Hello! My name is Lisa Congdon and it is my pleasure to be guest blogging for Jen while Zelda recovers from surgery! I am an artist and illustrator from Oakland, California, and I write a daily blog called Today is Going to be Awesome. It is my pleasure to share with you the stunning quilts of artist Carrie Strine, whose current collection is currently on display at Art in the Age in Philly.
Carrie began her art career as a photographer. While she was completing her MFA and working on a series of photographic installations, she started “a tiny project hand sewing tiny little pieces of fabric into a pair of pillows,” she said in an interview with It’s Nice That. “It started out just for fun—I didn’t even have a sewing machine—then it became really clear that there was a relationship between my quilting and the installations I was making in my studio. I used to think it was just that quilting was just a little hobby that would keep my mind from getting lazy while away from my ‘real’ work, but it’s just not the case these days. Quilting has become central to my practice.”
I am struck by the meticulousness and detail of Carrie’s work — and I have always wondered, how long does one quilt take her to make? And, as you might suspect, she says that it varies. “I always have one project going that is done completely by hand,” which takes much longer. Most of the time, however, she combines machine piecing (that’s sewing together the small pieces of fabric with a machine) and hand quilting. “A bed sized quilt can take somewhere between 6 weeks and 1 year depending on the complexity and my engagement.”
My favorite part of Carrie’s quilts are her use of color and her eye for perfect composition. Medallion, pictured above, is her masterpiece. It took her three years to complete! And, to top it off, not a single inch was worked with a sewing machine!
Carrie calls her quilting meditative. “I will also think for weeks about what my next step will be with a color or fabric while working on a certain part of the quilt. I really enjoy having the space to work slowly.” As a fellow artist who often rushes to finish work on a deadline, and where I see fellow artists doing the same, I love the idea of “slow art”.
Carrie is currently having her first exhibition of her quilts at Art in the Age in Philadelphia. The show, Handwork, opened Friday, February 7th and will be on view until March 31st. Its a collection of her newest works, both large scale bed quilts and smaller wall pieces.
Images courtesy of Carrie Strine.