Wednesday, February 5, 2014

RE-Create Featured Artist, Jennifer Schmitz

Rest detail by Jennifer Schmitz

A few weeks ago I posted on Instagram info about my RE-Create Project, Being Resourceful and Creative with what I have.  My friend, Jennifer Schmitz responded to my post with this,
"I've been knitting from my stash for 3 years! I didn't have to start buying yarn until this Christmas. Then I only purchased very specific things for projects I knew I would complete. I've almost finished all that; then I'll be back to stash creation. My last series of artworks was all from my stash too. I adore that challenge of working this way."

(Here's a photo  Canaan, one of her sons,  in a sweater she knit for him completely from her stash.)

I completely loved her response and wanted to feature her.

Meet Jennifer Schmitz, a former art teacher turned home schooling mom to three boys. She's been a textile artist for over 15 years and have been drawing and print making for much longer. She learned to sew from her mom as a very young girl, but didn't make creating with fabric a passion until she was in college. Originally from Houston, Texas, now she lives in the Kansas City area with my wonderful husband, three boys, and our 85 pound dog.

Working in an environmentally friendly way is a cornerstone of what I do. The greenest materials to use are those we already have. When I do need to buy things, I start at the thrift store, and I recycle a lot of old sheets in my work. I dye and stain in ways that are as natural as possible. 

Here is something she wrote for Art Quilt Studio Magazine this past summer about her newer work called Tranquility. 


Textile works by Jennifer Schmitz

The journey toward tranquility, for me, began a while back. The work 

in this series was born out of the need for a new way to work and a 

new focus on rest and gratitude. 

Nearly five years ago, I decided to stop working with chemical dyes. 

At the time, it was a temporary decision based on the fact that I was

pregnant. I had a large stash of hand-dyed fabric from which to work,

and figured that I would dye again soon enough. At some point I 

determined, in the interest of my health, the safety of my family, and

the preservation of our planet, to move on from chemicals completely,

and opted instead to explore more natural ways of getting color and

pattern on fabric. I have experimented with tea, coffee, molds, and

now indigo to achieve results on cotton fabric. The fabrics in this 

series were all dyed or stained using one of these methods. 


Tranquility is not about having things just right but about learning to 

be content with what you have. In the busyness of our lives, I think we

lose sight of the grace we have, the beauty around us, and all that 

God has given us. Take just a few minutes to slow down and think of

someplace that is tranquil for you tonight, and remember to be 

thankful for all the gifts you have been given.

Rest by Jennifer Schmitz

Rest detail by Jennifer Schmitz

Shore by Jennifer Schmitz
Elemental by Jennifer Schmitz

Elemental detail by Jennifer Schmitz

Elemental detail by Jennifer Schmitz

Please visit her Etsy shop, Hand Grown Goods and her blog, Hand Grown Life. You will be inspired.

If you want to be my next Featured artist, please email me at

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