As quilters, needle artists, and fiberheads, we have all spent an infinite amount of time finding our voice. Sometimes we are drawn to ideas, colors, and concepts that thematically follow us thru-out our creative careers.
One of the most prolific artists and quilters that I know is an organically inspired artist by the name of Jane Sassaman. I've been following her fabric designing career since 2002 when she first debuted Jane's Exotic Garden, a preface to her assortment of bright, blooming textiles. Jane is known for deriving images from nature and infusing them with bright, cheerful palettes. Butterflies, spiraly vines, and big blooming flowers are her signature style. What I love about Jane's fabric most is that each collection is a companion to her previous collections.
Do you like ombre fabric? Jane has been known for her polka-dot ombre fabrics that vividly cascade from one color to the next. (You can catch a glimpse of it in the quilt behind her.)
She recently wrote an inspiring book called Patchwork Sassaman Style.
The book focuses on what Jane refers to as "personality" fabrics. Instead of being intimidated by these large-scale prints, she says instead to embrace them. "Let the fabric do the work!" she says. What I love about this book is that she breaks it down, process by process, from picking the fabric to fussy-cutting it to piecing it together.
Now, I'll be honest, when I first peeked at it, I was intimidated! When I delved into the content, I discovered that she was using large cuts that were fussy-cut in such a way that they produced kaleidoscope images. With a little attention to detail and precision, one can create beautiful things.
This is a quilt from the book, called Cross-in-a-Diamond, that showcases the contrast between a light and a dark fabric. The diagonal lines alternates the focus to the bright pink and green diamonds and back to the dark and light personality fabrics. A simple border frames the patchwork without busying the quilt. In this example, instead of fussy cutting, she showcased the light and dark contrast play.
Jane elevated my quilting voice after reading this book. I have always taken color, scale and saturation into account, but never have I delved so deeply into kaleidoscope effects.
This is three simple fabrics- and what do you know, there's my ombre border! See how you have bursts of dark and light? If you zoom in, you can see the beautiful dots flitter from light to dark to create the dramatic shadowing.
If you are as intimidated as I was by what seems like an extemely complicated quilt, look closer and you will see that it is simply in the way that she cut the fabric. It's all squares and half square triangle- simple patchwork with a dramatic effect! She teaches the fussy-cut process.
What I felt was especially insightful was that she also included her cutting and marking process. Who knew that Jane marks a 1/4" in each corner of her pieces? I learned a valuable tool for more precise piecing. She also had a mini-lesson on mitering corners that taught me a better technique as well. I love that she included that added information- things that seasoned quilters take for granted!
Jane instructs you from start to finish on each and every quilt and how she derived the design, giving you an insight into her world.
Who would like a chance to win Jane's rockin book? One lucky reader will be chosen at random, all you have to do is leave a comment on the post! The winner will be announced on Friday.
There are many quilty personalities participating!!!
Jane, your book rocks. I can't wait to delve into the personality prints in my stash and see what happens!