QuiltEd Online
Dena Dale Crain

P.O. Box 1141
20100 KE



Artist Information for Dena Dale Crain

Over the years of my career, I designed and made art quilts in several different styles. As a professional online educator, I worked to develop ways to design patchwork quilts that I could teach to others, so their work could be more original and less dependent on my thought processes. Such efforts produced successful online courses called Structured Fabrics, Darned Quilts, Crystal Quilts, Designer Pinwheels, Reflections and Goodbye to the Grid, taught previously at Quilt University and now from QuiltEd Online. All were based on studies of symmetry and/or spontaneous, improvisational cutting and piecing methods. In addition, I made Spirit Works, surrealistic expressions of inner landscapes, all made by quilting first without prior design and while in a semi-meditative state, and hand-painted after quilting. Examples of all this work are to be seen on my blog at http://denacrain.com.

More recently, I moved into a new design method, something with a working title for an online course called Instant Patchwork. The series itself is called Redefinitions. I completed about a dozen pieces in this set, and the work is ongoing.

The purpose of Redefinitions is to re-examine the nature of original patchwork, the use of cut shapes, mostly squares and rectangles, to patch old and worn apparel and soft furnishings. Starting with chunks of fabric, I draw techniques from my Built Quilt series (Structured Fabrics, Darned Quilts and Design Lines) to build sections of pieced cloths that can then be subdivided and rejoined in unexpected ways. The addition of fine fabric outlines gives linear element interest. Embellishments add extra theme-based excitement to the work, and each piece displays individual character that arises from the materials and treatments of them, almost without my help!

Many of the pieces are made from silk, my favorite fabric, but some are from African printed or dyed cottons. All are machine pieced and machine quilted, but most beadwork is done by hand. Titles come from what the work represents to me, or perhaps from some mood I am in while working. I love making art quilt wall hangings in this manner, precisely because each one, although collectively similar in style, is unique in its expression of theme and emotive content.

Ask me which is my favorite, and I will simply smile gently and say, “All of them!”

Images scroll down to view all

Redefinitions V: Urban Africa

Redefinitions V: Urban Africa34" x 38"  

Redefinitions VIII: Desert Sands

Redefinitions VIII: Desert Sands30" x 34"  

Hand-dyed and commercial solid color, 100% silk fabrics, machine pieced and quilted; now part of the Del Thomas Collection

Redefinitions XI: Kenyanese Checkers

Redefinitions XI: Kenyanese Checkers28" x 28"  

Chinese development in Kenya supplants American foreign aid efforts

Redefinitions VI: City Sidewalks

Redefinitions VI: City Sidewalks30" x 43"  

Hand-dyed, hand-stamped 100% silk fabrics

Redefinitions X: Liquid Gold

Redefinitions X: Liquid Gold28" x 31"