Did I get your attention?
The other day I was talking to my youngest about what makes effective writing. Actually I was trying to get her to use some of the techniques that her writing lesson called for. The lesson discussed the importance of a powerful lead in non-fiction writing. In the interest of being a good role model to my girl, I though I'd craft a powerful lead to this post and nothing gets people's attention faster that the prospect of free stuff.
Fear not. I didn't title the post "Giveaway...!" just to get your attention. I am genuinely giving something away. Actually, not me exactly, but my lovely sponsor, Rossie. She and I are doing a double interview and giveaway. I have a fun and informative interview with Rossie here on my blog and she has the same, but with me as the interviewee on her blog. Make sense?
OK. Here we go.
Malka: You've been experimenting with this process for a while, tell me a little about what you like about it. What drew you to start working with this technique?
Rossie: I have certain colors that I love and surround myself with: rich teals, fall oranges, medium grays, and pure reds. Anyone whose has been in my house or seen my wardrobe will testify to this! I also have certain colors that I will never combine: white with off-white, dark blues with black, and brown with black. Because of this pickiness I have about colors, I started overdyeing and discharging my quilting fabrics in an effort to either get a color I craved or avoid a combination that I disliked. Around the same time that I was getting a firm handle on making these small changes to fabrics, I started reading your blog...you had one of your twinkle quilts up and were saying that it wasn't applique, but made by clamping and dying. Because I already had a sense of the dying part of the equation, I was really intrigued by the clamping aspect. And thus, you created a monster!
Malka: I know you had a struggle finding someone to fabricate the shapes, how did you finally find your source for plexiglass shapes?
Rossie: The city I live in (Ann Arbor, Michigan) has a big art fair every summer. Which sounds awesome, and it some ways it is awesome, but it is also kind of not awesome because the Art Fair has become so big that the price to get a booth is insane! Most local artists can't afford to rent a booth and staff it for three days; people who just want to share a performance...well, they are out of luck. In response, a group of local indie artists organized the Shadow Art Fair, a biannual event which is explicitly local, community-oriented, and affordable for vendors and patrons alike. It’s the coolest and I recommend it to anyone in the area!
At this summer’s Shadow Art Fair, I met Mike, the plexi guy. He had a booth, I was wandering around with a friend, I was feeling chatty. As the Shadow Art Fair website says "when local artists come out and meet each other, good things happen."
Malka: I see you have several different sizes of squares, circles and triangles, what shapes do you think you might branch out into in the future?
Rossie: I've been adding one or two new shapes a month, as inspiration strikes. So there are now plus signs, a pollex shape (like a thumb), and ovals. In some cases, the idea for a shape comes from a customer (as with you, asking for ovals) and in other cases, out of my own brain. Next up is a quadrangle that was inspired by the perfectly imperfect patchwork blocks of so many modern quilters. I keep a list of ideas in my planner, right now, the strangest thing on that list is "toast."
Malka: Your shapes have been very popular. What do you think it is about this process that interests other crafters?
Rossie: For one, I think your work is really inspirational. It's like seeing someone who can really dance...it makes a person want to get up a do their own awkward boogie! Also, I think itajime, especially when you use commercial fabrics, sits at a really interesting intersection between buying a finished product and making something from scratch. On the one hand, you get the thrill of choosing fabric you like and the familiar warmth of consumption, but you also get the thrill of putting your own spin on it, adding layers and making it your own. It’s like a quilter’s version of a remix or a mash-up; take from culture, do what you want with it, be yourself, have fun, give back.
Rossie mentioned that she periodically introduces new shapes. Recently she added two different sizes of ovals, 5" and 3". I'm psyched about that because I think ovals are the new circles.I've purchased a few and now I've been authorized/deputized by Rossie to giveaway an oval bundle. That's 2 pairs of both 3" and 5" ovals. All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is to leave a comment here telling me what your favorite shape is. It's like that famous Barbara Walters question, "If you were a tree, what tree would you be?" I'll announce the winner on Friday.