Dramatic clothing, art quilts, and assemblages at Create DIY
Published - 01/23/21 - 07:15 AM | 3742 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Close up look at the three-dimensional collar and oversized flower of the spectacular yo-yo dress.
Close up look at the three-dimensional collar and oversized flower of the spectacular yo-yo dress.

Create DIY was a textile arts festival presented by QuiltFest from Jan. 13-16. This was the first DIY online event, which included workshops and lectures with quilting, rug hooking, fabric weaving, macramé, knitting, doll-making, bead embroidery, fabric dying, crocheting, and tapestry weaving.

One of the participants was local fiber artist Marty Ornish who creates dramatic clothing, art quilts, and assemblages. She loves to use abandoned quilts, damaged vintage linens, and throw away materials. She deconstructs to reconstruct upcycling vintage materials.

Ornish who is known as Marty-O was asked to lecture on “Inspiration & Creativity” at this textile arts festival. She shared her techniques for finding inspiration along with her wealth of knowledge in the field of textiles. Beginning her presentation, she said that you should think like a child. Look through their eyes and their amazing curiosity. Travel and go to museums for ideas.

Ornish said: “I gravitate to the artist Paul Klee, which doesn’t make sense because I don’t make abstract art or use vivid colors. I use antique textiles so my finished work will look like faded colors. When I go to museums I look at things that aren’t on my list such as how did they use light and sometimes the frame is as good as the art. Picasso is great to look at for the composition and use of color.

Other inspirations she talked about were graffiti and street art along with Japanese fashion, style, and art. These are marvelous ways to spur your imagination.

Safeguarding your time and limiting daily distractions are additional methods she talked about for inspiration and creativity. She is a lifelong learner and experiments even if it is messy. While working she watches fashion shows and art documentaries for added creativity.

One of her favorite inspirational exhibitions was Guo Pei at the Bowers Museum. This Chinese fashion designer creates the most intricate details in her work. Guo Pei is truly exceptional. Marty-o also enjoys Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto, who is known for his avant-garde tailoring. Each month she spends hours looking through magazines for ideas. She said to let history inspire you and finished by mentioning that you should always push yourself.

Ornish loves Yo-Yo’s, which are called Suffolk Puffs in England. She was given two yo-yo quilts, which were made by three generations during WWll. Taking one quilt and turning this into a yo-yo dress and then placing the second yo-yo quilt with a header behind the model. The dress has a three-dimensional collar and was accented with an oversized flower.

She received Best of Show for this piece ‘Form Not Function’ at the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Ind., 2020. She has a list of additional awards for her unique work and also received Best of Show at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, Wearable art, Hampton, Va., 2019.

Mancuso Show Management is a company that promotes national and international events in the quilt, wearable and textile arts genre. MSM was started by two brothers David and Peter Mancuso with offices in New Hope, Pa. For the next QuiltFest, visit quiltfest.com. To contact Marty-O, visit marty-o.com.


Upcoming Events

March 6 – Soroptimist International of San Diego will feature “Women With Vision.” This is a live virtual fashion show produced by Gretchen Productions. The afternoon also features the “Live Your Dream” awards. For info, call 619-670-9880.


Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in San Diego. Learn more about our hat designer, teacher, and blogger at DianaCavagnaro.com.

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