We invited Daily Beauty author Cécile Trentini to introduce herself, her work, and of course, her thoughts on this latest release.
Please, step into her world…
Sources of Inspiration
A lot of my quilts are inspired by a material or a specific technique, or sometimes both.
In Fragile Peace of Mind, I had just discovered the couching foot and was fascinated by the texture of cotton batting (which was then not easily available in Switzerland), so I had the idea to make a quilt with couching one strip of fabric after the other and leaving some space open, where the batting would show.
Hiding Pollock was inspired by a heap of fabric slivers left over from trimming a lot of fabric squares. I wondered if these scraps could be turned into a new “fabric” using a felting machine.
So, in a way, using cotton pads in Daily Beauty was following a “tradition” of using a material that fascinated me by its size, color and texture and challenging myself to find surprising ways to include this material in a piece of art; in the case of Daily Beauty, 365 different ways.
Making Daily Beauty
The inspiration for and making of Daily Beauty is described in the book, but here is a small story that could well be called a blooper:
When I started to work on Daily Beauty, I soon had the feeling that this was going to be a very special quilt. I decided this would be the piece I would enter into the Quilt National competition that happened to be that year. It soon became apparent that the quilt would become very large, so I reread the entry rules to make sure it would not be larger than allowed. The size was okay, but that was when I discovered that the entry deadline was a whole two months earlier than what I wrongly had in mind. Which left me with a short 3 weeks to sew another 300-and-some squares and finish the quilt. I made the deadline—night-shifts included—but the piece was not accepted to Quilt National. It was a very nice consolation that later, the quilt would sufficiently intrigue the staff at C&T to have them decide to publish a book about it!
How I came to make a book about Daily Beauty
A true story that goes to prove the adage “Never say never.”:
When I finished the quilt, I was so happy with the result that I made a photo book of it, with pictures showing the whole quilt and pages after pages of close-ups of all the 365 blocks (this is now the second part of the book).
I was then invited to teach a workshop at a quilting retreat and asked to put together a slideshow to be shown during the social evening, the day before the class. As designing a quilt was the theme of the class, I decided to show examples of how I developed some of my own quilts; one of them was “Daily Beauty.” I showed the slideshow to my friend David, who was very enthusiastic about it and insisted that I should include these pictures and explanations in the photo book. As a present, I made him a copy, including both the design process and the photo section; it was meant to be an exclusive copy for him. But he started nagging me to publish the book, although I told him that no publisher would ever consider making a book about only one quilt. In the end, we bet whether or not it would be possible to find a publisher. I said no, he said yes. The winner would be invited to a candlelight dinner at a very expensive restaurant. C&T Publishing was the first publisher to whom I sent the book proposal… one of the very few bets ever I was thrilled to lose…even though the dinner cost me a fortune!
In the book, I want to show the readers how I developed this quilt from toying with a particular material to a finished art quilt. It shows the design process of one specific piece, but at the same time it reflects on my basic credo when it comes to design: always look at an initial idea from different angles, think out of the box, play, make sketches and samples to visually test your ideas and when it comes to sewing and materials you use, always remember that you make the rules, anything is possible, and choose the technique and materials that are best-suited to achieve the visual impact you are looking for.
The giveaway – To enter to win a copy of Daily Beauty, leave a comment here telling us if and how you have used unusual items in your quilt making! Deadline to enter is 01/21/13. The winner will be drawn at random from the comments section and will be notified by email. Our winner’s name will also be listed here as an update to this post. *Note: Only entrants with U.S addresses are eligible to win this book. Winners with addresses outside the U.S. will win the e-book version!
1/22/13 UPDATE; Susan D. is our winner – Congratulations!