After a busy couple of months focusing on my exhibit for Arts Council of Moore County, Campbell House Galleries, I decided to take some time to revitalize my creativity. My first trip was to Rocky Mount, NC to see Susan Lenz’s exhibit “Once and Again: Alterations” at the Imperial Centre. [Here’s a YouTube video of part of the exhibit] I’m a big fan of Susan’s artwork which features a lot of re-purposed textiles. The architecture of Imperial Centre is so fascinating because it is housed in a converted tobacco processing facility. The hard industrial features of the building made such a beautiful compliment to Susan’s soft vintage textile work.
My second trip was to the Haw River State Park’s Summit Environmental Education and Conference Center to participate in a sleep-over art retreat with some friends. We spent a couple nights gathered in one of the conference rooms independently working on our projects. With so many months working alone, it was a much needed kick to share ideas, resources and laughter with these other very creative women. I decided to bring the hexagon quilt that I’ve been hand-piecing for many years. I was ready to start quilting it. This retreat, really gave me the time and inspiration to get some stitching done.
I think pulling out the hexi quilt was partly inspired by seeing Susan’s work. English paper-piecing, hexagons and hand quilting are all very old school techniques. Even though I used modern fabrics for the piecing and a fancy perle cotton thread for the big-stitch hand quilting, I felt in doing the handwork I was honoring an older generation of time. This is fitting, because I’m making this quilt to honor my grandmother.
Time again, I’m reminded how important it is to step away from the monotony of daily routines. It is important to seek creative inspiration from people, places and art exhibits. Sometimes these opportunities may not seem significant, but yet they can offer a spark that builds a fire.