For my first Quilty Pleasures column I scoured the internet, getting lost in the vast number of creative quilters! I stumbled on Becky Grover on Etsy and then found her website. I think her work is wonderfully diverse, so I sent her an email asking if she would be interested in being the subject of my first column and she was so kind and more than willing to share her art quilts and her process of creativity. Thanks Becky. So without further ado, I am pleased to present the quilted work and words of Becky Grover!
Becky says, of her artistic nature and processes, that she is a Creative Magpie, which I love! She tells me:
I tend to jump in entirely when a new idea or technique comes along, which can be so much fun! I start lots of amazing projects. The downside was, I rarely finished anything. Every creative project has a point in the making process where you just have to do the detail work. I wasn’t so good at that, and so I’d bounce over to the next new shiny project…..I started entering shows and challenges, and found my body of finished work increasing. These contests stretch me in really interesting ways, and I’m amazed at the pieces that come through me. Another benefit is getting to see how other artists interpreted the challenge and what they came up with.
The first piece of work by Becky that really grabbed me was “Sandstorm.” It is simple yet incredibly complex, alive and, well, it possesses cross stitching!
Becky offers the following creative process concerning “Sandstorm”:
I’d say the piece that surprised me the most is my quilt ‘Sandstorm’, which was made for a Hoffman Fabric challenge back in 2015. The fabric we had to use was very busy, with lots of elements in it. The fabric had a feel that reminded me of nomadic tents, but I couldn’t get past how busy it was. In frustration, I thought something like “I wish I could just blow this all apart” and something clicked and that’s exactly what I did – I cut it all apart and used the most interesting elements. But, it still really needed something more. The fabric had some printing on it that looked liked cross-stitch, so I decided to add real cross-stitch to the piece. I love the texture it added!
Next is her fabulous work entitled “Tree with Lion” which also speaks to me as I have a deep love of trees and animals! And who isn’t a fan of The Lion King!?
Becky tells me, ‘Tree with Lion’ also pushed me creatively. This was made for a CherryWood Fabric challenge, and in addition to using a certain pack of their fabrics, it had to speak to the theme of The Lion King Musical. I wanted a Baobob tree, with fun, funky colors. But in one of my sketches, it looked a bit like a lion’s face. I wondered if I could make the quilt in such a way that depending on how you looked at it, it would read as either a tree or a lion.
Next up is her “Help” which I find to be a powerfully visual statement regarding our planet.
One of my more recent contest quilts is titled ‘Help’, and it is currently traveling as part of the eQuilter ‘Love Your Mother’ exhibit. eQuilter released a few versions of the planet earth fabric panel, and we all had to manipulate it in some way to make a quilt that addressed the theme of ‘Love Your Mother’. I was blown away that all of the quilts chosen address the important topic of taking better care of this planet.
Last, but surely not least, is her quilt “Foxglove” which I think is a beautiful and thoughtful reaction to conflict.
What could be controversial about a flower? Nancy illustrates: It came about because there was some controversy in my neighborhood a few years ago about whether this plant was safe near a playground and instead of getting involved in the drama, I just saw a truly beautiful flower that needed to be a quilt. I started with fused fabrics, then added miles of thread to blend all the colors together.