:: Françoise Jamart ::
I just celebrated my fifth blogging anniversary a few weeks ago. I am so glad I said “yes” when Diane Perin Hock asked me in September 2007 if I wanted to join her and a few other quilters to form a new art quilt challenge online group.
I have always liked handling fabrics and even simply looking at them. My mother was an accomplished dressmaker. I learned the basics of sewing by watching her work. My grandmother owned an old treadle machine and, during the summer holidays, I used to play sewing on paper, with no thread in the needle. Her main pastimes were gardening and cooking, but, as a thrifty housewife, she also made comforters out of her old blankets by layering and quilting floral cotton fabric on them. The old treadle machine is now in a corner of my living room.
I started doing patchwork as a hobby in the eighties after seeing Amish quilts in the United States. My first quilts were machine pieced and hand quilted and they were made mainly with solid cotton fabrics. About ten years later, I began dyeing my own fabrics with cold reactive dyes. I also enjoy printing them. I still do small traditional quilts from time to time mainly for children and as gifts. I really hope my little granddaughter will soon join me in my sewing room.
I really had a great time working on the first Twelve by Twelve series of quilts and I’m even more enjoying the Colorplay series. For each challenge, I dye new fabric, trying to achieve my own version of the given color scheme. I like my quilts to look simple, uncomplicated and balanced. I often use my photos as inspiration for my quilts. I love to go back to the pictures I took while traveling in Japan. It helps me keep a link with the spirit of this country that I truly love.
Being part of the Twelve by Twelve group offers me encouragement and motivation in a friendly atmosphere with just a tiny amount of gentle stress but without any kind of competition. It also helps me validate the time and effort I spend growing as an art quilter. For all of this, I am very grateful to my fellow Twelves.
The 12x12 International Art Quilt Challenge can be viewed at www.twelveby12.org
See more of Françoise's work at www.creatilfun.blogspot.com.