Friday, 15 July 2016

Mini-Me how this came to be ...


I was 8-years old when my mother sat with me during school lunch breaks; she gave me art lessons to fill the time; this same year she taught me to sew.  At 15, I was sewing my own clothing and hemming jeans for the cute neighbor boy.  Throughout high school I was a rising artist.  In university, I dabbled in the visual arts.  Yet, it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that the two, art & sewing could be joined. Once I realized that the technique of quilting could be used to express my inner feelings; I never looked back.  I now create art quilts as an extension of my emotions and passion for life. 

Inspired by playfulness I use quilting to awaken the memory of special moments in my life.  My subject matter reflects the way I see the world; passionate, energetic and unique.

I constantly seek new environments which allow me freedom to explore, and continually expose me to stimulus, as well as offer me time to reflect and be inspired. The art of quilting enabled me to express my ideas and utilize all facets of my artistic ability.

This is the first thing I had ever sewn. I created her over 45 years ago and my mom still has this sweet little relic


MY SEWING INSPIRATION

A legend had been passed to me with undocumented stats that my Great-Grandmother, Mary (Gajewski) Dotski had created a handmade quilt for each of her ###  grandchildren & a crocheted afghan & pillow set for each of the great-grandchildren. Rough estimate would be well over 50 and likely many, many more.  Anyhow,  I still have the the set I was given.  Although I wish I still had one of the thousand of crocheted chickens,I often think of the mini-crocheted masterpieces she along with my maternal grandparents made in the early to mid 70's.  When I was a little girl these little treasures protected our Easter eggs at the annual Easter basket blessings. 

I always felt that items such as paintings, quilts, afghans, simply stated anything created by hand is a legacy we leave to future generations. I want to create legacies. 


My maternal grandmother, Virginia Friedel, & paternal grandmother, Olga Michonski, were an inspiration to this very young seamstress.

I was awe inspired by Grandma "M's" sewing room and cutting table (aka Pool Table).  She showed my how to use patterns and that amazing little roller thingy that cut holes in carbon paper to mark tucks, darts and button holes, the hem measuring tool, pinking sheers and that "magical" button box. It was all very exciting to me, young "dawnche".(This is what both she and my grandfather called me.)

Grandma Friedel was the queen of Raggedy Ann and Andy.  The legend of Grandma Friedel is etched into my brain as such: throughout her lifetime and using her faithful Elna sewing machine; she made over 200 sets of rag dolls. Who am I to doubt it?

My set of dolls still watch over every move I make in my sewing room.  Grandma was meticulous in her stitching.  Hems were invisible and seams were perfect.  I still don't know how she did it but she barely needed an iron to flatten a wrinkled shirt. My most precious gift from her was that she did all the alterations to my wedding dress.



While I am sharing all these little secrets; I need to mention one other person.  Just so you know, anything and everything I do in my sewing room is the result of some type of angelic interaction. I don't know how I ended up being the keeper of my great Aunt Phoebe's last portrait, but I am,

At the young age of 19, she was tragically killed by a street car in Detroit, Michigan (truth or legend; this is the way I recall the story) Anyhow, my Great-Aunt Phoebe Niedjelski watches every move I make in my sewing room.

She is always present.  

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