Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mixing Words & Fabric - Meet Cindy Rinne

Talk about fabric and someone always asks - ' what do you do with your scraps'.

My answer always involves Cindy Rinne. She is a long time friend, amazing art quilter and the one who loves getting a bag of its and bits from me. Cindy then takes them and transforms them through her collages.

Over the last couple of years she re- committed herself to one of her first loves, poetry... and she found ways of combining this with her fabric works.
Enough, now it's time to Meet Cindy...

Which came first the poetry or the quilts, and how did you get started with quilt making?
The poetry came first as I started out as a watercolorist and then acrylic painter. I have always liked collage and included texture in my water media works. I was adhering photo transfers on fabric and fabric squares in the 9-patch block onto wood when I was invited to my first quilt meeting. Both of my friends were painters and had gotten involved with quilting. I enjoyed the guild meetings, especially learning about the history of fabrics and the history behind the various traditional blocks. I attended for three years before trying quilting. I was having my photo transfers done at a quilt shop. The owner, assuming I was a quilter, said that these photos on muslin will make beautiful quilts. I drove away thinking that I am not a quilter, but the idea stuck. I designed my first art quilt and never looked back.

When did the light bulb go off about combining these?
The light bulb went off last summer. I helped to start a poetry critique group called PoetrIE. I was seriously getting into poetry by last summer. I even had a bio of poems being published. A poetry friend of mine and I decided to do a drawing-a-day for the month of July. At the same time, my PoetrIE group decided to write a poem-a-day. It was a crazy month trying to write and draw everyday, but transformation came. The story I was writing became the source for my drawings. I translated the word "drawing" into using fabric, ink, pencil, etc. I will be having a solo show of this work next spring including a reading at the opening of the poetry we both wrote for this story.

I know you like using others scraps ....when did this begin, and what's the best thing about using these scraps?
As I said, I have always enjoyed collage. Before I was mostly collaging paper. Now I began to collage with fabrics. In art quilts I could use most any fabric as my pieces are not washed. The best thing about using scraps from others is that I think about them as I use their fabrics, including you! This way each of my fiber pieces is a community. I've even had people come to my exhibits and pick out the fabric they gave me. It's fun for them to see what I did with their treasures. I receive some special fabrics (international, vintage) because I only need small pieces.

What is one of your favorite ways to spend an afternoon?
I enjoy being in nature which inspires both my art and poetry, but as much as I quilt and write alone, friends and community are vital to me.

Hope you enjoyed meeting Cindy.
Fantastic use of scraps don't you think?!?

(btw - Cindy is in one of the pictures on my header -- can you find her?)


  1. What a treat to meet Cindy! I love your samples on this page and will explore further another day ~ ~ I, too, have combined some poetry with my quilts. Not so much anything I would publish, but more as a blessing to the recipient -- I find it such fun to make a quilt for someone and feel like we have spent all of those hours and days (weeks??) together while I have been stitching and envisioning and praying ~ ~ a poem has often just flowed out onto the label to sort of put the final touch on the gift.

    Aren't we about the luckiest people alive to get to do something so fun and interesting and to keep meeting new friends?

    Thank you for sharing Cindy with us, Rose

    1. I agree with you Kara...we are the luckiest people around! thanks for commenting

  2. Loved meeting Cindy. Its always so inspiring to hear the stories of our journey to this creative place.

  3. It was nice to meet Cindy. I think using someone else's scraps could be interesting. Make you step out of your comfort zone, if the scraps were totally different than what is usually in your own stash.. I will be stepping out of my box when I take your class on October 19th with the Desert Quilters. But I am so excited to do so. Is the picture that is with the description of the class what we will be doing?? If so, that will help guide me to pick my fabrics. So I thought I would ask to be sure. Hope to hear from you.

    1. I think using someone elses scraps could really good or really bad ... I am grateful though that Cindy and others are willing to take mine! I'm looking forward to the visit to Desert Quilters -- but Doreen I will be guiding you to create a whole new design for the workshop... bringing fabrics that work together nicely -- and mixing up scale & value will make it fun, and of course I will help all along the way! See you soon.