Voice Training

Class wrap-up and Award Run-up

Having gathered together since September, our creative quilting class established a comfort with one another that gently came to replace expectations of “learning more stuff” with “learning important stuff.” The syllabus for the class listed an array of techniques that we would explore, but on our final night I asked students to put that all aside.

There is joy to be found…

The excitement of conquering new techniques and adding to the personal tool box gets us jazzed.  Fine tuning and following our instincts releases of our unique voices. Art Making brings joy.

I ask students to “take what you need and leave the rest behind.” Sift out what is important for you and what you want to say with your voice. A critical part of the artistic journey is a need to try everything. But the baggage of too many techniques can hold you back. Pack light. Use what resonates for you.

In the end, my class description was a sham. Painting, stitching, printing, cutting and burning… all of that was secondary to things like discovering curiosity, self-confidence and enthusiasm. To witness that is a gift.

Letting the Secret Out

In the final hours of sewing together there were questions of how to do something just right. The answer, beyond the basic mechanics, was that there was no “just right.”  Making art is about self-expression. Reflecting you in your art gets it right. What comes after is the continued shaping, honing and polishing. Discovering that something that I made was “right” even if I had never seen it done before, was an “aha moment.” Sharing that secret is the most important technique that I can pass along.

Threads has its own voice

Before Threads: The Basics and Beyond; before Stitch Journeys… there was learning and teaching; discovering and sharing. There was the spark of finding a voice. In sharing my own discoveries, I am humbled and astonished by those that students have made in class.

How can I put into words  the honour of our book being nominated for Forewords Book of the Year in in the Crafts & Hobbies category. The criteria for this nomination included:

… expand a reader’s world, introduce a voice society needs to hear, offer practical knowledge where none existed before, or simply entertain so compellingly that all distractions fall away…

Holy Smokes! Really? Could this really be all connecting?

Thank you

Thank you to students for being brave. Thank you to readers for buying the book. Thank you for hearing my voice, and most of all, thank you for sharing your own.


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