We recently had the opportunity to chat with Pellon Projects™ Artist, Robbi Joy Eklow. We were thrilled to learn a little more about her, her inspirations and her creative process. Robbi designed the eye-catching Steampunk Sublime Quilt, which is featured on Pellon Projects. Click here to download the pattern and instructions.
Pellon: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Robbi: To tell the truth, not so much from other quilters… more so through artists from the past, for example Picasso and the Cubists, the Impressionists, Charles Rennie Macintosh, Art Deco design, architecture, and graphic artists. The other day I took a picture of the titles from a movie because I liked the color scheme.
P: What does your creative process look like/entail?
R: I do a lot of design on the computer, at least with the line drawings. I do some color work on the computer but in the end, the color choices are made with the cloth. Lately I’ve been printing out the Wonder Under® templates on my inkjet printer, I iron them to fabric and then just keep working until the space of the quilt is filled up.
P: Why do you enjoy sewing/quilting/crafting?
R: I’ve been thinking about this, because my designs could be painted or even collaged, but I haven’t. I think it’s because I like the texture of fabric, or rather its ability to have texture imposed on it. I like that I can fold it up and put it on a shelf and admire it. Actually, folding is a wonderful property. I can make very big quilts, even though I’m a very short person, because I can fold the quilt up to reach different parts of it.
P: Do you create mainly for satisfaction, gifts, art or another reason?
R: Really for my own satisfaction, but my own satisfaction includes submitting quilts to shows around the country, and sometimes, like now, doing designs for someone.
P: What tips or tricks learned through experience can you share?
R: One thing I’ve learned with Wonder Under is to let it cool before I try to peel off the paper. In fact, ironing onto fabric, then letting it sit, as happens when I’m working on a big quilt, is the easiest way to get the paper off. Some people like to peel the paper off and then cut out shapes, but I prefer to have the paper on while I cut, the paper gives it extra body I need to cut detailed shapes.
P: When and why did you start sewing/quilting/crafting?
R: I’ve been sewing since I was about five years old, I lived with my grandmother, and she had a box of fabric scraps. I used to go grab some and then do hand sewing. She eventually taught me to use a sewing machine when I was about six. I’ve always done various crafts, I spent a lot of time at overnight camps when I was a kid, both as a camper and as a counselor. I loved the arts and crafts sessions and eventually started teaching them to the other campers. I used to wander around camp all the time as a kid with lanyards. You’d weave them and then theoretically hang something from them, but I just liked weaving them.
P: What triggers you to start a project?
R: I am often triggered by deadlines, but usually an idea just comes to form and then I want to do it badly. Sometimes I have to delay that particular design while I do something for a magazine or a website, and I can use a simplified form of the design. Right now I have a quilt up on my working wall that I’ve been dinking around with for over a year. I keep having to put it away and work on something else, them I come back to it.
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Steampunk Sublime Quilt – pattern here