Joy Eidse was one of the first artists I featured at the start of this blog. I was blown away by her amazing fibre art quilts. I could imagine every one in a room in my house. The winter craft seasoned showed me another side of her. She had many smaller quilts and framed quilts. All unique and beautifully crafted. My Grandma was an avid quilter. We have a large family and everyone had at least one quilt made by her. I now have inherited a couple of her earlier quilts and I love seeing the before and after. Who she was when she started and who she was as a quilter at the end of her life. One of my favourites is a hanging quilt that she made for my Mom. My Mom collected dolls from around the world and she made an embroidered quilt of girls/dolls from around the world. It is so nice and I am sure that it took hours of time to make. It is now in my daughter's room. I always loved quilts but know that I am not a very good pattern follower and I also get bored with any sewing job that takes more than an evening. I hadn't thought there was any other way to quilt until I saw Joy's art. She is very inspiring and creative. This is her bio that I snagged from her webpage. I love knowing who the person is behind the craft.
"I’ve been sewing since I was a little girl but could never follow a pattern. I was happiest embroidering patterns I had designed or adding patches to clothing. I’d never considered quilting as an art form I might be interested in because I had only ever seen traditional quilts with exact patterns that required measuring and straight lines. When I discovered art quilting, a whole new world opened up for me. I could fully engage in the “right brained” creative process without having to interrupt it with “left brained” mathematics and if something wasn’t quite straight or perfect I could just say it was intentional since it was my design!
I love the freedom of this art form and it’s accessibility as a mother of young children. I can do it on the kitchen table while they play or in the backyard. It feeds my creative urges while allowing me to be present for my kids. During the long winter months here in Winnipeg, quilting is a ‘warm’ activity. As wallhangings, they allow me to add the warmth of colour to my home while insulating my walls from the cold winds (who says art quilts are not functional!).
As a social worker, I am interested in the communal history of quilting, the quilting bee as a social change mechanism, (it was a crucial part of the women’s liberation movement) and it’s potential for community development and community expression. I am beginning to explore the concept of art as part of a healing for both individuals and communities, particularly in the area of grief. Art as a means of making social and political statements and the power of symbol is also something that fascinates me and something I hope to study and practice more in this next year."