Saturday, September 1, 2012

Artist Investigation: A Sweet Treat from Sweet Season Quilts

It's my favorite time of the month, Artist Investigation! This month we are featuring one of our favorite applique artists, Sue Pritt of Sweet Season Quilts
If you've been to a show and visited our booths or participated in a class our lecture you may recognize some of Sue's quilts, The Painted Ladies (a series of 4 pastel houses), the Shop Ladies (series of 10 shops) or Barnyard Ladies (series of 4 barns).
Sue's "Ladies" are popular, as well as other patterns such as the Over East and Up North, so I decided to sit down with her over a cup of tea and bowl of berries and talk about her work.
Jaggie: Tell us how you got started in quilting and fusible appliqué as a craft?   When did you transition it into the industry?
Sue: During the late 80’s, I found that I had time to use my sewing machine for something other than making clothing, curtains, etc.  I was going to make wall hangings! 

Magazines were my primary inspiration then, especially around the holidays, when they offered ideas galore! At that time, the appliqué process was still cutting out shapes from cardboard for templates, cutting fabrics from them and pinning in place, then stitching around the edges, – but just a few years into the 90’s the industry offered us quilters Fusible web! I enrolled in a one day class, and that’s all I needed to love the technique of raw edge fusible web!!

Jaggie: Tell us about Sweet Season Quilts Patterns . . .

Sue: I have been told that my patterns “tell a story”, and that’s true, but mainly for me, they represent places to visit!  Like strolling along the Painted Lady street, or visiting all the animals in the Barnyard Ladies. And then there are other places to visit; like Over East and Up North, and I can go to all of these places each time I look at my quilts.
Jaggie: Who influenced you artistically from the start and is there anyone you learned about later who has impacted your creativity?
Sue: I grew up “knowing” how to draw and design. It’s one of those things that can’t be explained other than I was “created” with this gift! Of course, whenever I received praise from parents and family on my beautiful (to me) works of art, it only encouraged me to continue to draw and design with every free moment. That encouragement continues today, from quilting friends and associates who love what I’m doing!   

Jaggie: Many people have been reminded of places they’ve been by your quilts.  For instance, Rainbow Row in S.C. is often brought up when some see the Painted Ladies.  Where do you draw you inspiration from?
Sue: I have a fascination with buildings.  I was going to be an architect when I “grew up”, which I did not become, but that didn’t stop me from designing my own buildings.  I especially love Victorian homes and barns, and once the quilting/designing “bug” bit me, I realized that I could be an architect through my art quilts. You’ll see buildings or parts of them in many of my quilts. I will say that none of my designs represent any one place; they are part imagination and part of a collection of all the sights that I’ve seen over the years. Oh, and I’ve never seen Rainbow Row in S.C. Maybe in my past life I lived there?

Jaggie: If you could sit down and teach one celebrity or historical figure a fabric craft, who would it be and what project?

Sue: Beatrix Potter!  I would have loved to have met her and would have introduced her to my world of art quilts with fusible web appliqué! I bet she would have loved making Peter Rabbit into a colorful art quilt!
Jaggie: When did you first discover the Bear Thread Design and the Appliqué Pressing Sheet?
Sue: At that very first class that I mentioned earlier.  I took a one-day class on raw edge fusible web appliqué, and the instructor demonstrated placement guides and she used the Bear Thread Design Appliqué Pressing Sheet!

Jaggie: What was your impression on how the Appliqué Pressing Sheet impacts the appliqué community?  Do you think it offers people who would otherwise be intimidated a new view on appliqué?
Sue: I personally cannot create my art quilts without the Appliqué Pressing Sheet, I love it!

I have one for home and one that I take when teaching classes.  When I show quilters how to use the “APS”, they either say “wow” or “it’s magic”!  Quilters are really excited about this technique for making appliqué.  They can’t believe how fast and simple the process is.     
And I must mention the best part ... it’s when I show quilters how to peel the fused appliqué pieces off the sheet, and place the fused unit directly onto their quilt top!  I love seeing their expressions once they do this for the first time; it’s so much fun! 
Jaggie: Is there a pattern or theme that you have on your “bucket list” to create but haven’t done it yet?
Sue: Someday, I’d like to take the time to re-create my Grandma and Grandpa Detwiler’s farmhouse and barn into an art quilt.  They and the buildings are long gone, but vivid images remain, just waiting for me to bring them back to life.
Quilt Artist, Sue Pritt, has a variety of fusible applique patterns
that will transport you to a variety of places, from a quaint farm
to a front porch resort.
Talking with Sue Pritt was a delightful experience, and learning about her creative process. If you'd like to learn more about Sue or her patterns, visit her website, Sweet Season Quilts. We hope you take time to visit out Artist of the Month and don't forget to stop by our booth at our upcoming events and see Sue's wonderful work!

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