Monday, March 3, 2008

Why SUDOKU Art Quilts...

"Butterfly Sudoku"
This is my first SUDOKU Art Quilt.
It is a conventional quilt with three layers, using a sewing machine.
Welcome Art & Soul participants!
The prospect of teaching my "No-Sew SUDOKU Art Quilt" class - at the 2008 Portland, Oregon, Art & Soul Retreat - has given me the needed push (with LOTS of help from my friend, Paula) to get this blog up and running. I want to use this blog to give more information about my class and to answer any questions interested Art & Soul participants might have. I'm a blog newbie, so hang in there with me as I iron out the kinks. I seem to be having a little trouble correcting the spacing on this first post.
What is a SUDOKU puzzle and why use it as a basis for my art quilts?
After working and teaching in the paper arts world for 10-plus years at First Impression (in Portland, OR), I turned to the "fabric side" and the world of art quilts. I was inspired by all the beautiful art quilts in magazines and at quilt shows but when I started to think about creating my own art quilts, I became overwhelmed by all the possibilities and my mind went blank. I needed some structure to work against and to jumpstart my imagination. Enter the ubiquitous SUDOKU puzzle found in every newspaper and in the numerous books lining bookstore shelves (no lack of patterns for aspiring SUDOKU artists!). Originally fascinated with solving SUDOKU puzzles, now for art, I'm drawn to their geometric grid nature and the "random order" of the number patterns that provide wonderful opportunities to easily play with COLOR.

This is a rough drawing (because I don't know how to do grids on my computer) of an original completed SUDOKU puzzle I created. SUDOKU puzzles (we'll use in class) contain 81 squares with numbers 1 through 9. Every vertical and horizontal line contains the numbers 1 through 9 and every 3x3 block of squares contains the numbers 1 through 9. The puzzle part comes in when they give you just a few of the numbers and you have to fill in the rest.

For me, being creative within the constraints of a SUDOKU pattern and its numbers is a fun challenge. The wheels in my brain start racing with ideas of how cleverly and creatively I can represent the numbers 1 through 9. Throw in a theme constraint (which has sent me down a lot of research trails) and it's even more fun!

From Sew to No-Sew SUDOKU Art Quilts...

As shown at the beginning of this post, my SUDOKU art quilts began as conventional sewn quilts. When creating my class for Art & Soul, I figured most folks wouldn't want to haul a sewing machine, and for many, eyes start to glaze over at the mere mention of sewing (by machine or hand), so a "No-Sew SUDOKU Art Quilt" class (using foam board) evolved. Play with COLOR, fabric, fibers, buttons, beads, and create a piece of art with the look of a quilt - and no sewing. As an artist new to sewing, it really is a LOT easier and faster!

1 comment:

Dan said...

Nice quilt! I'm also interested in sudoku the pattern, as opposed to the puzzle. I did something similar to your quilt (, except that I did it digitally.