I’m very excited about my new At Home series. I’ve done the thinking, the calling, the cajoling, the photographing and the writing. All you have to do is follow behind me as I knock on doors and poke around inside to see how homeowners create a welcoming home.
At Home guest:
Sharon Griffin, once a co-worker of mine, a fantastic gardener and quilter extraordinaire, has graciously let me invade her space. A year ago when I visited herquilting studio, I couldn’t help thinking how quietly many of us work at hobbies and interests, and even friends don’t know the extent of our involvement. It’s only when you start asking questions that you find out what people are really up to. Yes, I asked lots of questions.
Sharon began quilting in 1996 when she was attracted to a quilt her sister-in -law created. She hasn’t looked back since that first course when she created the quilt below the old fashioned way. No rotary cutters then and little fabric selection in our fair city.
|First quilt 1996|
While many of her first projects employed traditional patterns and techniques, participation in two local quilters’ guilds, travel, and the internet broadened her exposure to a wide array of quilting techniques and styles. As you walk through Sharon’s home and visit her quilting studio, you realize that her interests are changing and her pieces take on a more contemporary feel.
|Traditional patterns on quilt stand|
No one could dispute that quilting creates beautiful objects, but I suspect there is more to Sharon’s interest in it than that. She admits to being an organized, tidy person and there is something about the precision needed to quilt that suits these characteristics. It is a quiet, solitary activity that also can be quite social, and fulfill a love of learning if you participate in guilds and workshops. I’ve always know Sharon to be a lover of fabric and colour. What better interest could she choose than quilting? Her work adds uniqueness and warmth to her home. This is so important in a world of mass produced objects.
Variety of Applications
And quilting isn’t just about quilts. The range of projects is limitless…
|needle holders, glasses case, bags, mug sleeves….|
|sewing kits, journal covers…|
|3 D birds, wall hangings and …|
|Off the wall blocks.|
In these wall hangings you can see the influence of various workshop leaders from different countries and more and more opportunities to create personal work by taking the techniques taught in workshops and making them her own.
It’s easy to see that landscape has become a primary influence in Sharon’s more recent work.
|Abstracted landscape created with a variety of threads|
|NL landscape with lots of stitching|
And this truly amazing one is pieced together and embellished to such a degree that one would think it was a painting. A photo of their garden shed was the inspiration.
Integrating quilting projects in your decor
When you are a prolific quilter there is no way you can display everything you create. Family members usually make out well for birthdays and Christmas! More things get stored and brought out for seasonal events. The trick is to show just enough, and to come up with ways to showcase projects that put them front and centre.
|Dining room and living room quilted projects|
A strong preference for warm, rich colours adds so much to the soft white furniture in the living room. While there’s quite a few quilted accessories in the living room and dining room, the space doesn’t feel overdone. One of the reasons is the variety of projects used : a quilt, a wall hanging and a pillow. If you look at all four images you can see how the different colours flow throughout the space creating cohesiveness, warmth, and an open invitation to sit awhile.
The poppy wall hanging in the dining room is new and very striking. When I first saw it I thought it was a painting it is so realistic. I’m glad it is hung at the perfect height for guests to observe it when sitting down.
A photograph does not do justice to the overall stitching and embellishments at the centre of the poppy. Do have a closer look.
|Master bedroom in chartreuse and pinks|
Rather than a quilt, a bed runner is used to accent the bed and the wall hanging on the opposite wall is the first thing that greets you as you enter the bedroom. Don’t you love the freshness of this colour combination?
|Autumn inspired guest room|
One of the best ways to integrate quilting into decor is to choose lighter backgrounds that won’t compete with the patterns in the quilting. Sharon’s favourite background is a soft white. As you can see it is perfect for showing off any colour combinations, and it has a very contemporary feel even when the quilting pattern is traditional. The connection between the quilt and wall hanging in this room creates a fresh, welcoming look and the colours blend beautifully with the honey toned furniture.
|Black and white is always striking|