Our December Member Spotlight features Terry Aske of Terry Aske Art Quilts. You’ve likely seen her beautiful smile and stunning quilts – here’s a chance to learn a bit more about her.
When did you start quilting? Although I’ve been sewing since I was very young, I didn’t discover quilting until 1998, when a friend invited me to join her at a one-day quilting course. When I walked into the quilt shop where the course was held, I was immediately captivated by the variety of the quilting fabrics – and the beautiful and vivid colors!!! I was hooked. Shortly after that fateful day, I discovered art quilting, and started designing my own quilts.
Why do you quilt? I quilt because designing and creating with fabric makes me happy. Even when I’m working on one project, I am usually daydreaming about possibilities for the next project.
And, I quilt for recognition as an artist. I enter my quilts in juried shows and submit my quilts to magazines. I’ve had quilts accepted at the Canadian Quilters’ Association National Juried Show and the International Quilt Festival, and published in Quilting Arts Magazine and Art Quilt Studio Magazine. My Etsy shop allows me to share my quilts with an even wider audience, and make some money too! Also, I find that having the Etsy shop motivates me to keep creating and to finish each project I start.
Tell us about where you create. I’m lucky to have my own quilt studio. When my husband and I decided to renovate our condo last year, I jumped at the opportunity to design my perfect workspace. My studio is located in our second bedroom, so I have a limited area and I tried to maximize every inch of space and customize it to my needs. I have lots of cupboards, shelves and drawers, and a lot of counter space. You can see photos of my studio here [Felicity’s note: be prepared to go green with envy when you see Terry’s beautiful and functional design space!].
Could you share a bit of your creative process – what inspires you? I get my ideas from everything around me – the colors in a garden or landscape, the shape of a building, the design of a wrought-iron gate, etc. I try to make notes or take pictures whenever I see something that inspires me.
What is your favourite quilt and why? Usually, the quilt I’m working on, or just about to start is my favorite. But if I had to choose one, it would be “Explosion of Color” which is the first large art quilt in made. It’s one of the few quilts I haven’t listed in my Etsy shop. I’m just not ready to let that one go.
What’s your favourite quilting tool? I have so many favorite notions and tools. But my favorite tool is probably my portable hinged design wall, which I made from foam insulation board covered with beige fleece. It’s 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. When folded it’s only 2 feet wide, so I can move it out of the way.
What do you do when you’re not quilting? My day job is manager, administration at CCEC Credit Union on Commercial Drive. I only work 3 days a week, which gives me lots of time to quilt. I always have a book on the go, usually a mystery or science fiction. My husband and I love to explore the Vancouver area by foot or bicycle, especially during the summer.
Got any advice for new quilters? I have several pieces of advice for new quilters:
- Have confidence in your own ideas.
- Be open to learning new ways of doing things and find the techniques that work for you.
- Take courses in areas that interest you.
- Find a group of like-minded artists and exchange ideas – like the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild!
- If you see fabric you love, buy some of it!
Thank you so much Terry, for sharing a little about yourself and your creative process!