Luke Haynes | “Quilt; as quilt, as art”

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Luke Haynes visited the LMQG at our habitual meeting place the Star Tavern, Belgravia, on 12th on the October 2014. He brought with him stories, perspectives, bales of ideas that would shame the even his “Goodwill” fabric hunting grounds, and of course quilts. As quilts. And quilts as quilts, as art.
IMG_4878Luke loved Purple. Purple was made for him by his mother and was perhaps the beginning other visual and creative interests. One theory has it that he has been remaking Purple all his life. If that is the case, he has done the most challenging of all creative things. He has allowed his creations to change his outlook, he has engaged in what they mean to others. In his words, he “has a conversation about it”.
luke haynes quilt backLuke trained in art and architecture and at the same time, pursued what was at once a distraction and an alternative, photography. These threads came together in quilting.

At an early exhibition Luke found himself to be the subject of an unexpected celebration;

“I LOVE how you don’t care if it is straight!”

He does not bind by hand, he uses the visibility of the seams as part of the framing of the quilt. He does use acid free glue.  He does not do that which he doesn’t want to do. All very affirmative for a room full of modern quilters!
luke haynes close upOther than steering clear of knitted fabric (there is a limit to the contemporary edge that even Luke can construct out of some material), Luke will try fabrics together that seem unlikely neighbours, shirting with synthetic fur, cotton labels with wool suiting, vinyl with denim….He sorts his Goodwill, by the kilo, purchases by colour. He doesn’t dye fabrics, he reconstructs them as they are. His editing is based on whether he would like to wear it. If yes, it is spared the rotary cutter. Until the next wardrobe cull. If not, curtains. And they might well be.
IMG_4890Luke’s work is a synthesis of different perspectives. Log cabins are suggested, and the lines deconstructed, the blocks don’t match the frames, they echo them. They stimulate inquiry, they disturb familiarity.
luke haynes cupcakePhotographs are photoshopped and reimaged in fabric, into portrait quilts. The fellowship of quilting’s heritage realised anew. The reverse of the quilt holds the negative image that the electronic photographs never had, picked out in a contrasting bobbin colour. Joe Cunningham’s signature “drawing with bias tape” has the same stature and space on the quilt as Joe’s image. The work of the long arm quilting machine becomes the earliest of craft methods, ink sketched onto a background.

In another portrait quilt, Whistler’s Mother becomes “a big bearded goofy guy” and as with Mrs Whistler, the physical map of a journey through life, patent on the face, present in the textures of the portrait quilt. Ambiguity brings questions. Is he care worn and tired a contemporary Whistler whose digital bubble has burst? Has he simply had a heavy meal and a night of video games?
IMG_4886Are we looking at the weight of the world or the passing effects of self indulgence? We are stimulated to ask the question, provoked to debate the response. Isn’t that what art does? And speaking history, across generations, in fabric, the maker evident in their sewing, isn’t that what quilting has done?
luke haynes longarm quiltingThe accessibility of Luke’s portrait quilts makes them the “pictures on a blanket” of the cautious Seattle art gallery visitors he told us about. They are objects for use, they are personal, they are public. They are quilts, as quilts. They are quilts; as quilts, as art.

Inspiration of the month

Improvisational piecing is a technique that is at home in traditional quilting (think Quilter of Gee’s  Bend) as it is in modern quilting.

For our inspirational feature for this month we’d like to share a wonderful modern improvisational quilt that was constructed by Lu Summers in 2012 and I believe was ultimately the foundation for her book on improvisational piecing that was published in 2013.

 

There are literally no limits to improv piecing. You can strip it down to just a pair of scissors and thread or combine many techniques and still machine piece. The endless possibilities also makes it for many a quilter daunting although most do find it in the end quite liberating.

 

During the making of this quilt Lu often had doubts and I believe it was a bit of a roller coaster ride that in the end turned into a colourful and striking quilt that provides with every new viewing always something new to focus on.

Lu runs classes on screen printing and improv piecing at her home in Suffolk.

London Modern Quilt Guild: September Makes

So what have Guild Members been up to in September? The small selection below shows the range of things members have been making this month.

As well as a set of fabulous quilts there has also been lots of dabbling with other traditions this month. Some of our members have taken up an offer from a teacher at the Korean Cultural Centre here in London to try out Jogakbo (Korean patchwork). Some of the first delicate makes turned up at this month’s meeting, all hand sewn silk. In addition we also had Japanese Temari balls, these received a lot of interest and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more at future meetings.

And yes that is a Christmas stocking popping up in this month’s mosaic! The charity sub group have been busy and have linked us up with one of the London hospitals to make Christmas stockings for those who find themselves in hospital on Christmas day. Stockings will be collected at the December meeting; so time to start the Christmas sewing.

And last, but not least, on the quilt front we had Liberty (we are in London after all), paper piecing, solids and rainbows. A great range from a very talented group.

LMQG September makes

Luke Haynes

Luke 5

The London Modern Quilt Guild is so pleased to announce that the AMAZING

Luke Haynes will be in town from the States on October 14th to share some of his work and chat about his process.

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Luke studied architecture at Cooper Union in New York and considers his fabric art to be an architectural method of images creation. He is currently living in Los Angles, California and you will need both hands and a foot to count the number of States he has lived in.

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If you are interested in meeting Luke and are not a member of the LMQG please email the guild at londonmqg@gmail.com

Touchdraw challenge

A few months ago at the Fat Quarterly Retreat a few members took Lynne’s class on using Touchdraw, a graphics application that is available on IOS, Mac and Android.

In just a few simple steps, I managed to create this image and squealed with joy at what a perfect quilt it would make.

So I started talking to Jon the developer of a Touchdraw and he has agreed to kindly sponsor a challenge and will provide vouchers for either the IOS or Mac version of Touchdraw to some participants.

A random draw will be made of all those who make something based on the image. It can be as big or as little as you like. It can be solids or prints, appliqué or pieced. All I ask is that it is made up of the same circle and rectangle.

While this was originally going to be a guild challenge, because Jon had been so generous we are opening it up to anyone.

All you have to do to enter is show a picture of your finished piece. Either in the comments here on the blog, or on Flickr in the group Lmqg_td or using the hashtag lmqg_td on Instagram or Twitter.

As this is a bit of fun, we didn’t want to put any pressure on finish dates so the draw won’t be made until jan 1st 2015. That gives us 3 months to get creative.

I know some of you already have the Touchdraw app or don’t have compatible technology. Please don’t let that put you off joining it. We might be able to provide some other treat instead.

Please share with your friends and I look forward to seeing how this gets interpreted.

 

Request for feedback

At the moment the guild is looking into our communications and I would like to ask our readers for some feedback.

I would be very grateful if as a reader of our blog you could answer the following.

1- how did you find our blog?

2- what do you enjoy reading on it?

3- is there something you don't enjoy?

4- is there something you would like to see that isn't currently being posted?

 

Thanks for you time