BIG excitement- one of my quilts is on the MAIN PAGE of this website!
How amazing is this?!
Yesterday some of you were wondering what it was like to interview Heckety? Well I have to say that although she was moderately polite she was also VERY pernickety! She wanted Pimms with strawberries during the interview and it was just impossible keeping her on topic- she's the most frightful waffler, you know!
Anyhow, I persevered and will now bring you the second part of the interview, if you would like to join us in the Studio...
Heckety: Shall we resume where we left off yesterday? What materials do you like to work with? Why do you choose those?
Heckety: I like working with old cottons, I like the feel and the smell and the history of old cloth and I just LOVE receiving the contents of people’s fabric scrap-bags! Why do I choose these? It’s almost as though they choose me! I just like old fabric! Of course I use new fabric too but I think I tend to choose old-fashioned designs, I would seldom go for really bright modern fabrics; I like them but I don’t have any desire to work with them.
Heckety: Is there a special technique or process you use that makes your work unique?
Heckety: When doing Patchwork I work mostly in traditional patchwork patterns and let the fabric sing for its own supper- or that’s the theory. I could do modern or art quilts but I like the old patterns, the history and meaning, the fact that they’ve been sewn by many women in previous times and places before I picked up my needle. I like the social history involved in my sewing. I don't need to break new ground artistically, I just want to make new patchwork from other people’s leftovers and throw outs- partly as an ecological statement, but also because it’s my preferred medium. I like to think of those unwanted fabrics being given a new lease of life and going on for perhaps another sixty or seventy years in their new incarnation! And yes, I don’t just stroke fabric, I talk to it as well…
With dolls I like them to have a fairly traditional appearance, but to be washable and hard-wearing, and to have CHARACTER! I try not to name them before sending them out to make their fortune, but I think I would have a hard time selling one of my dolls to someone who was critical! Dolls have feelings too, you know!
Heckety: What does creating art mean to you?
Heckety: It means turning disparate raw materials into something which didn’t exist before I began! Is that surreal? My husband complains all the time that I cut up perfectly good pieces of fabric and then sew them all back together again...but I tell him that he does the same when he is servicing a bicycle, except that I don’t get covered in oil and grease!
Heckety: Does your work have a theme to it?
Heckety: Generally, no. Even when I use the scraps from one project to begin another the end result is completely different. A while ago I found myself in a ‘blue phase’ but although all the quilts were blue they were utterly different to each other. I usually work from a picture in my head so I have to work fast before the picture dissipates or becomes corrupted with extra ideas, and as I become bored very easily I am always trying out different patterns. Sometimes the dolls are dressed in bits of patchwork left over from a project!
Heckety: What goals do you have for yourself as an artist?
Heckety: I know that my work is well-made and will last for years; there are quilts and rag dolls which I have made dotted around the house which have been in constant use for between 15 and 20 years. I would like to see an appreciation for hard-wearing, useful quilts made from thrifted fabric. I don’t want my quilts, bags, dolls, items to look re-cycled- I want them to be seen as useful and comforting and passed around through a family, loved and re-loved. Ideally they should eventually disintegrate from use!
For myself I would like to be better organised and achieve a greater output. I would like to finish more quilts and learn to quilt more imaginatively. I would like to experiment using a wider variety of colours and I would like to dye more of my own fabric to include in quilts. Also I would like to make more bags, and develop a really wacky/ funky style- the sort I would buy myself if I had the money!
And there’s still the matter of the perfect rag-doll which I have yet to create!
Heckety: And that about winds up our interview. Thank you Heckety for your incredible wisdom and insight into the world of your crafting and we look forward to seeing what you create in the future. I hear that you are travelling to London tomorrow for a few days in order to see the V&A Quilt Exhibition?
Heckety: Ash cloud permitting, that is so. I am really looking forward to it.
Heckety: So we'll see you on your return next week, all fired up with enthusiasm!