Learning Something New Can Be Something Old

Yesterday, I met with my Studio Art Quilter Association (SAQA) Pod of four ladies, including myself. We traveled to the east mountains to the home of Michelle Jackson. Michelle is a renowned fabric artist/quilter. She was gracious enough to invite us out for a short workshop in her studio.

We slathered fabric paint on a gel plate. We could then choose to scrap that paint with different tools, or simply press the fabric onto the plate to absorb the it.

Paint was scraped on the left. Lace stencil used on the right. Ravioli press used to make dotted rings.

Once the fabric was removed, we had the option of painting more on the surface, using stencils or stamps to add more design or texture. The above picture shows that I scrapped paint off on the left, used a stencil on the right, and a ravioli press to stamp dotted circles here and there.

I learned that the initial paint must be thick and worked quickly or, here in the Southwest, it will dry too quickly and not infuse the fabric enough.

The paint for the Butterfly started to dry. A mistake? Or just a way to make the wings look more like gossamer?

I learned that there are many items that can produce excellent design stencils and stamps: lace, holiday decorations, gourmet cooking tools, toothpicks, unusable credit card edges, laminate flooring foam……

Lace was used to make the purple texture. A rubber stamp was used to make the spirals.

I learned that women who have just met can become friends with rich commonalities no matter what their personal backgrounds.

I learned that life’s tragedies can become wonderful, evocative works of art in the hands of an imaginative person who thinks beyond the moment of pain and suffering.

I learned that my studio has all the elements of a professional, even if it’s less than half the size.

I learned that inspiration can come from opportunity as well as imagination.

I learned that people do survive adversity and can end up having their “happily ever after.”

I learned that a cheerful face can be the brave front for a personal burden that I personally might not be able to cope with.

I learned, (remembered actually) that I talk too much and need to listen more when I’m with other people.

I learned that it’s good to have priorities. That you need to make time for what brings you the most joy and renewal.

I learned that age, or increasing physical limitations, should not stop you from doing as much of what you love as possible.

I left the group feeling I’d made three new friends with a similar passion for making, enjoying, and learning more about creatively using fabric.

Finally, I learned there is much more to learn about the creative process, as well as using fabrics as a medium.

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