Wise Craft Quilts Contributor Pam Garrison

Pam Garrison
One of my favorite sections in Wise Craft Quilts, is the one about quilt labels. To me, this was a section that had to be included in the book- sewing a label on to the back of a quilt is such a huge part of the storytelling process. In the book are full sized labels in the book that can be printed out at home (I use these ink jet printable fabric sheets) and filled in. Even better? A set of all five labels, ready to use are available in my shop.)
While writing the book, I reached out to some of my favorite artists and asked them to design a quilt label. I was over the moon with what they sent back! Each label speaks to the style of the artist who made it, and interprets the idea of labelling a quilt in their own unique way. I’ll be posting interviews with each of these very inspiring women! Today is my interview with the super talented Pam Garrison. I’m asking her a little about her work, inspiration, work space, and her thoughts on creating a label for Wise Craft Quilts.

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A recent group of paintings posted to Pam’s @pamgarrisonstudio Instagram account, and Pam’s work table.
Blair: What is your primary art medium? How long have you been creating in this medium, and what drew you to it? 
Pam: Such a hard question to answer because I have so many interests! I’ve always loved creating and expressing myself through creative pursuits. Playing with paper, paints, fabric and thread have always been constants. I’d say currently I’m spending most of my time art journaling, sketchbooking or painting florals or abstracts on canvas and wood.
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Painting detail
Blair: Could you describe your current work to us and what is inspiring you right now?

Pam: I’m so inspired by other artists and their unique voices. Both the masters of history and current day artists. I find there is so much inspiration to be found on blogs, in books, and on instagram.

Blair: Describe where you work.
Pam: Over time have used different parts of my house to create my creative messes in. I tried to contain it to one room and that worked when I was mostly focused on art journaling or smaller mixed media pieces, but as I started quilting, I took over a corner of the family room, and still do when I’ve started a new quilting project. We’ve got a little are for a game table that I put my sewing machine on and I can leave it out without disrupting everyone else too much. I’ve been exploring painting in a more committed fashion now, so I’ve created a space I can dedicate to that in part of our living room that has great natural light. The room I once used to escape to create in has become an office and storage for various creative materials. I dream of having an official art studio, but I think it’d need to be a barn or small back building connected to our home. Not only because I’m a homebody, but also because I’ve always wanted to be home when my kids are, and even though my youngest is off to college soon, they are still in and out and I want to be here when they are.
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A peek of Pam’s workspace
4. While you work- coffee or tea? Music or podcasts?
Diet Pepsi but I’m trying to quit and stick with water. Podcasts or something on Netflix on the iPad. I love to put on a series that doesn’t need watching and just use that to engage the noisier parts of my brain so I can lose myself in creating for hours.
 An image from Pam’s online class Painting Petals
Blair: Have you ever made a quilt? If so, and if this is not your usual type of creative project, what inspired you to make it?
Pam: I love making quilts, and have made around 20 now. That said, I don’t really consider myself a “quilter” because I wouldn’t know the first thing about following a pattern or being precise. I consider myself an artist that occasionally makes a quilt. 😉 All my quilts have been simple patchwork or modern quilt (free form) designs. I adore fabric and color and pattern and the nostalgic art of quilt making and collecting. I dream of the quilts I want to make and having more time to really dig in and explore the art form.

A detail of one of Pam’s lovely quilts

Blair: When I proposed the idea to you to design a quilt label for the book, how did you approach the project? Why color or why black and white? Did you envision someone writing info on it, or embroidering on it, etc?
Pam: I was immediately inspired because I think labeling the quilts I make is so important as all have been made either as future treasures for my kids, or gifts for friends. I first started doodling on paper some rough ideas and eventually scanned some and cleaned up digitally.
I envisioned the label working with the fill in the blank parts being either embroidered or written in, with the main design either left black and white or the entire pattern embroidered with color and filled in. I hope it will make it easy for people to use with whatever quilt they are making and whatever amount of time they care to spend on the label, just hope to make it easy for people to get their quilts labeled! Quilts are such a labor of love, I think labeling them is important!
Blair: What elements of your own work/style did you include in the design of the quilt label?

Pam: My line work and love for drawing and doodling.

Blair: Do you have any special fabrics in your life that you have been saving for a someday quilt or other sewn projects? (Fabrics from a loved one, or that you’ve collected, etc.)

Pam: Yes! I bought a bunch of fabric remnants at a flea market in Italy and am excited to use them in making a special quilt, maybe for our master bed. I almost began using them once, and then decided I wanted to give the project more thought and set them aside.
Blair: What are your personal creative goals for 2017? How do you challenge yourself to grow creatively?
Pam: I’m always wanting to increase my creative play time and be more disciplined about the business aspect of my creative pursuits. I’m very good at giving myself permission to play and always want more, which would be made possible if I were more organized with the business of being an artist. Also, I don’t always create or make the most of opportunities for sharing my work that come my way, that’s an area needing improvement, and a goal for 2017!
For my own use of Pam’s lovely quilt label, I decided to embroidery a message to Emma, who is leaving for college in a little over a month. There’s some fun little flowers to embroidery over if you wish in Pam’s label design. (Available in my shop, a set of all five labels designed for the book.)
Pam Garrison label
Blair: Where can we find you?
Pam: I’ve got my blog archives up on www.pamgarrison.com

Most regularly post on IG: @pamgarrison@pamgarrisonpaintstudio.
I have a few classes available on Creativebug: Http://bit.ly/PG_cb
My own self hosted Painting Petals class re-releasing soon on pamgarrison.com
(From Blair: I took it and I love it!)
My Etsy shop here- Etsy; pamg.etsy.com
Come with me and fellow artists to Italy this fall!! www.adventuresinitaly.net


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