Meet the Quilt Artists: Jane Major
This is part of a series of profiles of quilt artists involved in a project that saw Canadian quilters send their art to be displayed in a quilt show in Taiwan that will begin on April 30 and run through May, 2016. Read about the project here and find links to other participant profiles.
I have always been someone who likes to learn. I enjoyed school so much that I spent 35 years (off and on when I wasn't on maternity leaves ... I have 4 children) teaching elementary school in London. My classroom was a place where students were allowed to "muck around" and explore new ways of arriving at answers and creating things. Every learning activity was an opportunity for problem solving.
So, it's really no surprise that after retiring in 2012 I decided to join the Huron/Perth Quilting Guild where I could become the one "mucking around". Quilting was something different and unfamiliar to me and I welcomed the challenge of learning something new.
In the three years that I have been a member, I have enjoyed learning techniques for completing fabric art and traditional quilts. I am always in awe of the work that is completed by our guild members and displayed at our regular show and tell sessions at monthly meetings.
I am fortunate to have an older sister, Becky Turner, (Becky has also submitted a quilt to the TAQS show) who is also a member of the guild. She is always willing to give me some of her stash and to encourage me along the way.
So far, my husband doesn't seem to mind that the sewing machine occupies a place on the kitchen table for way too many days in a row while I work on my projects. I'm so glad that he only asks occasionally, "What do you plan to do with this when you are finished?" because, to be honest, I'm having too much fun "mucking around" to worry about being practical.
I am a relative newcomer to the art of quilting, having never completed a quilt prior to joining the guild two years ago. The techniques used to complete art quilts which have been demonstrated at various workshops given by the guild have been of great interest to me.
I especially enjoy experimenting with colour and am looking forward to learning how to make the machine and hand quilting that I do, complement and enhance the content of my quilts. As a retired teacher, I have always enjoyed learning new things. I am my own worst critic when it comes to judging what I do. As such, I constantly have to remind myself that it is the process, and not the product, that is important.
Together We Can
I am always amazed at what a person can find by doing a google search. I managed to find the inspiration for my fibre art quilt by looking for images related to "Save the Earth". Part of the image I found there showed stylized people coming together to form a tree. It was the definite "cheerleader" feel to it that drew me in.
I used fabric that I had painted with a non-toxic Color Vie product for all parts of my quilt. The background fabric which was orange and purple suggested movement from warm to cool and thus symbolized the cooling effect trees have on our environment. While the image that was my inspiration was completely symmetrical, I purposely chose to make my figure asymmetrical as a way of suggesting that we humans have much work to do if we are going to make this earth a better place for our children.
The orange strands reaching upwards at the base of the tree were a late addition to my work. Will they one day become full grown trees or will they die because of global warming? The tree in the photo is a gnarly old apple tree that has seen better days. At some point, I hope to showcase it in one of my art quilts.
Detailed closeup of 'Together We Can'