I was so excited that Gerry chose to share her creative journey with us—I couldn't wait to get it posted! Here is what she shared…
"I have been exposed to fiber, in various forms, all of my life. My Mother was an excellent seamstress, knitter, crocheter and tatter. She did it all!!
I started knitting (k2p2) at a very early age of 8 or 9 and would knit practice squares which usually ended up as shoe shinning cloths or bedding for my dog. Oh well, it was a start.
My formal introduction to garment making was in high school home economics class. I passed apron but flunked pajamas. Sewed the crotch seam in the wrong direction and quickly learned how to pick out a seam. I did pursue this new discipline and received my first sewing machine when I was in college. From that time on garment making was my passion and still is.
Always one to try something new and off the wall, I found myself exploring another medium-weaving but with a contemporary flair. Purchased a floor loom and that was the beginning of a new experience. Into these pieces I incorporated clay beads, feathers, ultra suede and plastic tubing. Didn’t know how this new concept would be received, so I started exhibiting my work at numerous art shows in Louisville and soon had myself well established in this new art form. Several of my pieces are in Louisville offices but most were commissioned for private homes. In the meantime, I was approached by ChiChi’s (Mexican restaurant) to do some pieces for them. I worked with their interior designer for two years and have pieces in several cities in the United States as well as in Canada.
In the meantime, I was taking advanced sewing and design classes at Baer Fabrics in Louisville as well as attending tailoring class. Always trying to improve my sewing techniques and design principles. Baer Fabrics was a 5 floor store that stocked everything your heart desired from silks to upholstery fabrics. They brought in nationally known instructors for their classes, so I was exposed to the very best in the garment making industry. A style show was held occasionally to showcase some of the outstanding garments made in classes. One of my jackets and silk slacks were selected for the style show. Quite a compliment. After moving to Chattanooga five years ago, I was very disappointed to learn that there was not a really good fabric store. Bummer!!!! That more or less has ended my garment making.
The saga continues. I made my first quilt in 1990 which was a baby quilt for my first grandchild. Hand quilted this one. My next quilt was “Trip Around the World” and is presently hanging at Spool. After moving here and discovering “ Sew Bee It” I knew then I could make wall quilts for my new house. Through the years my quilting style has changed dramatically-more modern. I love the simplicity, the bright colors and the negative space. The Modern Quilt Guild has so encouraged me to think outside the box. At this juncture in my life, I hope I am not too bold in saying, last but not least, I am also a Modern Quilter."
Gerry's talent, tireless energy, charitable and creative spirit, have been an inspiration to me. I always look forward to see what she brings to our meetings. Thanks for sharing your story Gerry!