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 Kristin Miller        

Kristin Miller   I am pleased to introduce my friend Kristin Miller. Kristin is a self-taught quilt artist. As a result she is unencumbered by the rules that bind so many of today's quiltmakers. Kristin's approach to quilt making is spontaneous and innovative. She often works free-form within a format such as a medallion or spiral, allowing her designs to emerge without planning. This strategy coupled with her use of scraps and recycled fabrics results in work that is fresh and unique.

Several years ago Kristin moved to Gabriola Island, B.C., where she maintains a studio. She has many students on the island who appreciate her supportive style. She is the author of "The Careless Quilter" in which she encourages her readers to freely experiment with fabrics and design.

Kristin's shy and quiet demeanour belies her quick clear mind and her willingness to speak out on important issues. Her strong ethics and her willingness to act have led her to champion causes. She has become known as an expert on protest quilts. She has been involved in organizing protest quilt projects as well as teaching and lecturing about the use of quilts as a tool for social action.

I hope you will enjoy getting to know my friend and colleague, Kristin Miller.
-
Mary Holdgrafer.


Kristin writes:
"Whether I'm taking a walk or making a quilt, I like to get lost for a while. I'm always off on tangents in my quiltmaking, meandering in unexpected directions, so I'll describe four of the many paths that I have been pursuing.

Making medallion quilts has been a constant in my quilting life-the fixed format gives tremendous scope for playing with colour, and an invigorating freedom to develop the design as it is being sewn. "Jake's Quilt" is a recent exploration in energizing and disrupting the symmetry of the medallion.

Please click on the images to view the enlargements -



see the enlargement
"Jake's Quilt"


The sewing of patchwork spirals has preoccupied and fascinated me for several years, in part because it is such a confusing way to sew. Since I use randomly shaped scraps sewn without planning or patterns, the final shape and size is unpredictable. The spiral will uncoil from the center only if a strict sequence of colours is followed in the sewing, yet the spiral seems to grow organically. The spirals can then be combined together to suggest growth, vitality, and interconnection, as in the quilt "Tendrils".



see the enlargement
"Tendrils"


I have little patience for designing or preplanning quilts-I just want to start sewing, and to go where I am taken, discovering the theme or meaning of the quilt along the way. Most often, I am responding to the fabric itself, or to the shapes of the scraps I use.

Although I must do some planning for landscape or scenic quilts, it is my great pleasure to add impromptu details and embellishments, and to sew as I go whenever possible. I followed a sketch for laying out the design elements of "Lonnie's North Coast Quilt", but the trees and foliage were drawn free-hand by stitching down ravelled threads, and the mountains and seashore were sculpted from fabric.



see the enlargement
"Lonnie's North Coast Quilt"




My quilts are usually pieced on the sewing machine, but I spend exorbitant amounts of time hand-stitching as well, either in building up design elements and fastening down added accoutrements, or in the actual quilting stitches. For efficiency's sake, I sometimes quilt by machine, but I am always most satisfied with the look and feel of stitches slowly made by hand, and soothed by the process.

I don't know where I'm going next in my quiltmaking, but I'm eager to find out, especially when the paths I follow cross each other and lead me off in new directions."

Kristin Miller. July, 2004



You can reach Kristin Miller by email - kristinmiller@shaw.ca
and visit her website: : www.kristinmillerquilts.com

Patchwork and Art Quilts,
760 Killerwhale Lookout,
Gabriola Island,
British Columbia V0R1X2 Canada
phone: 250-247-7656

Do also visit The Fibre Art Network website to see more of Kristin Miller's work.



     
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