An Invitation To Be Creative

What if someone told you that this month it was especially important to pull out all the stops and be really creative?  Would you do things differently?  Would this mission paralyze or feed you?

Last month as I have mentioned I was invited to make some small quilts in a tight time frame for an art show in Seattle.  As I pondered making, I let my mind open a bit and found myself wandering new creative roads-so fun.


Repurposing is a mission for me, so I decided to incorporate leather or suede I had collected from clothing into the pieces.  My first work above is an image that has been percolating in my brain for a bit and means to show the contrast of light and dark, happy and sad, new and used.  The black leather from an old coat I hope adds a whole new tone to the brightly pieced diamond.


Wanting to continue the contrast theme and the color mission I was given, I did dense quilting on the back in colors to match the front with the hope that they bring light and color to the dark.  With help from an Instagram friend, my make adopted a name, “The Great Recession”.  I think the dark creeping overlay on the overly bright, too perfect front image fits the description well.



On my second piece, I decided to play with an improv method I experimented with in a block for my first Bee Sewcial month led by Stephanie Ruyle.  Striped Ikea canvas made a fun matte dense surface to play with and I went with some of my favorite mustard linen (side note: If I had to pick a fabric that is me, this is it.  I have included it in about a third of my quilts).  To tie my used/new theme, I incorporated some beautiful electric blue suede from a skirt donated to me again by Stephanie.  Our friendship and journey together as makers is meaningful and it feels so appropriate to include this in my quilt. (Plus Stephanie’s has some amazing pieces that will be at the show too.  Go check she and her pieces out: Spontaneous Threads)






Of the new roads I traveled on this piece was the use of purple fabric on the backing.  I NEVER use this color in my makes and now I am quite smitten.  An unintended extra meaning is that purple and gold are the colors of my alma mater, The University of Washington in Seattle where this piece will be shown.

I called on my good friend and Umbrella Prints collaborator Robin King to help me with labels ( A Collaboration On Friendship and Motherhood – Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge Entry 2015 | Entropy Always Wins).  These hand printed pieces are awesome and it makes me happy to have another important friend incorporated in my makes.


Tripping on this creative spree, I started sketch stitching anatomical pictures.  The combination of clinical pieces of anatomy onto used, discarded antique linens tickles me to no end.  They represent well the strange dichotomy of my everyday life: delivering horrible news to a patient followed by helping my kids with homework, helping an addict through an oxycontin addiction followed by stitching up a pretty purse, doing a complicated life saving procedure followed by a yoga date with my girlfriends . . . There is more of this series to come.



If you get a chance and are in the area, check out my mini quilts and the work of others at the Seattle Pacific Art Center on display from October 5th-November 27th.


6 thoughts on “An Invitation To Be Creative

  1. I live in Victoria BC but I’m taking Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s workshop on Bainbridge Island in November the day after this show closes. Since I have to travel on the 27th anyway, I will be timing it to see this on the last day. Can’t wait!!

  2. I wish I lived in Seattle!. Such beautiful work as always, Hilary. I too have been challenged with to be creative this month, and it makes me slightly panic and love it all at the same time. Looking forward to seeing more of your anatomical series soon – genius!

  3. Both are fantastic, I love hearing the stories too. Exploring the dichotomy between professional and personal lives, and between the practical and creative sides is fun, I am looking forward to your series.

    1. Leanne,

      I know you too live that dichotomy. love your blocks for my month btw. so excited to make with them


  4. Please go see the show and take pictures. It’s a journey I’d love to take but likely can’t fit in. I’ll trade you photos from Houston!! I just want to say, my skirt never looked so good!! Perhaps if it comes back to you we can talk trade.
    I keep looking at the details and they are outstanding. I’m all about the details and it’s very cool that the backs, often the understudy of the quilts have just as much impact as the tops. Thanks for sharing this process in so very many ways. And for the ultimate invite to be creative!! (PS purple has Always been my husbands favorite color).

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