This week I'm interviewing textile artist Delia Holst. Delia lives in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands, Queensland, Australia. Her focus recently has been creating sun prints and other hand painted fabrics, producing patterns and tutoring.
1. How long have you been quilting and what first drew you to it?
Oh I was not drawn to it at all! A friend operated a quilting shop and kept asking me to do a beginners class. To finally stop her harassing me after about 6 months I agreed to give it a go, on the proviso that I wouldn't have to do any hand quilting - I just didn't have the time. As it turned out I loved the classes and managed to escape the hand stitching! That was about 20 years ago, and since then i've been hooked.
2. Has your style evolved much?
I started as classic traditional patchworker and have crossed over to the Art Quilting world. I love that anything goes, you have open reign with fabric choice and it really allows you to be free flowing with your ideas.
Many of the fabrics I use in my work now are hand dyed or sun printed to achieve colours and textures that cannot be found in stores. I am exploring the use of silk and satin fabrics, beads and fibers to further add texture to my art. I also enjoy three dimensional work and will create more of that this year, it's the only hand work I do, however I find it quite relaxing.
Red work traditional quilt
'Underworld' 11.5" x 8" (20x20cm) $55.00
Sun printed cotton, synthetic fabric and yarn, ribbon, lace, machine embroidery, decorative threads and machine stitching. This piece was inspired by snorkeling in Western Australia.
3. How would you describe your style now?
4. Apart from quilting what else to you do within the industry?
I have a blog which I update regularly called Delia's Place. I like to write tutorials and have put a couple of really popular ones up there. I also design patterns and have an Etsy store that I sell on called Louloulikes. I'm currently working on a web page.
Tutoring is a big part of what I love to do. I teach on the Sunshine Coast and along the coast of Queensland. I hope to spread my wings down south this year.
5. What's the best advice you could give someone who wants to try quilting or textile art for the first time?
To buy for the project you are working on and not go for a stash. My stash is so big and now out of date and not even what I like. I think your tastes change as you do more quilting even in basics such as colour and style along with techniques.
6. Do you exhibit your work?
No not anymore unless it is a challenge in our quilting group or a local show. I am not into competition at this stage, my aim is to learn as much as I can and pass it on to whoever is interested.
7. Do you belong to any quilt associations?
I am a member of Mountain Quilters. I joined this group about 8 years ago as the one I was already in was not going anywhere. This one offered what I was looking for at the time in the quilting area. It's a very fast moving group on the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. I have been the workshop coordinator for the past 3 years and try and have two lessons a month for the ladies. We bring in high profile tutors once a year but most tutors are local or from within our talented group of about 80. I have introduced them slowly to fabric art after Carol Wilks an inspiring tutor taught at the group. Some have embraced art quilting which I love to see.
I've also been a member of Palmwoods Textile Arts for the last two years. It specialises in outside of the square traditional quilting. Over the past year we've been creating a textile rain forest which exhibits from March 15. I love this group as I am learning (and sharing) so much. I have gotten so much out of this rainforest exercise alone which I would never have attempted or thought of.
I love the online quilting groups too and am a member of quit a few. You can always be sure that someone will know the answer to a question you have.
My favorite on line group is learningfa. It is run by a fantastic lady in Canada. I teach on this site once a year. She has just opened an offshoot of the site to 20 art quilters around the world and I am one of the lucky ones to be involved.
I have been a member of Qld quilters but I find that I am better to stick to the local and internet groups. If I was going to show again I would rejoin this group again along with a few others.
Part of the Palmwoods Textile Arts rainforest exhibition currently showing in Palmwoods QLD.
9. What inspires you the most?
Nature, it has everything. Seeing my students do better work then me. What is a better sign of a good tutor?
Hand painted fabric, border fabric fussy cut for center panel, suede and free-motion stitched.
Flowers in the Sunshine 20.5"x15" (52x38cm) $150
Cotton, felt and synthetic fabrics, fusible web, paint, net, silk flowers, beads, Angelina fibres and stitching.
There is a link to Delia's tutorial for this piece on the tutorial page of this blog.
10. What sewing machine / threads etc do you use?
I have 3 Pfaff machines. I love the deferential feed. Not having to use a walking foot is a great plus for me as well as it feeds the fabris so evenly when you are piecing. I find it much easier with this machine over others.
I have a 1222E (work horse), computerized model, an embroidery machine and a little Elna Lotus that I used to take to classes but now find I need a slightly bigger one for that.
Threads is a tricky one. I have used anything as the Pfaff seems to take any with gusto. My favorite would be Royal threads as they are available on large combs and because of that are less expensive by the metre. A friend put me on to these as she used to work in the industry. This was the only thread that her company would use. Their machine embroidery threads are great. They have a huge colour range and their gold and silver don't break like a lot of metallic and specialty threads do.
'Fantasia' 34" x 17.5" (86x44cm) $450
Cotton and synthetic fabric, yarn, net, ribbon, lace, braid, beaded and machine stitched.
Inspired by Carol Wilks work.
Please leave any comments and questions in the comment section below for either Delia or myself. If you're interested in buying Delia's work please contact her directly via this email link.