Sheryl Eggleston

A Journey of Words and Stitches

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New/Old Beginnings

January 26, 2010

So where does one start? I suppose I'll start with what is inspiring to me and hopefully it will be to you too. But maybe first a bit of history.
I love handmade things. It seems upon reflection that I have always gravitated toward needlework. It wasn't until just a couple years ago that I learned my paternal grandmother from Tennessee was a quiltmaker. My maternal grandmother did fancy work and embroidery. So if you put the two together, then you have me!
Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to learn by their hand, only by what they left. Because of this, I am most adamant about teaching my grandchildren the joy and skills of creating by hand. I am doubly blessed to have a daughter who loves to create as much as I do!

I taught myself to embroider in high school in the 70's from looking at several pieces my mother had stashed away that her mother had done. One piece is a silk dress from a WWII parachute. Another dress was handmade with no pattern and appliqued and embroidered. Even in Jr. High I was haunting the isles of the local 5 and dime for bits of fabric and jewelry findings. I embroidered lots of clothes for myself and friends and even took my box of threads with me when I went away to the Army.
When I moved to Sacramento in the 80's I was introduced to the fine art of needlework with the local Embroiderers Guild and also the work of Judith Baker Montano. That sent me on a quest again for all kinds of fabrics, ribbon, beads, and buttons. I took it all to Italy where I taught myself to quilt. That was as far as that went, as Italy was just too fascinating to do anything but absorb all that was Italy!
About 3 years ago, I was at a point to start spending more time with textiles again. I had just spent several years in the paper and art stamping arena running a business designing and manufacturing art rubber stamps. I started to combine all the the things that I love. It feels natural to put it all on fabric. It was easy to go from embellishing paper to embellishing fabric.
I love to embellish! It creates so much more interest and depth and makes art much more personal. Hand work is of special interest to me and is a consuming passion. It slows me down just a bit and helps me appreciate each nuance as the piece comes together.
One of my goals is to use what I have as I create new pieces. Not only am I concerned about overusing our resources, I am also haunted by the thought of one day seeing all my 'pretties' on a yard sale table in little baggies!

Visual Harmony - My first solo art quilt show in September 2009 began a new direction in my life and work as I strive to obtain a balance of color and form, sustainablility and simplicity in all that I do; basically make-do and use it up! Exploring this idea along with inspiration for your own creations will be the focus of my natterings for some time to come, along with some day to day humor involving my dogs, cat, turkeys, chickens and assorted family rambling around on our small acreage.

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