone Star top when I moved to Texas in 1994. I still haven't quilted it because I'm afraid I'll screw it up.

"Storm Trackers" by Sherrie Spangler, from mid-'90s.

"Storm Trackers" is another one from my Texas days. I learned to paint fabric at a Jane Dunnewold workshop at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, and this is one of the first quilts I made using fabric that I painted myself. It's based on the traditional block called Hole In the Barn Door and Monkey Wrench, among others.

Detail from "Searching for the Light" by Sherrie Spangler.
Hand-painted and stamped silk, cotton and some commercial fabric.
Machine quilted.

Later, I started painting silk organza and layering it to create more depth. I entered this one (above) in a regional artists show at the Freeport Arts Museum in Illinois and beat out all the painters and sculptors to win 1st place and my own solo show. So go forth, fellow fiber artists, and venture beyond quilt shows.


Shameless bragging about my article in the Fall 2005 Quilting Arts,
"Not Bound by Tradition." 
It was an opportunity for shameless bragging about my magazine and book articles. (I was a journalist before I was a quilter.) In the Fall 2005 issue, Quilting Arts Magazine wrote about The Three Muses, the little art quilt group I belonged to in Illinois. In conjuction, I wrote a separate article called "Not Bound by Tradition" about unconventional quilt edges.

One of the Muses, Julaine Lofquist-Birch, has a really fun blog at The other Muse is Bonnie Saxby. I can't say enough about the value of forming your own little art quilt support group. Thanks, Julaine and Bonnie!

Here's my project that was in Lark's "Creative Quilting With Beads."

This small fiber and beaded heart project was in Creative Quilting With Beads. The yoga girl in the background, made largely with flattened Hershey Kisses wrappers, was the February 2006 calendar girl for the Quilting Arts Magazine calendar. I went through a long Hershey Kisses phase where I bought every color in the name of art.

One of my favorite quilted jackets, from almost 20 years ago!
I used to do a lot of wearable art, like this jacket. That was in my Kansas stage back in the early '90s when I was learning a lot of techniques from the local sewing store. It's amazing how many garment techniques can be used for art quilts -- pleats, tucks, facings, piping, gathers, buttonholes, zippers. Thanks Bernina House of Manhattan, KS (since closed)!

"The Purple People Celebrate Summer" by Sherrie Spangler.
Painted, raw-edge collage, machine quilted.
I'm in a prolonged Purple People phase. A long, long time ago I found some fabulous purple batik fabric printed with these dancing purple people. I bought a few yards, and they have been popping up in my quilts and garments ever since.

Two versions of "Julia," with my daughter's photo copied onto fabric.
The quilt on the right was for the 2007 Journal Quilt Project.
An invaluable motivation for me to develop my skill set was the Journal Quilt Project started by Karey Bresenhan of Quilts, Inc., as an exercise in creativity to encourage quilt artists to stretch and grow. Printing photographs on fabric was something I had wanted to do for years but was hampered by my technophobia. The Journal Quilt Project was the impetus to get over my fear and just do it, and that's how I made the quilts above.

I participated during all four years of the project, and Karey actually bought my first set of Journal Quilts for the Quilts, Inc., collection. Thanks, Karey! 

"To Weave or Not to Weave" by Sherrie Spangler.
Hand-painted, woven, machine quilted.

Another great motivator was belonging to PAQA (Professional Art Quilt Alliance at when I lived in Illinois. They had numerous challenges, such as the one where we had to make two quilts based on the word two, or to, or too. The one above uses two colors (pinks and greens) and the title uses "to." The one below uses "too" as in "Too Much Fun." Thanks, PAQA!

"Too Much Fun" by Sherrie Spangler.
Mostly hand-painted fabric, collaged, beaded, machine quilted.

"Transparent Nine-Patch" by Sherrie Spangler, 2010.
Hand-painted silk organza, yarn, lame, sheer backing.

My current fascination (besides embellishing with hand embroidery) is using layers of hand-painted silk organza and other sheers. "Transparent Nine-Patch" is one of my favorites.

Detail from "The Chocoholic's Food Pyramid" by Sherrie Spangler.

So thanks again, Gig Harbor Quilters, for giving me a reason to dig these oldies out of the closet and get myself organized.

P.S. The guild welcomes visitors and new members. It meets at 1:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month at the Harbor History Museum, 4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, WA  98332.

Be fearless in your art,
Eat more chocolate,
and have a colorful day!


ellen gets crafty said...

As always, beautiful colors and beautiful quilts. You should be very proud!!

Pam said...

Fantastic post, Sherrie, I have a new found appreciation for the color orange because of you! I LOVE your work, it inspires me to the core.

Julaine said...

You are in your element!!! Congratulations on the wonderful GIG in Gig Harbor...

The Idaho Beauty said...

How fun! I don't feel too badly about missing this since I got a personal preview. ;-) Still, I would have enjoyed being in the audience.

Thanks for that parting bit of encouragement. I told my yoga teacher today about the quilt show and my reaction to the art quilts and she reminded me of two things: 1) you don't need to compare yourself to others; and 2) think how far you've already come and isn't it wonderful to have someplace to grow towards? Add Be fearless in your art, and I should be good to go!

Sherrie Spangler said...

Thanks guys for your comments! It was really fun to do the trunk show (or Gig Harbor gig, as Julaine put it).

Ladybug said...

Absolutely wonderful work - and so very inspiring! But I have to know - did you lug along that very first king-sized red & brown quilt???