Artist Spotlight and Giveaway: Victoria Findlay Wolfe

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I’d like to introduce you to a new friend and fellow artist that I think you will love: Victoria Findlay Wolfe was my fellow guest artist when I filmed for The Quilt Show down in Charleston, SC. I posted a whole series of articles here about the city and the experience. We had a fabulous and exhausting few days while we were there together.

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Victoria has a background in the fine arts and is currently working with textiles, churning out quilts like a madwoman. She has more energy and is more productive than most people I know. You can see lots of her quilts here. She makes mostly bed quilts in a very fresh and contemporary style. What follows are Victoria’s own words about her journey.

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Everything But The Kitchen Sink by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

“Life hands us funny things sometimes. Often times, it’s things we would have never thought we’d have to deal with. Be kind. Be grateful. Find the JOY in each day.

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Cheap Hotels by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

I set out for NY in 1994 to be an artist. I came to NYC with a suitcase, two boxes of paintings, and $200 in my pocket. (I do not recommend that to anyone) the $200 was gone in two days in NYC.

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Scrapping it up by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

I set about following my dream, being the creative person I am. And, although I’ve done that, my direction has certainly changed. The important part has been being open to following the creative path that presented itself to me. Had I not found BLOGS, and beautiful quilts, I may not have found the deep appreciation for where I’ve come from. Quilting, was always something we did, because, that’s what we do in our family as MAKERS; We grow our food, we can our food, we make our quilts and clothes… it never dawned on me, that this would become my passion.

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“Double Edged LOVE” collaborated & quilted by Lisa Sipes, just WON BEST IN SHOW at QUILTCON!

Now, I have a deep respect for where I’ve come from, and from where quilters have come from. Always look back, and forward for that matter, with respect!”

Do you love her work as much as I do? There is a freedom and playfulness that speaks to me, combined with just enough order to keep things from getting out of hand. Love it. We exchanged and autographed our books as I dropped her off at the airport, eager to share each other’s work with our own readers.

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 15 Minutes of Play

is a book I really enjoyed reading through. In fact, it inspired the first bed quilt I’ve made in years! (I’ll show it to you eventually… it’s still waiting for me to quilt it.) In it she advocates setting aside 15 minutes at the beginning of your creative time to simply play and sew random scraps together. Does this creative warm-up time sound familiar to you? Victoria shows you techniques for using this “made fabric” in your quilts and gives some solid design advice.

I have a signed copy of her book ready to send to one of you.
Tell me what your favorite creative warm-up is.
In three days I’ll pick the winner.

If you just can’t wait and want to buy a signed copy of 15 Minutes to Play you can do that here. (US entries only on this one please. It kills me but they’ve raised shipping charges quite dramatically on this end. I hope to have at least one or two original postcards to give away to my lovely international readers. And – please be patient with shipping. I’ve had surgery and am still not quite back on my feet – I should be able to get out to the post office within two weeks. Cheers and best wishes!)

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Comments

  1. Jane B says:

    My warm up almost always involves diving into my scrap bin to iron, cut & sew!

  2. LynneP says:

    Don’t know that I have a favorite warm up…sometimes I just sit and think for awhile before I get back to whatever I was working on. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  3. My creative warm up is to pull 2-1/2″ strips from my strip bin and start randomly sewing two together. I always find a use for these sewn together strips in my various projects! I do not have a copy of Victoria’s book and would love to have it…

  4. Elizabeth B. says:

    Favorite creative warm-up: digging through stashpile of fabric and ribbon for color inspiration. Thanks for hosting a give away.

  5. I don’t know that I have a routine but like to start in a fairly clean area. So maybe that is my routine.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I start each morning checking email and then looking at quilt blogs. I mostly enjoy seeing what other quilters and fiber artists are doing. Seeing the wonderful variety of techniques, patterns and colors inspire me to try new techniques and experiment with color and patterns. I LOVE how Victoria plays with fabric and have tried her 15 minutes of play. I don’t yet have a copy of her book and would treasure one. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I love to pull fabric and just start cutting scraps.

  8. usairdoll says:

    I love Victoria’s work and her book looks great! That’s how I found your blog. My creative warm-up is reading blogs, visiting my LQSs as well as just playing around with my UFOs and stash.

    Thank you for a great giveaway and a chance to win.

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. My “creative warm-up” happens while I dream of all the stitchings, patterns, motifs that are possible. I dream in color (of course, doesn’t everyone????) and wake up energized and ready to sew/quilt!! Most of the time I have “itching fingers” syndrome!!! LOL! Would love, love, love her book!! Awesome give-away!!! Hugs, Doreen

  10. Lisabeth says:

    I love her work!! My favorite creative warm up is listening to music (all linds) followed by dancing crazily. Then im ready to work! Thanks for the chance to win the book.

  11. folksmith says:

    I love bright colors. Besides working with fabric i work with wool. I get inspiration from looking at fabric catalogs and blogs. Thanks for a change of winning Victoria’s book.

  12. Judy Stone says:

    For my “warm-up”, I go to my notebook or my “Inspiration” file on the computer filled with photos that I’ve saved from various websites. Next to my studio and start pulling fabrics for one of my favorite inspirations. If I don’t have what will work, I go to my next favorite and I begin working on a combo of those 2. Always fun and always surprising! Would love to win V’s book – she is one of my biggest inspirations!! Thank you for the opportunity.

  13. audrey says:

    Lovely post about Victoria. She is very inspiring. My favorite creative warm up is to go through my totes of fabric and play with new groupings. Love that.:) Thanks for a wonderful giveaway.

  14. KarenInTucson says:

    I have been quilting for 17 years now and I don’t really have a warm up that I go through. If I have been working on something, I just go in and work some more. Usually I just go in and think, “Now what do I want to do today?” and pick up a couple of patterns or fabric and off I go. V’s book looks so fascinating and I really want to try her methods. My brain is geared toward the “patterns” and not so much of the free style that can be so therapeutic!

  15. lorraine says:

    Best wishes for a good and quick recovery! I think fondling fabric is what gets the juices flowing….letting it ‘talk’ to me! Or maybe before that is giving myself permission to play….letting the brain relax and switch gears!

  16. My favorite warm up is to take my basket of scraps and sew ANYTHING together…any size, any color. I do this for about 5 minutes and then I am ready to dive into a more constructed project. Every few months I take all these sewn together scraps, cut them into a block and eventually I have enough for a quilt. It’s great.

  17. One of my fav creative warmups is to line up all the fabrics I think I want in the piece, then return to the stash & pick something that DOES NOT BELONG! All kinds of things can happen from there.

  18. Hi, I’m here from Victoria’s blog ~
    I like to look at my books and other people’s blogs for my inspiration. Creativity also comes to me from Nature ~ there are so many designs to be found.
    Thanks for the chance to win Victoria’s book!

  19. I’ve been quilting so long I do not need a warm up. Great post!

  20. My creative warm-up is creating designs on graphpaper. Sometimes I add color. By then I’m eager to sew samples up to see my designs come to life.

  21. Phyllis O'Connor says:

    I use Bonnie Hunter’s concept of “Leaders and Enders” for beginning and ending each piece of stitching, So I have the precut pieces by the machine at all times. I get warmed up by sewing a bunch of those- mindless piecing plus the visual and tactual aspects of playing with fabric. It works.
    Phyllis

  22. Becky Greene says:

    I would say that browsing through my fabric scraps is my most effective form of creative warm up. It is the fabric that compels me to create! Thanks for the chance to win this fabulous book!

  23. Maryann Gallaherr says:

    I love to sketch real flowers on my desk before I begin to work with fabric.

    I am sending prayers and good thoughts your way!

  24. Since I have very little dedicated studio time, I think of any time not spent in that physical space as a warm up. Sketching before bed, taking pix on dog walks, thumbing through art books, looking out of my window, it’s all a warm up. But on that one day when I am completely by myself and my calendar is blank, I make myself a cup of coffee, go to my studio (aka corner of my basement), and I don’t come up for air for several hours. Bliss!

    Please take care of yourself in your recovery Lyric!

  25. Never thought about an actual “creative warm-up”. I’d have to say that mine would be my morning coffee and checking quilty newsletters and blogs, then chatting with a friend who always does the “what if” thing which I now find myself doing.

  26. Deb Cox says:

    Reading creative blogs like yours and good luck with your recovery. I get Victoria’s also (of course). But just reread your instructions and don’t pick me ’cause I’m from London, Ontario, Canada and I can’t play (yet). (-: But thanks for yet another inspirational read.

  27. Robin B says:

    For my creative warm up, I pull out graph paper and sketch, or a sketch book and color with colored pencils. Both give me the creative freedom to either go with what I have done, design or pulling fabric colors that match the colors I used for the next day. I usually do this at the end of the day and the next morning is when I start creating.

    Take care, Lyric!

  28. Marilyn says:

    It’s a good idea to call it a warm up, hadn’t thought of it that way before…….the touching of fabric, the visualisation of the project in those fabrics, the squinting of the eyes, the flash of inspiration that completely takes me away from those fabrics and that project toward something new and my heart races…..

  29. Patricia Hersl says:

    I immerse in the great books that I have. My imagination never developed, so I look to the real artists to fill my mind with their wonder and joy.

  30. Mariel Broadwater says:

    When I’m in the mood to cut fabric I will go into my stash and cut different widths of strips and then when I’m ready to create I go digging in the bins and sewing pieces together. A lot of times I will see quilts on blogs and use those for inspiration also.

  31. Not always used as a warm up, I like to relax with my scrap basket in between projects. I may strip piece them, sew them as a crazy patch or fuse them to a base along with lots of other fibres. Then I can cut them up and make something with them.
    Also, sketching helps me to relax when I’m not in the sewing mood.

  32. Doreen says:

    I hope you will be as good as new soon.
    I have a tub of Batik scraps that I sew small pieces together to make a new larger piece of fabric. I love Batiks.
    The goal is to make a tote bag , postcards or mug rugs from my new fabrics .

  33. I work a lot in fused glass, and my favorite way to loosen up is to work with scraps. Glass is expensive, but fusing small bits and bobs into fun designs is relatively inexpensive and great fun. If I can start a session smiling, it’s going to be a good day.

  34. Heal quickly and well! Since my whole style of quilting is like Victoria’s warm up, I guess my warm up exercises are pulling fabrics and arranging different cominations that please me. Sometimes I pull a stack of fabric off the shelf in search of the inspiration fabric of the day. Color enchants me.

  35. Lisa Shenk says:

    My favorite warm up is sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading my morning blogs, then I wander in to my sewing room and just look! I have a longarm and do more quilting for others these days than for myself, so I turn on an audiobook and go to town! I take a 3-4 day retreat 2-4 times per year to just work on my stuff, and use that to re-group and re-energize with good friends, new and old.

  36. Toni Mitt says:

    Firstly–hope your recovery is going well, Lyric.
    About the warm-up, when I enter my sewing room to work, I *always* turn on some music and light a candle while saying a little prayer to the sewing gods that I don’t screw anything up. LOL… But then I like to flip through a quilt magazine and get inspired by the beautiful patterns and colors. So many quilts and do little time!

    –Toni in Milwaukee

  37. Maryellen says:

    Hope you heal quickly! My favorite warm up is just pulling fabrics in different combinations from my shelves. I need to feel it, see the colors, and picture how they will work in the design. Sometimes they get used, and sometimes, they are put aside for another day, another project. It’s all play for me, though, which is what keeps this whole thing fun.

  38. I like to look at non-quilting magazines, then I doodle on paper with colored pencils. Cooking magazines always make me think of quilt ideas!

  39. I take a peek at some YOUTUBE videos and watch a longarmer or listen to a backstory of a rug hooker and then off I go……newly inspired!

  40. Jean Jones says:

    A creative warm-up is something I’m lacking — so I really need this book! I do a lot of thinking about what I’d like to create, but getting my hands busy while I think would be a great first step!

  41. Kimberly Crenshaw says:

    I’d say my favorite creative warm-up is chatting. Brainstorming with a friend of mine about all the projects I’d like to try, finish, create, etc…. I get all worked up and just have to start “doing”.

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