Monica Curry’s quilt “Mother Ship” graced the cover of the August/September issue of Quilting Arts. Monica, who lives in Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada, was a finalist in our “What If?” reader challenge, where readers were challenged to create a 12″ x 12″ art quilt that interpreted the question “what if?”
|“Mother Ship” by Monica Curry|
Here is her statement about her quilt: “I have always wanted to see a UFO but never have. I often wonder as I look up at the stars, ‘What if I saw a UFO?’ or, better still, a mother ship! I love to use beads in my work and felt this was a perfect medium to create a mother ship that blinked and sparkled over a sleepy suburban town.”
Q: How long have you been quilting? Has this been a life-long passion, or are you new to art quilts?
A: I first started doing needlework at 14 when my mom taught me how to embroider my blue jeans. (I was a bit of a hippie back then.) In my early 20s, I taught myself how to quilt and developed a real passion for working with fabric. In my late 20s, I studied advertising design, which was about the time I began using my traditional needlework skills in nontraditional ways and started to create art quilts. I did artwork sporadically over the years until three years ago when I became ill and began doing art to help with my healing. I have my health back now and have become very serious about my career as an artist.
Q: Participating in magazine-sponsored challenges is a wonderful way to get your artwork noticed by others beyond your own community. Was this the first time you submitted a quilt?
A: I submitted a piece to the Quilting Arts 2012 “Feeling Petty” calendar contest. I entered a piece of my budgie bird Buddy. I didn’t get selected, but I found it was a very good experience to go through the process of entering a contest like that. Art challenges are also very helpful in keeping me focused on a theme.
Q: The quilt, “Mother Ship,” is beautifully embellished and heavily hand-stitched. What role does embellishment play in your art quilts?
A: I’ve always loved hand stitching but only recently started using bead embellishment. I’m drawn to the sparkle and the colors. For me, it’s like sprinkles on a cake. It really finishes the piece off. These elements draw in the viewer, too. I think by nature we’re attracted to shiny, sparkly things.
Q: Having a quilt featured on the cover of a magazine is a real feather in your artistic cap. What other accolades have you received for your art?
A: So far, I haven’t received any accolades except for the Quilting Arts cover, which still blows my mind! However, my art was selected for a juried exhibition in 2010, and I sold two of the same piece at the show. I sold the original and then the gallery director called and said a woman from Australia wanted one, too. I had to quickly make a replica of the first one before she flew home.
A: What’s on your design wall now?
Q: I’m pretty busy with two pieces right now. I’m getting ready for an art show I’m hosting in November that has a UFO/”E.T.” theme. For the show, I’m making an E.T.-type fabric doll that will be all embellished, of course. The second piece for the show will be a beaded piece done on shibori dyed cotton. I’m just learning how to dye fabric and love the shibori technique. And, of course, I’ll be showing my “Mother Ship” in the show, as well.