HEIDI ZIELINSKI

HEIDI ZIELINSKI - Fiber Artist

Creating art out of fiber and stitch is my passion. In no other pursuit have I ever found the rewards and joy that I find in using textiles, thread, paint, beads, yarns, and whatever else inspires me to make an object of beauty to share with others.

My work is based in the quilting tradition of three layers stitched together, but the artistry of it goes far beyond the basic piecing of geometric shapes to create a bedcovering. You will see reflections of nature in my work as I live in a valley in the Rocky Mountains of Western Montana surrounded by mountains, rivers, streams and my own garden. Color and texture inspire my work and they are my palette.

I write about what I am doing with my art and where I hope to go. I create, I write, I teach, I share and I think about my art and tell you about it all on the pages of my blog.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fibery February

No excuses for the long hiatus, just pure procrastination! I really need to try to get into a routine with my posting and do it on a regular basis. Anyways, here I am!

We had the Tarts fiber art show, An Affair of the heART, over the Valentine's Day weekend in Hamilton, Montana, and it was a great show. There are many wonderful fiber artists involved in this group and it was nice to see such a variety of styles and talents. Many pieces were sold, although only one of mine (to one of the members of the sponsoring company, In Good Company!), but then mine are a little pricey. I was very pleased with the continued positive response to my work and loved all the accolades I received about it. No one guessed which challenge quilt was mine as it was unremarkable. I didn't even place in the voting this time. I entered quite a number of pieces this year in a range of prices hoping to sell a few, but even without sales the exposure to the number of visitors that attend this show is a definite positive advantage to showing here. The show is hung in a gallery type style and the four women from In Good Company do an excellent job of it. I hope the show will continue for many years to come!

I did sell one new piece on opening night of the floral theme show at River's Mist Gallery in Stevensville. It is a beautiful little beaded piece called "Haiku" and I wish I had longer to bond with it! It is still hanging in the show and when I see it I grow more and more fond of it. One of those that I could live with myself if I ever chose to keep any of my work! "Everything's for sale" I always say, since that is the goal of my efforts.

In January the show at River's Mist was all photography in one form or another so I thought I would play around with some digital images on silk. Here are two of the pieces that were in the show and at the Tarts show.

This one is from a picture I took of a bright orange and black poppy in my garden. I manipulated the color and created a collage. Technicolor Poppy - $300.00

This next one is a small piece with an image taken in my back yard looking through the cottonwood trees along the creek. The Glow at Dusk - $64.00


These next pictures are from one of my sketchbooks showing some of my doodling to try to come up with new quilting designs or variations of designs, or sometimes just to get the hang of the directional aspects of a design. Just moving your hand with the pen/pencil gives you a good feel for moving the quilt under the needles when you are creating free motion quilting designs. In the class I am hoping to teach one of these days, I will highly encourage my students to keep a sketchbook and use it for doodling. I also use my sketchbooks for recording ideas for quilts or for parts of quilts. Sometimes I sketch and then make small notes about what I'm thinking so that when I look at it months down the road I might remember why it was such a good idea! I also use my sketchbooks to draw variations on a theme when I need to make a piece for a challenge or show that requires a certain theme. I find those most difficult to be inspired for, but drawing out whatever ideas come to mind and then choosing the most interesting one has worked pretty well. Most often the finished piece is only loosely based on the original sketch, but that's what creating is all about for me. I rarely have a complete vision of a how a piece is going to end up, it just evolves as I go along.



I just completed my little 12"x12" piece for the next SAQA Auction and am very happy with the results. In order to travel to the Cincinnati quilt show and be considered for some of the marketing efforts for the auction it has to be there by March 15 so I have a little while to bond with it before shipping it off. The piece goes back to a style I haven't done for a while with cutouts, dangling leaves, and a reversible panel. The logistics of creating this type of design, particularly in a piece so small, was rather daunting, particularly since I did not account for how I was going to hang the piece and had to some up with something that would work with the reversible panel. I think it works fine and hope that someone will enjoy the color change opportunity that it presents. The piece is called "Choices" for the reversible panel as well as for the choices we as fiber artists make throughout our processes and in our creative journey.

My next project to tackle is my tree trunk for our group exhibition which is due at the end of April. I have it started on the design wall and am ready to pin it together and start stitching down the components. I think I like it, but it might be a bit cumbersome to quilt. We'll see how that goes. I seem to have a bit of a block for working on it and I'm thinking it is because of it being in a group show and wanting it to turn out well---and not being sure it will! As always, I will just hope that through the processes of quilting and then embellishing it will become worthy! I am really hoping to create at least two trees, so I better get moving!

I now have some work at Madison Creek, a very nice furniture and gift store in Stevensville. They will soon be opening their "Gallery at Madison Creek" upstairs. I'm hoping to hear from them any day that they are ready to open it up for visitors.

This weekend one of my quilts will be at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival on the east coast. "Twilight" will represent me well I think. I really like getting my work to other parts of the country to see how well they are received and have been very happy with those efforts so far.