Interesting people and events
’08 at the AQS Show in Paducah, in front of my quilt “Shadows of Umbria,” which won the Bernina Award for Machine Quilting. This quilt is now in the collection in Paducah at the National Quilt Museum.
DIANE GAUDYSKI-HOW DOES SHE DO THAT?
As I mentioned in earlier posts, I want to interview the quilters who I have the highest respect and admiration for. I am thrilled and elated to offer this interview with Diane Gauskiski. When looking at her work you can’t help asking yourself ; ” How is this quality of quilting perfection possible on a machine quilted work?”.
The name Diane Gaudynski brings many thoughts to mind; award-winning quilter, author, teacher, lecturer. She has accumulated a long long list of prestigious awards and honors.
She has written 2 of the best books available on machine quilting with a domestic machine.
In 2002, Diane’s work was included in an international exhibit in Japan, appropriately titled 30 Distinguished Quilt Artists of the World. I heartily agree, Diane certainly has earned her place in the top 30.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I am in awe of this woman. She is a quilt artist of the highest order and an excellent educator of her craft.
I’ve gained more personal progress and more practical help from her first book, than I had from any of the stacks of other books I’d read on the subject.
I’m realize I’m gushing, but you don’t cross paths with one of your personal “idols” every day.
She began briefly as a hand quilter but in 1988 began quilting on her home domestic sewing machine.
In the 20 years since her beginnings in hand quilting, she has perfected her craft, creating an impressive body of work that has attracted many awards and honors. The intricacy of her designs and perfection of the quilting will,will knock your socks off, to use an over worked cliche!
If you are beginner or intermediate machine quilter, her books are “must reads”.
If you’re experienced, but want your quilting to reach that “next level”, again, these are must haves for your library .
You MUST own these books!
1-Your work has received so many accolades and awards, how did your interest in quilting begin?
I was drawn into quilting slowly and somewhat reluctantly! I sewed all my life, so was very familiar with working with fabrics and a sewing machine. My mother began quilting during the quilt revival of the 1970’s, and every time I visited she plunked down her new black and white, and then color, Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine on the kitchen table and I’d thumb through it, thinking, nice but not for me. Later my youngest sister visited me for a summer when she was only 16 and taught me to piece. The challenge and geometry of it drew me in. After that it was the new fabrics, colors and designs, and the actual sewing at my machine that I dearly loved all my life that kept me interested. Quilts became an endless kaleidoscope of possibilities.
2-As you look at a quilt that’s ready to be quilted, where do your ideas come from? Could you tell us a little about your creative process?
The key is to consider the quilting right from the beginning as you plan a quilt. It should work hand in hand with the fabric choice, design layout, your skill level, function, everything. I usually begin with the basic stuff, ditch quilting long construction lines, going around blocks and pieces for stability. More ideas will happen as I do this kind of work. However, most designs are planned at the beginning, I make a sketch of the quilt top and note what I want to quilt, and where. Some marking is done, and then it evolves as I make the quilts. I used to look to similar vintage quilts for a starting point, and now know what works best from experience, and always try to add new and special designs for each quilt. I look for ideas from nature, architecture, things I collect like dishes, antiques, and hand-made jewelry, and simple shapes and lines that are pleasing. I find the more I quilt the more I look outside of quilting for inspiration, and the simpler my designs have become.
3–Who or what have had the most influence on your work?
First and still influential were the quilters of the past with their art, skills, and fabulous quilts made from whatever they had, limited tools, supplies, and lighting. Their art and ingenuity combined with technical skills always amazes me. In our modern quilting world many quilters have influenced me. I learned my machine quilting skills from Harriet Hargrave’s bookHeirloom Machine Quilting after hearing her lecture, and Marsha McCloskey inspired and taught me with her piecing instructions and use of color. I loved “Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine,” “Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts,” and “American Quilter” from AQS. I read and re-read each issue. Jinny Beyer, Georgia Bonesteel, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Deborah Wagner, all inspired me with their groundbreaking work. Vintage Amish quilts were a revelation to me with their graphic simplicity, ornate quilting, and colors that I felt were my own. When the various state quilt history books were published, I always read those and loved all the photos and information in them about the history of quilting.
4-Are there any contemporary quilters or quilt artists that you specifically admire?
I love the work of many contemporary quilters, including Linda Roy, Sandra Leichner, Zena Thorpe, Ann Fahl, Sue Nickels, Pat Holly, Margaret Docherty, Jane Holihan, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Hollis Chatelain, Shirley Kelly, Denise Havlan, and so many more. I am continually amazed at what is being done in quilting now.
5- How has all the recognition and acclaim effected you as an artist?
At home nothing really changed as recognition for my work grew, but it did give me more confidence in my quilting. I am more willing to share my ideas and techniques because they have proved their value in the world of quilting. I also feel more free to do what I want and try new things in my work.
6-What have been your proudest accomplishments to date?
Sometimes I think it might be catching the connecting flight in Phoenix, but really it is my quilts and successful teaching that give me pride. I think being judged Master Quilter by NQA, winning 5 Bernina Machine Workmanship Awards at Paducah and having 6 quilts in the National Quilt Museum there, having a quilt in the permanent collection of the International Quilt Study Group in Lincoln, NE, being included in Robert Shaw’s book American Quilts, the Democratic Art, 1780-2007, and winning the Founders’ Award at Houston are my proudest achievements. Perhaps my miniature quilt “A Visit to Provence” is my best work, and I also am proud of the two books I’ve authored. Whew.
7–What do you do for fun [besides quilting]?
I love to read, cook, have lunch with quilting friends where we talk at length until the next meal service is being readied, spend time with my cat Oliver and soak up the love, spend time with family, and watch MI-5 and Project Runway on TV without fail.
8-Share with us something funny that has happened to you recently.
Mostly it is “senior moment” instances, huge satellite delays in remembering things, or not being able to read the controls on my new car and turning on the heated steering wheel instead of cruise control because the little icons are so vague, then wondering why my hands are sweating as the car slowly loses speed. It’s hard to drive while wearing reading glasses!
9-How have you handled the business side of your career?
I have kept my business simple and straightforward, don’t sell many things, haven’t done much to advertise or promote myself other than post a website way back when and make quilts, write books, and teach. My students advertise my classes with their results so I have had a busy and rewarding career in teaching. My bookkeeping is basic and simple, I have no staff except my cat and laptop. I manage my internet site and blog myself, and try to answer emails from quilters.
10- What advice would you give an aspiring quilter just starting out?
Learn to focus. There is so much available, so many styles, techniques, materials, that it can be overwhelming at first. Determine what your goal is, where you real passionate interest lies, what you want to do in quilting. Is it for fun or will it be a career, then make decisions based on that. Learn the basics, then create your own look and style that will stand out and reflect what you love in the whole spectrum of quilting. Hone those skills and become good at the ones you use in your own work, but be familiar with a wide variety so you know what is available for you to add to your work to keep it fresh and interesting. Be creative. Always learn from the past and from the rules, then create the new.
11-How would you describe your quilting style?
My quilts fall into the “traditional” genre, and are pieced in subdued colors, not busy, with spaces for quilting. I have often referred to them as everyday quilts with elegant Sunday-best quilting. I like to take a humble design like Log Cabin or Ohio Star and use great rich colors to create a top, then quilt it with wonderful intricate original machine quilting designs. Subtle and sophisticated, my quilts tend to glow rather than shout.
12-Describe yourself in 5 words.
Loyal, creative, enthusiastic, stubborn, sensitive, not necessarily in that order.
13-What have been your biggest obstacles in achieving your success?
I have some serious health problems that have definitely limited my quilting, travel, and other opportunities. I work around them when I can, and quilting has helped me deal with them.
14- What keeps you inspired and motivated?
I think being around other creative quilters/people keeps me inspired. Seeing beautiful work, art in all forms, the beauty of nature especially when I travel, and taking time to let creative ideas mature all sustain my inspiration.
Here’s a taste of her amazing work, please go to her website or blog for more
Click on the image for a closer look at the detailed work.
Kettle Moraine Star ~ 1997 Bernina Award Winner, AQS, Paduca
Founders Award, IQA, Houston Quilt Festival 2006
Best of Show – Bed Quilts, NQA 2007
Machine Workmanship Award, Domestic Machine – NQA 2007
First Place, Traditional Pieced Bed Quilts – NQA 2007
Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, March 2007
First Place “Quilts on the Waterfront” MN Show 2001
Faculty Ribbon MN Show 2001 ~ Ricky Tims
Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry, IQA 2001
Thirty Quilt Artists of the World Exhibit, Tokyo Japan 2002
First Place, AQS 2002
Masterpiece Quilt, by NQA 2002
First Place and Best of Show NQA 2002
Faculty Ribbon “Images” Lowell Quilt Festival 2004 ~ Jean Ray Laury
Diane’s comments on this picture: Oliver, sleeping after destroying my sewing room.
You really must check out Diane’s website and blog. The quilting tips alone are worth the look see. And her quilts will have you drooling.http://www.dianegaudynski.net/ http://www.dianegaudynski.blogspot.com/
Betty Busby update-upcoming and current shows
upcoming and current shows
“Nucleus” has been accepted into Quilt Visions in California.
“Cherry Trees” was awarded Best of Show at the Whistler Gallery in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Thank you, jurors! “Blue Moon 2” is also at the show, and has been sold.
“Blue Moon 3” and “Dinner at Sunset” are in the Impressionism Show at the Art Center at Fuller Lodge allery in Los Alamos, New Mexico. “Blue Moon” received a Juror’s Award.
“Refugee” will be exhibited at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Show.
“Monstera” and “Magpies” have been juried into Houston.
“Limpopo” will appear at the American Quilter’s Society show in Des Moines, Iowa.
Three mixed-media underwater pieces will appear and were sold at “Breaking Boundaries” in Michigan. It was an interesting and innovative show.
“Moonrise” won best of show and “Cytology” won best machine quilting at the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta.
“Cattails” appeared at the World Quilt Show in New England.
The Brush Art Gallery is exhibiting “Cytology” at its annual national juried show.
“Silverlight” received a first place ribbon at the American Quilter Society Quilt Expo in Knoxville.
“Cherry Trees” received a ribbon at the Denver National Quit Show.
“Autumn Evening” and “Mitosis” have been awarded “Art Quilts: Transistions” exhibit by PAQA South, and both have been sold.
“End of Days” is included in the “My world in black & white” show in California:
The catalog is well worth a look, there are some outstanding works there! It received the Gitner-Moore Memorial Award for Most Meaningful Quilt from Marilyn Withrow.
“After the Rain” has been awarded at the International Quilt Association’s “Celebrate Spring” show in Chicago, and was sold. “Swim4Me” is also in the show. Both have been selected to travel with the show, and will appear at various venues until November 2009.
“Silverlight” has been awarded “best pictorial quilt” at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.
“Raptor III” and “Earthweave” were invited to Taiwan for the TAQS show. The catalog will be available for sale through the SAQA bookstore.
NOT YOUR TYPICAL QUILTER-KAREN MCTAVISH
I have a long list of amazing quilters who I would love to interview on my blog. Talented, interesting people, who I know other people would enjoy reading about as well.
I began sending emails to some of my favorite quilters, requesting an online interview. One name at the top of that list is. Karen McTavish.
Karen has had a huge impact on my quilting, and judging from the many accolades and awards she’s accumulated, other’s too.
When I sent an email to her, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting a response.
So you can imagine my surprise to see the name Karen McTavish in my inbox. I thought, “That was so nice of her to write back personally to decline my interview”, but when I opened it -gasp- she had agreed to it! This was from THE Karen McTavish, not a sweet little 70-year-old lady who is a greeter at WalMart named Karyn McTavish.
Karen McTavish has rocked the quilting world with her traditional whole cloth machine quilting techniques . And what quilter hasn’t heard of McTavishing?
Karen is an Award Winning Longarm Quilter, Author, Instructor, Speaker, Judge, representative forAPQS and APQS dealer. Her work on Wholecloth/Whitework quilts, Shadow and Color Trapunto, Scrollwork and Victorian Feathers is legendary.
She is best known for developing her signature technique McTavishing and techniques which replicate traditional hand-quilting using a machine.
As an author, she has written some of the best books on machine quilting out there, books that youmust own; Whitework Quilting, The Secrets of Elemental Quilting, Quilting for Show, Mastering the Art of McTavishing, and coming in spring 2011 -A new pattern book
A friend and I attended her trunk show and demonstration a few years ago. We were already Karen McTavish fans. We expected an amazing & informative presentation and we weren’t disappointed..
But what I didn’t expect was Karen the person. This woman is interesting, witty, humorous, thoroughly entertaining. She has a big personality that matches her big ole talent! You can’t help but like Karen the person as much as the work and talent of Karen McTavish.
She’s not your stereotypical quilter. She seems to be full of contradictions, from her long dark dreadlocks to her tats of ornate heirloom Victorian feathers to being the lead singer in her own rock band. She’s young, exciting, interesting and refreshingly non-conventional. Her contradictions make her the talented artist that she is..
Read on for a wee glimpse into Karen McTavish the person, and the quilter.
Karen graciously sent some personal photos as well. Enjoy!
You’ll want to check out her website for more.
1-What inspires you to create and how do you stay motivated?
Music. Music. Music.
Mouth of the Architect, Rage Against the Machine, Since the Flood, Silverchair, Russian Circles, Oh, Sleeper, Norma Jean,
Nights Like These, Neurosis,
Martyr A.D., The Mars Volta, Lamb of God, Korn, Every Time I Die, Ekotren, Seven Year Existence, The Dillinger Escape Plan
, Dead to Fall, Converge,At the Drive-In, American Head Charge, Alcest, Maynard James Keenan, Patti Smith, Blue Water Dance,
Tiger Blue Death Squad, Rodrigo y Gabriela,DevilDriver, 36 Crazyfists, Pantera, The Distillers, Deftones, Chevelle, Cult of Luna,
A Perfect Circle, Atreyu, August Burns Red, Cowboy Junkies, The Cure,
Eddie Vedder, Elliott Smith, Husker Du, In Flames, John Frusciante, Killswitch Engage, Muse, Apocalyptica, Queens Of The Stoneage,
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Serj Tankian, Static X, System of a Down, Tool, Slipknot, Straight Line Stitch
2- How do you keep your work fresh and interesting ?
I never copy quilting designs or get inspiration from the quilting industry. I draw everything from my mind. All my work is original work.
My work is inspired
by things outside the quilting world. I am greatly inspired by elements outside the genre of quilting. I will either be completely outside
the box of tradition,
or I can be completely comfortable inside that traditional box of quilting. I actually am more comfortable in the traditions of quilting.
This is my comfort zone.
raditional quilting has clear and distinct rules and guidelines that I can follow. It feels very easy for me to be a traditional quilter and stay
within those comfort
zones. I would much rather quilt a traditional quilt, than quilt a non-traditional quilt.
3-Where do you get your ideas for designs?
I tend to lean on Traditional designs that have “feathers” then add a scroll or whip to the stem. Then go from there in the space that I am
allowed to move. I usually
draw the design on paper first, then light box the design directly on to the quilt top.
4–Who or what have had the most influence on your work?
I was so isolated when I started – I had only library books as my source of teaching. I would say my teachers were “dead hand-quilters”.
No one told me that I
couldn’t do what hand-quilters were doing on a longarm quilting machine. I just tried to do what the “dead hand-quilters” were telling me
to do in the old decayed
library books that I picked up in the library.
5-What do you do for fun [besides quilting]?
I sing vocals in a band locally. I work with other women in a sewing group of survivors of domestic abuse which meets weekly in my studio
teaching them how
to piece quilt tops. I raise my 5 year old son. I work in my studio as much as I can on my own projects which is nice.
6-Share with us something funny that has happened to you recently:
Good things happen to me. I get stuck in the bad things all day long. I focus on the bad things. I believe in Karma. I am not a big “God” girl.
I believe in Spirituality. When I am working on a quilt – for example. I go into Karma mode. I am always worried that something “BAD”
will go wrong on the quilt- so I go into Karma mode- big time. I start donating to NPR, I buy the dude behind me in the McDonalds
drive-thru line a burger, and drive away. I do random acts of kindness all day while I am working on the quilt – trying to build up as much Quilt
“Karma” as possible. Because nothing can go wrong while I am working on the quilt. If I am asked to change a tire, while I am working on
an important quilt, I will do it, to build up the quilt “Karma”. I am doing crazy acts of kindness for weeks all because I
believe it will help this quilt.
If I am not quilting something amazing or important ..I would say.”sorry buddy.You are on your own.do I look like I know how to change a
tire?”. See? I really
am not a nice person.
7-How have you handled the business side of your career?
I learned as an Quilting Instructor how to help other longarm machine quilters overcome the phrase: “But my customers won’t
pay more”. This has been very rewarding. Helping other longarmers learn to charge more for their work – it’s very rewarding to help them learn the process.
8- What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Practice Practice Practice, of course – I didn’t – I practiced on customer quilts. But the best advice is to do your own thing.
Do what feels right. Overcome all the nightmares, you will screw up. I did. And get thru it. Get over the fear..we all have fear. Get to the other
side. This is the best job in the world! It’s perfect for the single mother – this is why I started quilting in the first place. And believe me – I was
NO Quilter when I started quilting.
9-How would you describe your style?
Ridiculous. I don’t even brush my hair. Are you talking about my hair?
10-Describe yourself in 5 words.
Loud, QuiltxCore, Hardcore, Protective, isolated
11-What has been your biggest obstacle in achieving your success?
Too many Non-Smoking Hotel Rooms, Inability to hear very well due to many rock concerts, Not enough Starbucks on
every street corner.
Karen is a representative for APQS and a APQS dealer, wouldn’t you want to buy your machine from Karen?
Mom, daughter Ally moving
SOME OF THE AMAZING WORK OF Karen McTavish Click picture
to enlarge for full views