Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A Blast From the Past

Oohhh! Look what I found. This is from the PBS Art of Quilting program website...I had a terrible awful miserable cold the day they videoed me. But the quote is just what I struggled to say.  It's good to see what I felt like then, I think it was 2006.

Description: Irregular blocks of cool greens, olives, and chartreuse.Detail from Cruciform Series 2: Green by Melody Johnson.

Melody Johnson

Melody Johnson describes herself as an artist whose medium for the last 24 years has been quiltmaking. Johnson's quilts have been exhibited in national shows, and her major awards include a 1995 American Quilter's Society Best Wall Quilt and the 1998 International Quilt Associations's Pfaff Master of Machine Artistry. She also serves as the Dean of Music for The Chicago School of Fusing.

Melody Johnson Web site»
sample headshot
“When you start out with a pile of fabric and then it becomes something it's just thrilling.”
“You're dealing with a lot of people who have these rules in their head that are absolutely carved in granite. I'm constantly trying to chip away at that granite, because I think if you can make more quilts faster you can improve your design abilities. You can have your ideas come to life faster. So to me, having a small amount of time to make quilts, I want to be able to dive right in and get it up on the wall right away. I don't want to have to fuss around with the technique. For me, fusing just means my ideas are coming to life that much faster. So as I teach I'm also telling my students you can learn about your own design abilities if you don't have to labor so long over making the quilt. So that's the whole idea. When you fuse it, it's instant. It's instant gratification. It's repairable if you don't like it. You can peel it apart; you don't have to pick at stitches, which is nice. And so all the things about it make it so much more appealing to me than any other method.
I think the design process is the part that makes me excited and I'm always surprised when I haven't been at work making quilts in a long time, how wonderful that feeling is, that it fits, this works, this looks great together and I get such a thrill. When you start out with a pile of fabric and then it becomes something it's just thrilling. And then you can put it up on the wall, step back and look at it, and then evaluate where you're going. And I really feel that what we do as artists is we give ourselves a little problem and then we have to come up with a creative solution. So during that process if we run into another problem and then we have to come up with another solution on top of that, that's even better. I feel like I'm really using what my gifts are then. There's nothing else like it.”
Stylized female portrait with hot color palette.Detail from Hotflash: Women of a Certain Age by Melody Johnson.

That quilt Hotflash, was destroyed in a flood. O well. It lives on in the internet.


  1. All I have to say is WOW.

  2. Fabulous! So sad about the quilt tho. Is there a picture of it in its entirety somewhere? I'd love to see.

  3. What a great and thoughtful artist philosophy. What a loss that quilt was.

  4. What a good attitude but it makes me kind of sick to think it was destroyed. I love it!

  5. I didn't know you did that. I saw it in the documentary about art quilting. I think of it often. Too bad it died an untimely death!

  6. Hot flash was destroyed!? Oh no!!! You showed a fabulous hot flash quilt at PAQA years ago and I wonder if it was that one.

  7. Love Hotflash, sorry to hear of its demise. Lois

  8. I love, love, loved the hot flash quilt and if I had had the money when Cindy and I visited in Illinois way too many years ago, I would have bought it in a heartbeat! I am that woman in the quilt and it's getting old!

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