Last week we established Jenny Haynes is the creator of some amazing quilts. This week I think you'll find she's facing an exciting year. I especially loved her 2018 New Year post on Instagram encouraging us all to be brave and fierce, like her! Again many thanks to Jenny for sharing her stories and work with us...
1. What's one or two things about you that might surprise people?
I'm very messy and I've got a terrible memory for names and faces. Some of the mum's at my boys' school have had me introduce myself to them 3-4 times.
2. I'm crazy about your Curved Log Cabin quilt. Where did the inspiration for that come from? Now that I mention it where does most of your inspirations come from (ginormous question I know!)?
I work from restricted and minimal going outwards if that makes sense. I start with a shape (say the Drunkard's Path) and play with it, either in paper or in Touchdraw. I change the shape or size and play with it, see what comes out of one simple shape.
In the case of the Curved Log Cabin Quilt (I sometimes call it #sisteroftheotherone as there is now more than one) it started a few years back. I wanted to try to make a Log Cabin Drunkard's Path block for a Sunflower Block. I then made an oval version. A year ago Thames & Hudson publishing asked if I could make a quilt for a book for the Victoria & Albert Museum. The brief was to make my own version of a traditional quilt in their collection so I changed my Oval Log Cabin and made it with 50 different solids. The scrappy look and the big stitch hand quilting were references to the quilts historically made from re-purposed fabrics by hand. There was a suggestion in the book on how to make the quilt in a different way by using monochrome fabrics. As I wanted a quilt to promote the book and classes with and the original quilt was being kept in the shop for the book display, I made the monochrome version as well.
3. Who do you look up to? Who's your hero, quilting or otherwise?
Artists I follow with excitement on IG are: Robert Moya, Paolo Arao, Kels O'Sullivan and Chris Manton. I also go to architecture, ceramics (Lubna Chowdhary), furniture and print for inspiration. The IG community and makers like Hillary Goodwin and Sam Hunter have been nothing but supportive, encouraging and inspirational. I hope that I can give some of that back somehow to new makers through my teaching or support. We're in this together.
4. You design, quilt, sell templates, teach and you're a mama. How do you balance all those amazing things?
I think being busy feeds our creativity. I work best with deadlines and I've got plenty of them this year. I've got my first exhibition at the end of March (at Artyfact Gallery in Sweden), teaching at the V&A, also in March. #whatshadeareyou in Feb, a few pattern releases and I'm doing a BOM for a new UK Quilting website, on top of my normal teaching and two MQG talks. An exciting year ahead. I try to only work when the boys are st school but, as I love what I do, school holidays can be hard and I get a bit grumpy when I don't get to sew.
5. What's your best suggestion/pep talk for when a slump or a creative block gets in the way. How do you get back to being productive?
Just keep making. The group of quilts in working on for the exhibition have sent me through the (not yet complete) cycle of feelings, excitement close to euphoria, self doubt and disbelief in my own stupidity to agree on something like this to acceptance and persistence. I'm hoping I finish on pride and a sense of achievement but only time will tell.
6. Going back to the show your in this spring at the Aryfactgallery, can you tell us more about that, what the show is called and more about the gallery itself? It sounds very exciting!
I will be exhibiting a series of quilts at Artyfactgallery in Sweden March-April 2018. These exhibits are the result of a collaboration with one half of the colourful Artyfactygallery duo, Cecilia Bjork, and will be not only my first gallery showing but also my first time working in a series. This step forward, and the restrictions I've set myself in terms of colours and shapes used, are proving an excellent way for me to expand my creativity.
The show name: 'Art Quilt: Jenny Haynes and Cecilia Björk
The write up: 'Art Quilt is a colourful geometric exhibition and collaboration. Craft was historically the only creative outlet for many women and Artist was a title reserved for men up to the 19th century. If these textile pieces had been made by men, and in another materials, the art form would have received a much higher acclaim. In this exhibition Cecilia will be translating Jenny's quilts into a harder form, using wood. Piecing wood instead of fabric to create wall-hangings.'
About the Gallery: Just a few minutes away from the summertime location for ’Swedish Open’. The gallery is directed by artist couple Cecilia Björk and Patrick Agler and exhibits distinctive works influenced by illustration, photography, graphic design, graffiti, comic books, pop culture, and street art.