Monday, January 25, 2016

Member Profile: Sue Colozzi

Sue Colozzi's landscape quilts first caught my eye at the 2013 Melrose Arts Festival, but it was only recently that I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with her.
Boston Public Garden by Sue Colozzi

When did you start making art quilts?
My first art quilt was a pop-up quilt.  As an assignment for a college design class, I sewed blue and green squares together to represent a background of grass and a river.  Fabric houses, flowers, trees and bridges were filled with foam rubber chips and stitched onto the top of the squares.  When the quilt was unfolded, up would pop a village and surrounding woods.  Now that I’m retired I have time to sew again, and I’m back to making quilts - without the foam rubber!

What type of work do you do?  What styles or techniques do you use?
The quilts I make now are landscapes.  Using raw edge appliqué, I try to replicate scenes around me using fabric color and texture to suggest reality.  I make up my techniques as I go – sometimes satin stitching and other times free motion stitching my edges.  I’ll add unusual materials to convey reality – raffia to represent dried grass, clear vinyl to simulate strawberry boxes, and bridal lace to resemble tree blossoms.  I’ve also fabricated 3 dimensional floral pieces.  My small framed mini quilts are photo-sized, but completely finished so they can be placed in commercial frames.
Detail from Five Houses in the Marsh by Sue Colozzi
Give us some insight into your design process.
I prefer to take my own photographs and then sketch the scene as I’d like to create it.  Starting with the background and working forward, I fuse my fabric pieces to a muslin background and then sew each layer before moving on to the next.  I do a lot of experimenting as I go.  I often layer different colors of chiffon to create depth and shadow in water.  Sometimes I’ll thread sketch an area to achieve the light and shadows of color I want to portray.  Each quilt presents new technique challenges.

Coleus by Sue Colozzi
I definitely like to complete one piece before moving on to another.  Partly that's because my sewing space is so tiny.  Also, I don’t like to lose my focus of creative thought on a project.

I usually start a quilt to challenge myself, reinventing a scene I’ve photographed. Occasionally I’ll design a quilt to enter into a challenge or show, but I’ve learned there’s no guarantee it will be accepted.  So I create quilts to please myself and hope others will enjoy them too!

What inspires you?
I moved to Boston forty-two years ago because I fell in love with the city and its different neighborhoods.  On the other hand, I’m fascinated with the combination of sea, salt marsh, and ever-changing sunsets on the Cape.  I’ll never run out of ideas for a new quilt!

What is your studio like? When do you like to work?
My studio is the smallest bedroom in my home.  While extremely cramped, it's only one step to reach my sewing machine, ironing board, or work tabIe... and two steps to reach my stash!  I’ve obviously spread into other rooms, with my quilts sleeping face down on the bed in my spare room, and my teaching bags in the hallway.  I usually sew during the afternoons and evenings. Many times I step into my sewing room just to get something and don’t come back out for an hour or more.

Which aspects of the SAQA membership are you enjoying?
 I’ve been fortunate to be able to exhibit some of my quilts in SAQA exhibits and found the speakers at my local meetings to be very informative.  I appreciate the Calls for Entry announcements listed in monthly emails.

Sue will lead a landscape quilting workshop at the Falmouth Art Center on Saturdays from February 20 to March 5, 2016, if you'd like a taste of collage and quilts.

1 comment:

  1. All these arts look fantastic. I am in love with these painting. She has done such great work. I am strongly impressed from her work. I am also a newbie painter and going to participate in the art fest at some local event venues in Los Angeles. Hoping for the best!!