It’s open studio season!
Welcome to a very special issue of Quilting Arts Magazine—one that celebrates not only what our contributors do, but where they do it. As quilters, we post our finishes on Instagram, share our frustrations on Facebook, and promote our techniques and classes in newsletters and blogs. However, much of the work we do is accomplished in the privacy of our studios, and rarely shared with our community. We thought it would be a great idea to ask our artists to share a view of their workplaces and create a behind-the-scenes tour for our readers.
When the photos for these features came in, the editorial team was thrilled. From colorful design walls in an old factory to a unique outdoor wet studio, these inspiring spaces knocked our socks off. No wonder the fiber art community creates such beautiful work: they live and breathe the color, texture, and beauty of fabric and thread.
While we are at it, here’s a view of where I work. It is a cozy room with a sewing station, cutting table, lots of storage for fabric, paint, thread, and yarn (my other obsession), and the desk where I work situated in front of a large window. I spend the better part of my time in this room, which is decorated from floor to ceiling with prayer flags, colorful quilts by artists I admire, and my own fiber art. It is a haven from the outside world—and a clear representation of what inspires and delights me.
But I have to confess; my creative space has never looked so good. I spent the entire afternoon organizing, dusting, rearranging, and—yes—staging my home office/studio for this mini photo shoot. Despite the advice I gave to the seven artists whose studios are featured in this issue, namely, to show us a realistic view of where they work and create, I couldn’t resist stashing the rolls of batting out of view and hiding the ironing station from the camera.
I hope this issue inspires other fiber artists to open the doors to their private studios and share . . . and maybe next time I’ll take a “before” picture!
Open Studio: Timna Tarr
“Tucked away in a quiet New England mill town, art quilter and longarmer Timna Tarr finally has the studio of her dreams. It is anchored with open shelves for storage at one end, and her longarm quilting machine at the other. Between are tables for cutting, ironing, and a couch for relaxing. And best of all, this open-concept space is bathed in lots of light.” Excerpted from the article.
Buying a Longarm: First-Hand Advice from an Expert
“I often tell people that purchasing a longarm is like buying a car. They are both large investments in money and space. If you are considering making the commitment to longarm ownership, these are my top tips.” Excerpted from the article by Timna Tarr.
Open Studio: Deborah Boschert
“Every home studio space has its own personality, and Deborah Boschert’s is no exception. Her space is located behind a pair of French doors right off the main entrance of her home. It used to be the home office, but Deborah has made it her own creative sanctuary.” Excerpted from the article.
Open Studio: Lisa Thorpe
“Whether working indoors or out, this space is the ideal studio for artist Lisa Thorpe. Located in the Casita Art Center on the grounds of The Bishop’s Ranch in Sonoma County California, Lisa, the resident artist, has transformed one of the rooms in a repurposed staff housing building into her own personal studio.” Excerpted from the article.
Open Studio: Candy Glendening
“Not every surface designer has the opportunity to dye outside nearly every day of the year, but Candy Glendening’s dye studio, located in the backyard of her home in southern California, affords her that luxury.” Excerpted from the article.
Open Studio: Lynn Krawczyk
“There is one single art obsession that guides all of Lynn Krawczyk’s artwork: creating patterns. The medium is secondary. Whether through painting, screen printing, hand stitching, or drawing, her goal is always to build a textured and layered experience for her viewers. And you can bet your bottom dollar, she never misses her mark.” Excerpted from the article.
Open Studio: Lisa Chin
“An artist’s workplace is often a revealing glimpse into the very heart of their work. Whatever is important to them—whether it is bright lighting, meticulous organization, or colorful displays of tools and materials— usually is what guests notice first. The home studio of mixed-media artist Lisa Chin is no exception to that rule.” Excerpted from the article.
Open Studio: Sue Bleiweiss
“The luxury of having enough space to compartmentalize all aspects of art making is fully appreciated by the talented fiber artist, author, and art curator, Sue Bleiweiss. Sue wears many hats as an artist, from dyeing all of the fabric used in her award-winning art quilts to consulting with other artists and even organizing quilt exhibitions. And in order to do all that—and do it well—she must stay organized.” Excerpted from the article.
Quilts: A World of Beauty
“The International Quilt Association’s annual Judged Show, ‘Quilts: A World of Beauty,’ is one of the most revered international quilt competitions. The quilts in the show, which premieres at International Quilt Festival, Houston, represent the finest examples of craftsmanship, artistry, and design. Winning a ribbon at Houston is every quilter’s dream.” Excerpted from the introduction to the gallery
Artist Q&A: A Conversation with Jane Sassaman
“I first interviewed Jane Sassaman for my book, Masters: Art Quilts, Volume 1. Her profile included the statement, ‘Sassaman focuses as much on the thorns as on the roses and marries them together into a stylized ballet.’ This mix of beauty and the beast is still a defining trait of Jane’s work, and is part of what I enjoy when I see her art.” Excerpted from the article by Martha Sielman
In the Spotlight: Joyce R. Becker
My first experience with sewing occurred when I barely passed ‘gathered skirts’ in Home Economics in the eighth grade. For some reason, however, I persisted and begged my older sister, Sharlie, to teach me to sew. And get this, she taught me on her glorious Singer Featherweight machine—what more could a girl want?”