Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Studio Series: First. quilt. ever.

Katja Elizabeth quilt © Karen Thiessen 2014
We all start somewhere. Katja Elizabeth is my very first quilt. I made the quilt during my second year of marriage when my husband and I had no money and empty walls that begged for art. Framing was expensive, fabric was inexpensive. The photograph is terrible. I took it a lifetime ago. The hand-stitching within the black sashing is gorgeous. I used embroidery floss.

I hand-painted the silk panels whose designs I based on art deco ornamentation. The black sashing and purple corners are poly-cotton, before I knew better about using polyester. My grandma gave me one of her old quilt frames, the stands, and the appropriate tacks, and showed me how to put a quilt on a frame. This quilt would not have turned out as well as it did without her help. She was proud of me to carry on her skills, although with a twist. Later, whenever she saw this quilt on our living room wall, she would comment that if my husband and I got cold at night we could take it down and sleep under it. There was never any need because the log cabin quilt that grandma made for our wedding served us well. 
Katja Elizabeth quilt detail © Karen Thiessen 2014
When I made the quilt, I was studying interior design. Although I learned a lot, it was not a good fit for me. I submitted the quilt into a juried province-wide show and it was accepted. This was a sign for me to pursue my dream and study textiles at Sheridan College's School of Craft and Design. One day I should count all of the quilts that I have made. They all started with Katja Elizabeth and the helping hands of my grandma.

1 comment:

Judy Martin said...

Lovely to see this early work, Karen.
Thank you for showing us.