In the past year or so I took my practice of improvisational dance making and started applying it to making quilts. I was taught by one of my favorite friends and artists of all time, Eliza Fernand. Eliza combines performance art, quilt making, and story telling to produce incredible works of art. I learned to use a sewing machine and sew a straight line and VOILA, a quilter I became. By no means is this craft easy, but like so many things if you want to learn it : YOU CAN. If you can sew a straight line on a sewing machine, use an iron, and be able to take a lot of deep breaths : you too can make a quilt.
a scene from Eliza’s performance series QUILT STORIES I recently took a brief hiatus from my personal facebook page. During my time away from the buzz and the feed I found myself at the sewing machine almost constantly. As soon as I was left to be alone with my feelings and no way to PROJECT them as far as they could go, I needed a new way to inform – both myself and my community. I made two small wall quilts, got as far as basting a whole cloth linen quilt (should start quilting it!) and my first quilt as a gift! It felt so wonderful to give my friend May a small piece to hang on her wall to celebrate the upcoming arrival of her first baby.
I am also so incredibly excited to introduce you to Jenna Valoe, the maker behind Rain and the River. Jenna’s quilts are incredibly designed and hand quilted in her home in Wisconsin. Jenna has been a huge inspiration to me as I continue along with my own practice. Even though our aesthetic differs, her work embodies the same honesty and dedication that I am looking to create in my own quilts.
River’s Edge Quilt by Jenna Valoe
December Quilt by Jenna Valoe
Now I hope you are thinking : I want to make my own quilt! Well that’s perfect because YOU ARE INVITED : Have Company will be hosting an improvisational quilt making workshop on SUNDAY MARCH 2 from 1-3 PM : minimal sewing experience required! Space is limited so sign up today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In the shop we put a huge emphasis on supporting local artists and crafters – some as close as out basement and many who also live along the same avenue as the shop. But part of my goal of owning a shop is to bring the work of makers all over the country to Grand Rapids, a place that often doesn’t have great representation of national & international handmade artisans.
Last week we added the work of Brooklyn based artist Doug Johnston. Doug works with his wife Tomoe Matsuoka and a small team of artists to create beautiful & functional objects out of coiled ropes. Doug’s work spans across many more mediums including photography, performance, and installation work. We’re excited to be carrying a wide variety of his baskets in the shop – from pencil buckets to trivets and deep baskets. I’ve been using my trivet for my piles of garlic & ginger.
How I’m using my trivet. Head over to the online shop to get your own!
This winter John & I invited our friend Zachary to move in with us. He was looking for a place to live just until May, and we had lived with him before. It’s nice during the winter to have an extra body around, bringing energy and life into dreary days.
Zachary is a really talented poet and has an incredible selection of plants in his room. On long days when I feel cooped up in the house I tend to find my way into his room just to find stillness and quiet.
Zachary has found so many ways to make his room peaceful. From blankets as wall hangings, books all around, plants like a jungle, he has truly created a space that is simple and efficient!
Here we are, the Have Company blog! This is an avenue of communication I have been meaning to open up for years. My personal facebook page has always felt like a curated space of sorts where I will quickly promote a friend, post what I am listening to, what events I am planning, etc! My instagram feed has become a quick jolt of HEY LOOK, but then not much more. Looking forward to spending some time working with new ideas in this format.
So what will i DO HERE YOU MIGHT ASK. Well like most new projects I’m not entirely sure, but I know I’ll dive in head first and swim like I know what I’m doing. I hope to feature many of the artists that we carry in our shop, give you a peak into my home studio, feature some of John’s film work, the occasional DIY tutorials. We shall see where this takes me.
For now I’ll leave you with this, one of my favorite photographs of the shop – snapped by Andy Madeleine (who captured the store in the most beautiful words & photographs : here)