Monday, January 16, 2006

Meet Emily Parson
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Emily Parson quilt artist, knitter, listmaker and blogger is at 38, the youngest member of the faculty of the Chicago School of Fusing. She is the responsible party for turning me onto blogging.

She is modeling her latest creation in a pose suitable for Vogue Knitting.

Emily is mother to Ethan, 6, full of energy, highly verbal and a gifted draftsman, he insists he does not knit.

Also mother to Molly, who at 4 has a tremendous fashion sense and wears many of her mother's hand knit garments, to the envy of her preschool classmates. She also does not knit. Yet.

The latest member of the family is Sophie, in her late ones, demonstrating here that walking is her next big thing.

Emily is married to Dave Greene, very late 39s, who is proving his talent for pouring the perfect head of beer to Molly, junior bartender.

I met Emily back in the mid 90's when she came to our art quilt group, PAQA. This was one of our early meetings when the crowd was very large and lots of work was being shown during our Showcase segment. It took me by surprise when she held up this quilt, Techno Pup. I almost fell out of my chair. Who is this person??? Where has she been and how did she get so good, so young???
After the meeting I approached her, to size her up and to get a better look at this work. Hmmm. She was shy, way too young, and lived in Chicago, which practically made her from outer space in my mind.
The technique she used to make this quilt, was reverse applique, she explained, which she learned in a workshop with our dear friend David Walker. (David, stop reading this right now, go away, and come back later).
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Here's how that works...Layer all the fabrics you will need in the final composition and then stitch the design outlines through all layers, and then cut away the layers until you reach the proper color, and then satin stitch the edges down to hide the rough cuts.
OMIGOD.
Being the brazen know it all that I am, I let her know she wasted tons of her beautiful fabric and time with this method, (David has retired it) and could have achieved the same effect by FUSING.
Here's what makes her the genius she is: She listened to me.
Yuh.
When will I learn to leave well enough alone? SHE IS MAJOR COMPETITION.

This detail of the dog's nose shows the meticulous quality she knew how to produce way too early in her career. O, and she hand dyed the fabrics too.
What is worse, and believe me this gets worse, is that she is a major braniac too. She has a degree in Economics (how to buy yarn on sale) from the Wharton School of Business (U of Penn)
has these three little ones and the aforementioned Big One, and manages to knit like a fiend, and make quilts that sell in the five figures and blog!
I must lie down.

Here's a cute little quilt she made, that won First Place in Applique at AQS a few years ago. It is a mere 82" square. Fused, hand dyed damask tablecloths, scored on Ebay and at garage sales, machine embroidered and machine quilted.
Her method is pretty ingenious. She pins a large white base fabric to her design wall and projects the image, or traces it from the grossly enlarged drawing (Thank you Kinko's) and then cuts the fused fabric shapes and first pins and later fuses them in place on the base. When all is constructed and fused, she satin stitch outlines the shapes, makes the sandwich and machine quilts it all. Then she photographs it, enters it in shows, and wins awards. Simple.
Did I mention she is only 38? What would it be like when the kids are all in school and she can really get something done?
I must lie down.

12 comments:

  1. She's a Fiber Genius, I tell you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totally unfair to have so much talent and still be such a yungin. I love the poppy quilt but was TOTALLY floored to find out how large it is! Yikes! I was thinking it would be tough to find a place to hang this but, ya know, I have JUST the spot in the new condo!

    Sigh.....Mel, you not only have your own talent for art but the talent to find talent! Now that's 2 Talent(ed).

    Sorry, it's early and I'm just starting the 2nd (and last- trying to learn moderation)cuppa coffee. Of course, then I switch to Chai.....

    teri

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing, I've always loved her work. Technopup is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think I'll just go hide under a rock, so much talent is too much to take this early. Maybe I should just clean today, although I don't do that well either. Sigh. But I do have a hint to keep her out of Kinko's, try Rapid Resizer. Awesome program that enlarges your image and tiles it to print out on a regular printer, I love love love it. Get it at rapidresizer.com not affiliated, just a happy customer.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Good God. Melody, you could have warned me this was coming! I'm going to spend the day helping Ethan make his "Star of the Week" poster, and had no idea you were making mine!!!!!! Pass the smelling salts.....

    xoxoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh yeah, that was Libby Lehman's class where we did the reverse applique (QSDS approximately 1994). Not to be picky with your fantastical portrayal of me, just to give proper credit. But I did take an equally wonderful class with David Walker around the same time period, (Hi David!) which is why you probably thought that.

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  7. You are indeed a lucky lady to have so much talent and be able to have friends with so much talent... and fun, too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sigh. Hearing about such brilliance in one so young and so darned busy makes me just want to crawl under stash and die.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Isn't she amazing? Truly incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the post about Emily. She's amazing.

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  11. BOTH youz guys blow my little mind!!Just when the ho hum starts to set in......PLEASE!! carry on.........!thank you....

    ReplyDelete
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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com