About Andrée

Andrée Fredette

I am photographer and quilter who lives on Saturna Island, British Columbia. When I am not playing and wandering outdoors, I divide my time between making art, and my career as a translator. I have been making textile pieces for too many years to mention… Actually, the nuns taught me to sew, back in the 4th grade…

Since moving to that sparsely populated island on the West Coast of Canada a few years ago, I have spent a lot of time paying attention to details: the quality of the light on the water, the big sky in front of my house and its changing cloud patterns, the incredible height of the fir trees, the countless shades of green everywhere and the lace-like  sandstone. My obsession with pattern is evident in my quilting and photography.

I create contemporary wall pieces from hand-dyed or painted cottons. They are usually my interpretations of the patterns and shapes I notice around me.

For me, stitching is another form of adding my mark to each colourful piece and I revel in repetitive motifs drawn from nature. I also like to travel and I have been on a few continents, camera in hand and curious as a cat…

My Palette

I work with fabrics that I’ve dyed or painted. I also use fabric from stores, or from other hand-dyers who produce extraordinary hand-dyed and printed cottons. The process of dyeing or painting fabric is very playful. A bit like making mud pies. Although the results are not edible, they are real eye-candy. These fabrics are my palette. I use them to assemble quilts.

I work on most of my pieces by starting with a very rough sketch. I like to cut the fabric directly, without using patterns, and I assemble the pieces by machine. This process can take a great deal of time, because my bright ideas sometimes generate quite a bit of problem-solving at the sewing machine. Another of my favourite approaches is reverse-appliqué, where I layer fabrics and cut off the top layer along design lines, to reveal the colour beneath. This technique helps me create some very organic shapes and contrasts, and is fun to use as well.

A batch of freshly-dyed fabrics, curing in the sun
A batch of freshly-dyed fabrics, curing in the sun

My Art: Multi-media, textiles or quilts…

My work is a modern take on the traditional. I build my pieces in the usual quilt model, which is a “sandwich” of layers: top, batting and back. I usually work with cotton fabric, mostly hand-dyed or painted, sometimes recycled from old clothes or house linens.

Texturing a quilt... obsessive work. Quilt and photo by Andrée Fredette
Texturing a Quilt… obsessive work

Once a quilt top is finished, I layer it over the batting and back. At this stage, I add texture to the piece by quilting and embroidering motifs, sometimes quite intensely. This mark-making stage can completely transform the piece. For more details on this topic, I’ve added a page on Mark-Making. If you haven’t already, take a look at my quilt gallery, under Textiles.

Photography: Playing Outside

And when I am done indoors, it’s time to go back and play outside… Always on the hunt. This photo was taken on Vancouver Island, on San Juan Ridge. Check out some wildflowers I shot during hikes just like this….

On the San Juan Ridge, Vancouver Island, BC
Happy outside… on the San Juan Ridge, Vancouver Island, BC.

Quilts and Photography