Artist:

Kelly Spell – Hixson, TN


Bio:

Kelly Spell is an award-winning quilter living in Hixson, Tennessee. Her abstract modern quilts have been featured in numerous publications, shows, and museums around the world, including the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Asheville Art Museum.


Artist Statement:

I try to capture and highlight the brilliance of Nature’s designs in a way that references the original inspiration but is not a true representation of it. By abstracting my favorite features of an animal, I hope to inspire viewers to take a second look at the natural wonders around them.


Narrative:

This quilt was inspired a sea creature of the same name. It’s part of a series I call “Kelly’s Fish Friends”—pieces that pay homage to animals exhibited at Tennessee Aquarium, where I volunteer as a docent.
It’s mesmerizing to watch an anemone sway in a rocky tide pool. The bubbly flow of water supplies both the oxygen and the food the slow-moving, carnivorous animal needs to survive.

I pieced narrow, curvy inset strips to mimic the animal’s tubular tentacles; echo lines of curved quilting signify their movement, accompanied by free-motion bubbles.

With my fish quilts, I try to capture and highlight the brilliance of Nature’s designs in a way that references the original inspiration but is not a true representation of it. By abstracting my favorite features, I hope to inspire viewers to take a second look at the natural wonders around them.


Techniques Used: Free-motion quilting, quilting on a stationary machine, improvisational piecing

Materials Sourced From Nature: Cotton fabric, cotton thread, wool batting

Other Materials Used: Polyester batting

Measurements: 34" x 30.5" x .25"

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