Finding the work of the artist Victoria Findlay Wolfe encouraged me to examine what can be done using basic shapes and gave me the guidance to create quilts to my design.
The use of fabric excludes anything but simple shapes; where seams are too narrow to successfully stitch together the work may fray at corners. Victoria Findlay Wolfe uses positive and negative space to demonstrate how simple it is to alter a pattern to visual effect without resorting to over-complicated shapes.
Whilst at art college she fought against the long-held belief that quilting was “just” a craft skill and not art. Her journey has developed from making and selling children’s quilts until today where she focusses on large fine art pieces. Certain of her pieces are over nine meters wide and a number of them hanging on display in New York City’s public spaces.
Her work begins by moving shapes around and manipulating the patterns and colours, until she finds the design she is looking for to express a narrative, a thought, an emotion or perhaps a trompe l ‘oeil pattern. She calls this process “playing with purpose”. Once the quilt design is finalised, she collaborates with the long arm quilter and together they resolve the stitching design, sometimes over the course of a week or more, until they both agree.
Her books are filled with inspiration and encouragement about how to create your own designs and develop by experimentation and risk-taking instead of merely copying pre-existing patterns.
She is silent when she sews, silent for hours on end... she is silent and she is thinking. Colette The Collected Stories
Modern Square Dance
These two quilts have exactly the same traditional pattern. The use of negative space alters the work markedly.
Traditional Square Dance