Art is about Transformation
"Quillos are my palettes. I use fabric to transform the beauty around me into a practical art. Being an artist is about transformation. Art is an organic process between you and the outside world. As an artist, I transform this creative energy into each quillo I sew in order to share with others."
This interview was originally posted by Artist Strong. Carrie Brummer is the creator of Artist Strong and is dedicated to helping artists find their voice and make their visions a reality.
The Art of Becoming...
Cathleen is the owner/designer of Quiloha, a company dedicated to “Spreading Aloha one quillo at a time.” Quillos are unique one-of-a-kind personal quilts that showcase Hawaiian, Asian and batik fabrics. Cathleen’s art is influenced by her love of decoupage, a practical art that she learned from her grandmother.
Carrie: What is your earliest creative memory?
My earliest creative memory was making mud pies in the back yard with my friends when I was about 4 years old. My mom always had us make our own Christmas gifts. My favorite gift was making a candle with ice and wax in a milk carton. After it set, we could decorate it with glitter and bows.
It was my grandmother, however, who stoked my creative passion. She and I would sit for hours making decoupage Christmas ornaments. These were kits that included a satin ball with rhinestones, sequins and gold paper and directions for exotic designs. It required ALOT of patience for a young girl. I still have a collection of these ornaments today!
Carrie: What is a quillo? How did you discover your passion for quillos?
Quillos are handmade, comforting quilts that fold into pillows. A quillo is a quilt. A quillo is a pillow. I first saw a quillo when my neighbor and friend Yvonne made one for my husband’s birthday. My entire family immediately wanted one. When I approached Yvonne about buying some to give as gifts, she declined, but told me she would teach me how to make one. I started making quillos and I couldn’t stop. I was addicted to fabric!! I realized I had an innate ability to combine complementary fabrics. This allowed me to focus my creativity in a practical art. The feedback I received from people who received my quillos encouraged me to start Quiloha.
Carrie: What do you hope people take from your work?
Quiloha was born out of a desire to ‘practice creativity’ in my life. It offered me a vehicle to express myself through fabric. Quiloha grew as I began to send quillos to friends who were undergoing
tremendous pain and tragedy in their lives. I wanted to offer comfort, connection and beauty by sending them a ‘Maui Medicine Blanket.’ My work is best summed up by the words of one of my customers…”From start to finish, you have made this such a personal, creative and caring experience.”
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
My grandmother was the one who inspired me to pursue creativity. She was always making things. When my own grandchildren come to visit, their first question is, “What are we going to make today?”
Mother Nature has always been my inspiration. From the majestic to the mundane, you can always find beauty in Nature.
Carrie: What does the word artist mean to you?
Quillos are my palettes. I use fabric to transform the beauty around me into a practical art. Being an artist is about transformation. Art is an organic process between you and the outside world. As an artist, I transform this creative energy into each quillo I sew in order to share with others.
“My wish for you is that these insights may ignite your own creative gifts, fanning them into a blazing conflagration of authentic transformation; that there will be no turning back for you once you hear the thundering voices of spirit…that you will discover with unshakable conviction that you have an indispensable thread of awareness to weave into the fabric of this world; and that your guiding lights will show you the way to grow gracefully into who you already are.”
(The Widening Stream, David Ulrich)
The fabric for my New Year's Collection has me giddy with excitement. Don't forget to subscribe to my website to be the first to see these new designs.