17 April 2008

Frequently Asked Questions

My voice didn’t really work too good the first couple days after I got back from IQF. I guess I didn’t realize how much of my day I spend not speaking. (Transmission parts just aren’t so talkative.)

I did notice after my second time slot during Open Studios that there were several questions that kept coming up again and again. So I jotted them down and thought I would share them and their answers with you here.

Here goes:

Q: Are/were you an art student?

A: Nope on both accounts. I really believe that if you have the desire to make art, you’ll figure out how to do it. That’s not to say that classes on the subject aren’t beneficial but I don’t think you need to take a million classes to be creative. I’ve read several books on design principles and I do take a class here and there but its more the drive to play and experiment that pushes me forward.

Q: What kind of glue do you like for what?

A: I am a glue junkie. I gravitate toward the glue sections in craft and hardware stores. I’ve tried many different types but these two are my all time favorites:
SOBO craft glue for soft to soft attachments (I get this at Joann’s or Michael’s)
WELDBOND industrial glue for hard to soft attachments (I find this most frequently in the automotive section of Meijer)

I have used Fabritac and E6000 but here are my issues with these. First off, they aren’t real fluid. They have the viscosity of glue gun glue and this has a tendency to create blobs that can’t be hidden. Its also a real pain in the keester if you want to sew around the area that has now been turned into a glue booger area. I also have issues with the smells of these glue. These are fabric based collages and I’ve had a couple pieces that have never left my studio because the stink from the glue just wouldn’t go away.

Both SOBO and WELDBOND are fluid white glue (meaning they have the consistency of Elmer’s glue) and they dry clear and have just a mild regular run of the mill glue smell. So mild that you don’t notice it.

I was asked if I’ve tried straight up Elmer’s and yes, I have. It doesn’t have the holding power of the other two glues so I don’t use it.

Q: Has anything you’ve glued down ever fallen off?

A: Yes, BUT it was because someone put their mind to picking at it. I had a piece in a show and for whatever reason, this person was determined to pick the embellishment off. (I suspect it was a little person of a young age that was not being attended to but I’ve never been able to confirm it.)

Gluing things down with the proper glue will make them stay but if you want to wash the piece (which I never do) or you are going to sit there and yank on it repeatedly, then yeah, it’ll come off.

Q: Do you sell your work?

A: Yes and no. I have a few pieces for sale here but to be honest, my website is horribly out of date and missing nearly all of my most current work. I’m in the process of building/updating a new one. I’m not real regular about selling my work because I simply don’t make enough work to be able to do that. I’m still at a point where I have to cram creating into my spare time and if I am going to start selling, I want to take it seriously and be able to dedicate the time and attention it needs.

Q: Do you teach/lecture/have a book?

A: Nope. Although all you guys have gotten my wheels turning on this so this could change in the future. I’m chained to a desk at my day job for the moment so any teaching I would do would have to local or on a weekend gig if it was out of state. Not a bad idea, though…

Q: Why do you fuse the layers of the fabric and batting together rather then pinning?

A: This answer is NOT for the faint of heart. I’m warning you right now that if you have a weak stomach, skip this part…I pinned my layers together for the longest time. My pins of preference were those long pins for quilters with the flat flower heads on them. I stopped doing this after I drove one of those pins halfway under a fingernail. The swearing was spectacular. And the pain was unbelievable (which with all the back problems I’ve had, it’s a bold statement considering that pain). I understand now why pulling out fingernails is a form of torture.

So now I fuse the layers together and my fusible of choice is Mistyfuse. Its lightweight, SUPER strong and I can stitch through it by hand. I tried Wonderunder but found it difficult to hand stitch through. Mistyfuse is fantastic and I highly recommend it.

On the few occasions where I need to pin something that I don’t want to fuse down, I use those ergonomic safety pins. You know, the ones that look like someone has stepped on them? They work great.

Q: What do the backs of your quilts look like?

A: All my stitches show on the backside. I strive to be neat but you can see knots and where one stitch ends and one begins. I admire the people that can make the backs of their work look as stunning as the front but that’s not a priority for me. I prefer to train my attention to how the front side looks.

These were the most common inquiries. Hats off to all of you who came to see me because you all were quite curious and had me explaining everything in great detail. I really enjoyed that.

Next post – cool art quilts that I loved from the exhibits. Stay tuned!

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