Monday, September 21, 2015

Artist Profile: Rachel King Parris

Rachel King Parris
Birmingham, Alabama

1. Did the change in dimensions present any specific challenges for you?  I had a hard time because of lack of space on my design table and in the harp of my machine.

2. Describe your design area, specifically your work table:  what is the best thing about it? My design area is new and wonderful. Sweet husband remodeled the back of the garage as a studio for me. I have been amazed at how quickly I have filled the space. The only real drawback I have is that my design table is inadequate for a project this size. However that will be remedied as soon as our carpenter friend can fit me into his schedule.

3. What set this quilt apart from other recent projects you have been working on? The size of this quilt is way outside my comfort zone. Although my quilts tend to be very personal to me, I felt very deeply connected to the theme of this one.

4. When you get “stuck” how do you deal with a “design block”?  How do you overcome it? I usually consult with friends and mentors online. Also, I try to read blogs and books by quilters who talk about related problems. If all else fails, I just walk away from the project for a while.

5. Do you work on single or multiple projects at the same time? I tend to work one project to completion.

6. What do you hope people take away from your work? I hope people will appreciate my growth as an art quilter. I also hope they can see me in my work.

7. What are the best parts of working on an art quilt:  What are your least favorite parts? The best parts are finding inspiration for the starting point. For me, this usually involves looking through photographs, reading poetry, listening to friends talk, even journaling. The next best is when I begin to see the pieces coming together on the design wall. My least favorite parts continue to be forcing a large quantity of fabric through my machine when free motion quilting. Things happen that I can’t see until I get it all smoothed out and then it requires a major fix. The binding continues to be my least favorite part.

8. What art/quilt-related organizations do you belong to? I am a member of International Quilt Association, and The quilt Alliance

9. Do you have a preferred color palette? My first response is almost automatic: purples, and pinks. However, I have enough work to look back on now, and really I seem to use a lot of blues, yellows, browns and greens. I love color and am trying to pay closer attention now to selecting palettes.  

10. What do you regard as your most interesting milestones along your art journey? My most interesting milestones so far have been discovering the world of the IQF in Houston and finding an ever-growing circle of just amazing friends. My Second “milestone” would be the making of my quilt, The Ordinary Day. It was the first time I ever felt like I had actually gotten it right. It was very affirming to me.
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