Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quilt artist Valerie Page from Toronto, Canada

Internationally known artist, teacher, exhibitor and designer Valerie Page creates quilts that are a joy to behold. Like the newly planted blossoms of a springtime garden, they burst forth to delight our eyes.  An artist in Toronto's Leslieville Area Since 1983, Valerie Page has been quilting since 1972. Join us today as we feature her quilts, and you will see why she is greatly admired for her artistry with colors and forms.

Jamaican Court House Steps, 51 x 66, by Valerie Page at Page Quilts

On her biography webpage, Valerie writes that she started making quilts in the early 1970's. To make ends meet on a budget, she searched the second hand clothing stores to find vintage clothing in interesting patterns and colors, which she used as fabric for her first quilts. "Jamaican Court House Steps", which was made in 2004, still reminds us of the vibrant colors which captivated the youth movement of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Remember the fashions of Carnaby Street in London, as popularized by The Beatles?  Here are many of those hues. Although she used dozens of different fabrics and colors in this quilt, Valerie has created a cohesive look by arranging the cool hues on the vertical axis and the warmer hues on the horizontal axis. Notice how she has placed black squares or 'spacers' to separate the shapes and enhance the contrasts of the colors.

Bright Scraps on Black Quilt, 37 x 37, by Valerie Page at Page Quilts

Valerie writes, "In exploring why I choose to create using geometric graphic designs comprised of fabrics joined in specific color combinations, I have discovered that is the exploration of the combinations that motivates my process."   In "Bright Scraps on Black" we see interlocking squares that appear to glow like neon signs in a city at night. Valerie has achieved this effect by using fabric in high chroma colors; there are few muted or toned fabrics in this dynamic work. The colors are clear and pure, providing a fascinating jewel-box effect. 

Morning Star, 36 x 44, by Valerie Page at Page Quilts

Valerie says,  "Suited to a young child's crib, all twelve stars are crafted from vintage 70's cotton fabrics and bordered by bright blue and yellow daisies." In this clever design, each star surrounds a log cabin block that is set on point. We love the fresh country look of this quilt with its energetic blue sashing and outer borders which really make the Ohio stars "pop". 

Fibonacci Vines Quilted Wall Hanging, 30 x 30, by Valerie Page at Page Quilts

Valerie explains that she used the Fibonacci technique to construct the curves of this intricate wall hanging.  She says, "Purple vines rise up on a sea-blue background with little cubes of yellow-orange fruit. The original name for this quilt was, 'Woman with basket of oranges descending a staircase.' Each block is comprised of  about 29 different fabrics, lending the quilt an air of sublimely rich texture."  This quilt is a gorgeous study of monochromatic blues and purples, interspersed with complementary tangerine and apricot hues.

Hot and Cold Snowballs, 47 x 63, by Valerie Page at Page Quilts

We enjoyed  "Hot and Cold Snowballs" so much that we featured it on one of our earliest posts, two years ago, when our fledgling blog had only a few followers. We're so pleased to show it again here.  What we see here is a very contemporary update of a time-honored snowball block. Valerie has combined the split complementary colors of clear blue with pure orange, red-orange, and yellow to create a quilt that sparkles with life. She writes,  "The possibility of reaching another through one's personal interpretations is tremendous; as each of us reads ourself into that which another has created."  Once again she has done a marvelous job of breathing new life into well-loved vintage patterns, using her artistic gifts to bring these classic blocks into the 21st century.

Image credits: Images shown are with the generous permission of Valerie Page.  Her online quilt gallery features contemporary and traditional quilts that are for sale, including Morning Star, Fibonacci Vines and Hot and Cold Snowballs.  In addition, you can also view quilts that are in private collections in her Archive Gallery.  Last but not least, check out Valerie's 100% cotton baby quilts and her cheerful tea cosies.


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