Thursday, September 3, 2015

Artist Profile: Terri Stegmiller

Terri Stegmiller
Mandan, North Dakota

1. Did the change in dimensions present any specific challenges for you?  Or if this is your first time with us, how did you like the size? This was my first opportunity to submit a quilt entry to Dinner @ Eight and the size was fine for me. I prefer this approximate size or smaller when creating art quilts. 

2. Describe your design area, specifically your work table:  what is the best thing about it? I have a wonderful cutting/work table that my husband and his brother made me. It holds a huge cutting mat and has plenty of storage space underneath. It is on wheels and I can move it easily when I need to. It serves many purposes. When I'm not cutting fabric for quilting, I spread out plastic sheets and paint fabric on it.

3. What set this quilt apart from other recent projects you have been working on? This quilt was different in that it was larger than my most recent work and I was working to a theme. Most of the time my quilt designs come from ideas in my sketchbooks, with no themes in mind.

4. When you get “stuck” how do you deal with a “design block”?  How do you overcome it? I have several ways I enjoy being creative, and if I'm in a creative block with quilting, I will pick up one of my other projects, such as weaving, fabric painting, or making handbags. If I'm in a total block, I will look for inspiration either on the Internet (Pinterest is a great tool for seeking inspiration) or I'll page through the books I have on my shelves.

5. Do you work on single or multiple projects at the same time? Multiple, as I stated previously, I have many interests and I find it hard to work on only one thing at a time. My brain is usually 10 to 15 projects ahead of what my hands can do.

6. What do you hope people take away from your work? When someone views my work, I hope that it intrigues them and gets them thinking about what story the quilt is conveying, whether they are conjuring up some sort of personal experience or a magical tale. My work tends to be colorful and whimsical, so putting a smile on someone's face is the best response I could hope for.

7. What are the best parts of working on an art quilt:  What are your least favorite parts? My favorite part is the design phase. My next favorite part is starting the project and getting the first layers of design and color on the fabric. My least favorite parts are the finishing steps...choosing a binding or edge finish and adding the hanging sleeve and label.

8. What art/quilt-related organizations do you belong to? I am a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), the Textile and Fiber Art List (TAFA), and International Quilt Association (IQA). In my hometown, I am a member of a local quilt guild.

9. Do you have a preferred color palette?  Why? When creating my quilts I don't think I have a preferred palette. I tend to like all colors and many color combinations, but there are times I seem to lean toward warm colors, especially oranges. But put some turquoises, teals, and lime greens in front of me and my eyes will be sending happy waves to my brain! 

10. What do you regard as your most interesting milestones along your art journey? One of the struggles I have is that there are not many people in my area that are interested in the type of quilting I do, and while I have some great quilting friends most have interests in more traditional types of quilting. A few years ago I started teaching locally and there didn't seem to be anyone interested in taking my classes. But slowly, over time, I am getting a lot more interest from quilters and they are starting to fill up my classes. I feel like I'm making headway in spreading my joy in art quilting and helping others think outside the traditional "box".

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