The Quiltmama spoke at the Friday Quilters meeting on Sept. 13. The Quiltmama, as she is known on Facebook, is Jessica Dickinson of Tempe, and her passions are quilting, color, cooking, music, art, and math. Jessica gave a “trunk show” of her quilts, showing her progressions in color, design, and composition over time.
Jessica came to quilting through paper collages (she has degrees in math and fine arts) and her mother-in-law (a quilter). Her art background honed her incredible sense of color. Her childhood in Louisiana made her conscious of not wasting things. Thus, fabric scraps from projects were never wasted, and she created new textiles by sewing scraps together. Scraps that are too small for quilt projects go into stuffing for a dog bed.
The Quiltmama is known for workshops where she encourages attendees to relax, enjoy the art, and not strive for perfection. Rules are meant to be changed up, allowing one to discover new combinations of color and design. Have a crazy fabric? Afraid to use it? Put it in the background, and you’ll be amazed at what happens.
Jessica’s studio is full of bins of fabric scraps. Unlike many quilters, she doesn’t sort scraps by color. The artist in her doesn’t want to be limited by color sorting. One should pick a scrap because it makes you happy. By working with scraps of all colors thrown together, you’ll see how colors work together. If you’d had all the blue scraps in one bin, this wouldn’t happen. The Quiltmama doesn’t discriminate when it comes to scraps! For Jessica, playing with scraps is like meditation.