Creativity flows during quilting workshop

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., Feb. 7, 2013
Ed Johnetta Miller shows off her work to guests at the Hand-On-Workshop at the Windsor Art Center on Feb. 2. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Ed Johnetta Miller shows off her work to guests at the Hand-On-Workshop at the Windsor Art Center on Feb. 2. Photos by Colin Rajala.

When a person thinks of quilting, they often envision their grandmother or an elderly woman sewing fabric together as she rocks back and forth in her rocking chair with her cat by her side, but one internationally-recognized artist is breaking the mold. Ed Johnetta Miller brought her pizzazz and flair to the Windsor Art Center for an exhibit running until March 3, as well as a Hands-On-Workshop on Feb.2.

“This was one of the best times I have had at a gallery. Folks I hadn't seen in years came out and we had standing-room-only for the opening,” Miller said. “It was wonderful; the gallery looked great, really hung well. The people; what a mix, all ages, all colors, which brought a smile to my face. This was one of the best openings I have had,” said the fabric artist.

Miller’s quilts hang in museums like the Wadsworth Atheneum of Art, The National Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution and the Nelson Mandela Museum in South Africa, and she wanted to give the workshop students a taste of her energetic work. At the workshop, Miller asked the students to bring along photos they particularly enjoyed, whether it was from a magazine or a family photo. They obliged with a wealth of sources while still not knowing what exactly they would be creating.

Helping to spur the students' creative juices, Miller brought in all kinds of media for the guests to use, including ethnic printed papers, magazine clippings, things she has collected from her various travels, tissue paper, as well as home goods like coffee filters. The students were going to apply the various papers and fabric to canvas board to create a miniature quilt.

The students designed the boards with the wealth of clippings and images and ran them through a printer alongside a photo transfer paper, which conveyed the design from the board to a piece of fabric, creating a miniature quilt. After printing, some artists furthered their designs with stamps, markers and stencils.

“I want people to look at my work and understand that they do not have to be in a box [where] everything has to be this way or that way; let it go, explore, let your creative juices flow,” Miller said. “We all have a little jazz in our souls, so let it shine, show another side of you.”

For more information, visit www.windsorartcenter.org or call 860-688-2528.


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