The Artist

I am an art quilter exploring stories starting with a photograph.

Vintage images, family albums and camera phone snapshots documenting my life are my primary subject matter.  Every art quilt I make has a rich subtext - a hidden story.

Creating allows me, as an artist; to think deeply about my life and celebrate the joy I find everyday

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My process starts with a digital image. I use photo manipulation software to enhance or create a new composition. The digital file is sent to a commercial fabric printer. When the fabric arrives in my studio, I use a variety of  materials including dyes, pigment sticks and paints directly on the cloth.  As I quilt through the cloth, batting and backing; I am  drawing with thread to create a rich and visually exciting  work of art.

Margaret Abramshe was born in Honolulu Hawaii in 1959 to family of academics. She studied for her BFA at the University of Colorado at Boulder, received a degree in Art Education from Florida International University and a Master’s in Fine Art from the University of Northern Colorado. She spent her career as public school educator, a mentor teacher, wrote numerous grants and was part of district wide curriculum writing teams in Jefferson County Colorado.

Since retiring, Margaret has devoted her time to being studio artist working as an art quilter.  In the past three years Margaret’s art quilts have been included in numerous local, national and international shows.

Recent Posts

After the “Road to California”

 Last year I wrote a post about my experience entering my first art quilt in a traditional quilt show in Ontario California.

“ By the end of two days at the show I learned that I needed to improve my technical skills and rethink what might be a better fit using my current technique. I am even thinking of making a more traditional quilt to enter in next year’s show.”

                        Post from January 2018


I have definitely devoted myself to improve my skills as a quilter. I used quilts for my guild’s philanthropy group to practice free motion patterns. Once a month I participate in  a long-arm club at my local quilt shop. At that shop I recently I attended a three day hands on class sponsored by Handi Quilter. During those three days I began to understand and appreciate how quilting can transform even the most basic quilt top.

Like all artists, quilters use design concepts. In planning the quilting for a quilt top, a master quilter is able to transform the composition. A pattern created during quilting will enhance the visual depth of a quilt by densely filling or sparsely  filling an enclosed shape. Quilting provides a visual pathway around the surface of a quilt and can even create a focal point where there wasn’t one.


Quilting lines can be straight or curved, can be heavy or light.  These lines used in a predictable pattern create a visual rhythm which plays across the surface of a quilt. The possibilities are limitless.

Taking the time before I begin to quilt to draw out the designs  has really helped me. I now spend a few minutes doodling with a fine point marker before I quilt. I don’t always choose to draw the designs that familiar to quilters like feathers or ribbon candy. I always am thinking about what will add to or enhance the quilt.

 

quilt

 

Recently I made a simple block quilt. I used a ruler to create a line of oblong shapes. I filled each row with a difference free motion motif. The exercise helped me to expand my design repertoire. 

I am beginning to see how these stitched patterns are important for the visually rich backgrounds in my portrait quilts. The potential of a using motifs in my landscape quilts to mimic natural elements is making me reconsider using primarily thread painting to enhance the design.


This year, as I toured the show; I was able to appreciate the technical prowess of the award winners and of many participants.

The quilt I entered this year (Jana)  had already won an award at a art quilt exhibition but did not get a nod from the judges at Road. So next year, I still have a goal of entering a bed quilt and to enter an art quilt that demonstrates my improved technique.


The goal is not the award.

The goal is to grow as an artist.


Until next time…..
Margaret

It’s a Plan

  Planning for a New Year A favorite author, Donna Leon; said in an interview “I write one page a day and by of the year I have written another book.” Taking each day to accomplish something toward a larger goal is a strategy I employ. I no longer put all my energy on getting […]

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The Quilt Shows Rubric

“Critics have a job to do. They do not criticise you without reason.” Abhishek Bachchan This fall I entered two quilts at the state quilt festival. One of these quilts was selected by Nancy Prince and given the  shows’ National Teacher Award. I was surprised and grateful for Nancy’s kind words.  As an art quilter […]

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Sharing what I know with others….

For many years I spent my creative time making projects for my students. I was continuously gathering inspiration at museums, galleries, in books, at classes, online and with other artists. Very little of my energy was devoted to my personal work. Like many of my fellow art  teachers, when I first retired I had zero […]

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Studio Redesign

My studio remodel is done. It took a little time, some elbow grease and a little under $1000 to create a wonderful dedicated work space. 1. Start with the surfaces. I needed light that filled the space evenly. I painted all the walls with a white with a little sheen (not a flat white). Next […]

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