Cool, Clean Water
Elinore Sigler – Paris, France
There seem to be two schools of thought for quilters where designing a quilt is concerned: those who carefully draw and design and then make what they have put down in their notebooks, and those who start with a general idea and improvise. I’ve belonged to both schools. Where “Cool, Clean Water” was concerned, I was in the latter group. The fabric, made from a photo which happened to be taken in the mountains, reminded me of fresh running water.
For my “Water is Life” entry, I have made a quasi-abstract quilt that evokes the coolness of running water. Starting with a photo I took in the southern Alps, I designed the fabric on the spoonflower.com site, and then had Spoonflower print it for me. After quilting the fabric, I used oil paintsticks and acrylic paint. Mountains are a source of clean water. Springs start there, run down to form streams and then rivers. At some point, due largely to the activities of man, they are no longer clean. But they could be, if action were taken. I was raised in the Rocky Mountains. We had good, clean, tasty water running from our taps, which we took for granted. I have found a new mountain home in the Alps, and the water is equally excellent. But this exceptional situation is far from being the case for vast numbers of people. Access to any water at all is often very difficult if not impossible. All the rest of life is complicated by this situation. Awareness of the problem is the first step towards solving it.
Flowers are a leitmotif in my work and the natural world is always present: rivers, flowers, vegetables, springs, clouds and forests. I have made a quasi-abstract quilt that evokes the coolness of running water. Starting with a photo I took in the Southern Alps then using the spoonflower.com site I designed and printed the fabric. Also, I have used oil paint sticks and acrylic paint.
I have always been drawn to bright colors and scenes from the natural world and my quilts are often inspired by my photography. In general, my textile art can be either figurative or abstract, but it is essential for me to make something that has personal emotional resonance.
Painting and dyeing fabric constitute an important part of my art and I like to combine a variety of techniques in my quilts. I quilt by machine because I appreciate the freedom and rapidity it allows.
Elinor Sigler has lived in France for more than 50 years (a “junior year abroad” student who stayed). She started quilting in the mid-nineties after a visit to Crazy Ladies Quilt Store in Los Angeles. When she told the woman there that she intended to start quilting when she retired, the woman asked, “Why wait?” So she left the store with everything she needed to get started.
She began with traditional quilting but was drawn to the art quilt. And when she saw Katie Pasquini Masopust’s “Grapes” on the cover of the France Patchwork magazine, she was hooked.
Elinor is a fervent photographer and often uses her photos as inspiration for her quilts. For more information on Ellie and her quilts, visit http://www.elinorsigler.fr/index.html.