I asked Debbie a few questions. It was really fun to learn more about her and her beautiful work.
1- How did you get started in sewing/working with wool?
I guess the answer to that question is that things come full circle in life and with me, that could not be truer.
My grandmother was an artisan who also hooked rugs and quilted. She would make wool quilts from my grandfather's clothing.
They were basically crazy quilts, with hand embroidered seams, and a few designs, but they were basically primitive in style.
Years later when I found myself creating, I became interested in applique art, using felt products. I loved being able to create pictures and art with hand stitching. Over the years I dabbled in different mediums and lost sight of my quilting enthusiasm. It was when I began to rug hook, that I fell in love with wools. An online rug hooking friend was also a quilter and got me thinking about quilting again. She sent me books and fabrics and I started quilting with fabrics.
Most of the patterns I used were primitive and wools were used in some. That got me to thinking about all of the wonderful wools I had in my stash and how fun it would be to create using wools and fabrics in my pieces. I found I loved working with wools and the naive look it gives. I also enjoy the ease of sewing smaller pieces compared to needle turn. It is more of a creative outlet for me, than a pursuit of perfection.
2- What inspires you?
Life inspires me, everything I see and do, each day, is a future idea to create. I am always taking pictures when we go out. I enjoy taking photographs of historic buildings and churches that inspire me and graveyards are a wonderful place to find folk art motifs. I also love sayings and verses and using them in my pieces. I often build a piece around a saying or verse. I also appreciate historical folk art and enjoy using the designs, in new ways.
3- What is your favorite project that you've ever made?
People have asked me that and usually it is the last piece I made. I always love what I am working on at the moment, even if it doesn't come out the way I envisioned. I guess the best way, is to show you some of the pieces I have made and what I loved about creating them.
This is my one of my first pieces. I based it on an antique quilt piece and used elements that I liked and made it my own. I love cats and I love antique cat pieces, so this one is definitely a favorite that I have hanging in my quilt room.
A group that I belong to had a challenge, that definitely lived up to it's name. We each had a partner and we sent each other, fabrics, wool, embellishments and whatever we could think of, for the recipient to use in a quilt. This was a real challenge for me, I had to use materials, I had never thought, to put into a quilt. I basically worked from the rooster block and went from there. It taught me that anything can be used in a quilt, and the use of materials like chenille and lace are things I still use in my new pieces.
Another challenge was hosted by Sue Spargo. She gave us the tree and leaves motif to start with and we had to design a quilt around those elements. I decided that I wanted mine to be based on my fraktur designs, so I used my own designs and some new ones in unique ways. I loved working on this piece, it was fun to experiment with different mediums. I have also been experimenting with wool roving, so it was fun to use it in this piece.
I enjoy making gifts for my friends too and have made pieces based on their likes and decorating styles. A friend had just purchased an old school desk, so I decided to make a piece to hang on the wall. This piece was fun because I used a material called tula, that is soft like cotton, but has large holes for needlework. It was not easy to sew the pieces on, but it was wonderful material for adding cross stitch to the background.
Thank you for visiting Natalia's blog and reading about my wool adventures.
Debbie St. Germain
Thanks again Debbie! Someday I when I have a little more time on my hands I really want to get into working with wool. Debbie you have inspired me! Now I want to start today!! You can also purchase some of Debbies patterns over on her website. Don't forget to head over to Debbies blog to see what she's up to!
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