Saturday, May 5, 2012

I just returned from a fabulous trip to New York City.  I have been away far too long!  I lived in New York City when I was studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology and have claimed it as my second home ever since.  When I had my retail stores I would travel to the city twice a year to buy ( and go to the theater and dine mostly!).  It had been a long time since I had been back to the city that I love, in fact the last time I was there was before 911. 

One of my stops was at the City Quilter not far from my F.I.T. neighborhood that I knew so well. Their gallery had an exhibit of Sue Benner's amazing art quilts.  I was so inspired by her work that it's the first thing that I want to share with you from the trip.  This was one of my favorite pieces.  Visually it is circles, but the base is simple blocks.  The circles are created with narrow bias pieces that she has swirled and fused to the base.  She also does alot of stamping and printing on her quilts to add dimension and interest. 

I love to use unexpected fabrics in my quilts.  I do love all of the new modern cotton quilting fabrics that are out there....but I have worked with so many different types of fabrics over the years and I love the qualities of fabrics like silks, rayons, woolens and more!  Sue uses alot of "found" fabrics in her quilts.  You can see the difference in the overall look of the quilts.  There were alot of silks and other fabrics, even polyesters.  These fabrics gave her quilts a sheen and colorations that she would never have been able to achieve with cottons.  The quilts are also heavily quilted with rayon and yarn dyed threads to add even more color and contrast to her quilts.

Another thing that Sue does with her quilts that makes them hang well and look perfect in the exhibition is a trick that I want to try on my next art quilt.  She has a sleeve in both the top and the bottom of her quilts.  The top sleep has a 2 inch board in it to keep the top straight and smooth .  The bottom sleeve also has a board in it.  It weights the quilts and it really makes a difference in how her quilts hang and show in the exhibit.  I hope you enjoy looking at these wonderful quilts as much as I did!  Be sure and visit Sue Benner's website to see more.

As you can see there was a wealth of inspiration to be found in the "City" and I can't wait to share more of it with you!  

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