Monday, October 15, 2018

Artist Profile Series: Rachel Parris

Rachel Parris
Birmingham, Alabama

1. What is sitting on the edges of your work table? Three small bins of scraps, two rulers, a roll of mistyfuse, my iron, (I have a large work table so part of it is my ironing surface.) a rotary cutter, scissors, tv remote, and my pad.

2. If someone looked beneath the surface, what could be re- vealed that we might not know about you?
I have to work hard on maintaining self confidence. I have grown a lot in this area, but still work on it.

3. What occupies the space between your sewing machine and your cutting table?
My design wall, a tall chair and a short table.

4. What is the most exquisite moment in your artistic life? Honestly, it was seeing my exquisite moment quilt as the fea- tured quilt on the Dinner at Eight artists blog that year. It was the first time that I had the feeling that maybe I could do this thing after all.

5. Do you have daily rituals in your studio?
I usually say hello to my machine, and try to cut a deal that if I am kind to her, she will be kind to me. If I am starting a new quilting project, I take some deep breaths, drop my shoul- ders, and say out loud that it is my intention that this work be the best I can do.

6. Reflecting on the quilts that you have made, which one stands out to you?
The quilt I made based on my grandmother feeding her chickens will always stand out for me. I could feel it coming together from the start. It was hard, but I knew it was going to be good because I could feel all kinds of connections go- ing on.

 7. What do you have an affinity for in your work?
I have an affinity for free motion quilting. But my greatest affinity is for the conduit my quilting has provided to new friends all over the United States and the world. I love this tribe of strong women.

8. What kinds of patterns do you use in your work to create interest and texture?
I use free motion quilting, stamping, some beading, and handwriting. I love adding words.

9. What personal iconography is identifiable to you exclu- sively in your work?
Storylines. My quilts usually tell a story, generally a story that is personal to me in some way.

10. What was your inspiration for the Best of Dinner at Eight?
My inspiration was my affinity for poetry...especially those poems that tell stories. This quilt tells a sweet story of long- ago. It comes from a poem that I memorized as a child and always loved.

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