What a year!
I’m sure most of us won’t be sorry to see the last of 2020. While the year didn’t go as any of us planned, there were certainly some bright spots for me among the gloom–the dread, disappointments, frustrations, and sadness.
In the featured photo collage are some of my favorite images from 2020. I made several new large quilts and tried some new ideas. You can read about the creation of Picasso’s Chickens here, Blooming here, and Neapolitan here. I ended up finishing 14 quilts of various sizes, which is fewer than normal, but still a number I’m happy with–the largest one is about 65″ square and the smallest is 18″ x 24″. Since I didn’t have shows to do, I didn’t make many small pieces. That number includes three UFO’s I finished that had been sitting on the to-do pile for more years than I’d like to admit. The Red Scarf is one of five tops that are still in process, but it’s part of a series based on a new idea for large curves and I had fun collaborating with my son Matt on its design.
I had work in a number of quilt exhibits, both online and in person, including Kaleidoscope at QuiltCon in February–one of the last trips I made in person before everything closed. I was honored to have Neapolitan included as part of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) online exhibit at the prestigious Intersect Chicago: the future of SOFA in November.
Also, Homage to Matisse was included in the SAQA regional exhibit Working with the Muse that was shown in person at the Strathmore Mansion in Rockville, MD last spring.
When everything went virtual, Senator Maisie Hirono (D-HI) began giving her interviews in front of her collection of art quilts, including my Intuition–the green one right behind her. It’s an honor to have my work in her collection, and I’m grateful to her for showcasing art quilts to the world. I’ve gotten many new followers as a result!
I spent most of the summer writing my new book, which is going to be called Adventures in Improv Quilts: Master Color, Design, and Construction, and is expected to be released in Fall 2021 by C&T Publishing—I’m really excited about that! Blue Tetris is one of the quilts for the new book.
And my son got married! I made a table runner for the socially distanced reception in a tent in the bride’s parents backyard.
I filmed three on demand classes–two are available on the Creative Spark Learning platform hosted by C&T Publishing, which is the company that publishes my books–Artful Improv: Permission to Play and Fire and Ice Bargello.
My other online class is Improv Intro: Blocks, Stripes, and Curves–available on Coursecraft.net. All three are set up so you can take them on your own schedule at any time. I use videos, text, and still photos to present the techniques and ideas–it’s almost like having me in your sewing room with you!
I have quite a few virtual lectures and workshops coming up in the next few months–check out my schedule at the Events link and remember that many guilds will also visitors if there’s room, so contact either the guild or me if you’re interested.
Certainly it was a year with lots of ups and downs! I feel very fortunate to have work that I can do from home, and the ability to pivot my business to offer online lectures and workshops to take the place of cancelled in person events.
Many thanks to all of my readers, students, collectors, and everyone else who has supported me along this wild journey–I’m grateful to each and every one of you!
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, creative 2021! It will probably start out a lot like 2020, but changes are coming and that’s a hopeful thought. One thing I’ve realized this year is the importance of staying connected–with each other and with our surroundings. I’ve been forced to slow down and appreciate where I am and what I’m doing. Being in nature helps.