Inspiration is for amateurs—the rest of us just show up and get to work…[T]hings will grow out of the activity itself and…you will—through work—bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’ — Chuck Close
I am not sure how I came across Kelsey Boes’ work on Instagram, but when I first saw it, I gasped. Audibly. How could she cut up a quilt? And then, print over it?? Then quilt it again??? It was mind-boggling. Her process of deconstructing her quilts after they are seemingly “done” is bold, appalling, and intriguing; the results are astounding. Kelsey’s colour choices show a quiet sensitivity, but they are not timid; they are quietly bold.
Kelsey is a Ph.D. candidate at North Carolina State University in Fiber and Polymer Sciences. Her quilting has little to do with her research in renewable additives for diesel fuel, but it offers the opportunity for energizing design breaks in the middle of paper writing and productive time in the lab as she ponders her next quilt direction.
What drew you into quilting and why do you love it?
I enjoy structured creative endeavors, so working with traditional quilting as a framework fuels my creativity. I relish the freedom to sometimes following conventional quilting canons and other times bend them. Throughout the process, I find that the methodical nature of quilting provides a peaceful place for my mind to rejuvenate.
What are three words that describe your design and/or quilting style?
What lead you to overprint, deconstruct, and requilt your quilts?
An amalgamation of curiosity, creative hurdles, and suggestions have lead me to where my process is currently. Overprinting came as a suggestion from my graphic design professor after he watched me hand-print my own fabric designs. Deconstructing is the product of indecision. Two years after putting a teal printed quilt to rest for lack of a good binding, I decided it was time to move on. I cut it into nine pieces, rearranged it, added some quilting to tie it together, and now I plan to serge the edges. I think Chuck Close sums it up when he says, “Inspiration is for amateurs—the rest of us just show up and get to work…[T]hings will grow out of the activity itself and…you will—through work—bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’” My design decisions both great and less-than-inspired inform the work that I am doing now, and I love that kind of organic recursive process of experimenting, stepping back, and reformulating.
Find Kelsey on Instagram: @lovelyandenough
Find her shop on Etsy: Lovely and Enough
P.S. I am especially drawn to her Lenten Twelves project and the thought behind them: “In 2014, my mom challenged me to feast into creativity during the season of Lent instead of fasting from something. We both set out to create a 12″x12″ min quilt sketch each week to stretch our creative muscles and boundaries. These we named our ‘Lenten Twelves.'”