Photo credit: Tami Photography LLC
All images are copyrighted and may not be used without the express consent of Renée Fleuranges-Valdes.
Welcome to my site! I am passionate about quilting and so happy you have decided to stop by.
Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you have any questions!
It has taken me awhile to attach the word 'artist' to my name. I have played with so many art forms over the years, experimenting, and finding my voice. But over the last 20 years, quilting has become my PASSION! I am known for the bright colored fabric and use them to bring joy and movement to my work. I LOVE the process of creating texture via intricate machine quilting, resulting in a piece that draws you in, to get a closer look. One of my trademarks is the use of crystals, yarns, ribbons and other tidbits to enhance the visual impact to my work.
I think quilting allows me to express a part of me that has been tucked away for so many years, as I focused on my career, being a wife and a mother. How freeing is it to sit down and create whatever your heart tells you to make. Who cares how 'good' it is, as long as it makes you happy? One of the things I learned early on, was that I could define what a 'quilt' was to me. I didn't have to follow a pattern, I didn't have to get permission to use the colors I liked, I didn't even have to quilt about something I knew or did. I was allowed to just create what I wanted. I think if we allowed children this type of creative freedom early on, we would have a lot more open minded adults in this world. As it turned out, this freedom opened up another part of me. I have always been social in nature, but through my quilting I became more so and this has expanded the subjects I explore through my art. It really is amazing where something as innocent as fabric and thread can take you.
I took my first quilt class at a local shop in 1999 and haven’t looked back. I thank the local quilt guilds, and shops at the time for helping to propel me past utilitarian quilting and into the world of Textile Art. I am an art quilter at heart, but will dabble in many different quilting styles. Textiles bring me joy. I enjoy the time spent touching and cutting the fabric, and the time spent sitting, creating my designs. My love of the quilting process grew even more once I realized how my mind would wander as I worked. How I love spending time thinking about family and friends, my gardens, decorating, the economy,... whatever. Life is so full of things, and the freedom of allowing yourself to ponder just about anything in itself, brings me joy. And that is what life should be about.... doing what brings you Joy! As I explore more ideas, I find my art and the subject matter changing as well. At first, it was all about being pretty to look at. Now, I find myself wanting my work to represent me.... and not just the me folks see, but the me that was hidden and the me that I am exploring for myself for the first time. I want my art to reflect today's issues and lifestyles.... I want folks to look at my art and be able to relate, to see themselves, or maybe even the them, they have tucked away. Maybe, we will explore who we are together through my art.
My textile art has been displayed throughout the United States at quilt shows, art galleries and included in many publications. I have also won many awards for my work. I love teaching at quilt conventions as well as to quilt guilds and fiber groups. I am also available to lecture or judge at shows.
After 38 years in the software industry, I retired in 2019. When I am not creating art, my husband Bob and I are known as the 'fishing and stitching' couple as we often combine road trips to satisfy both of our favorite past times, time on the water, and browsing quilt shops and art galleries. We have been blessed with two married, adult children: a daughter, Raven Valdes Kenworthy; a son, Roberto Valdes; and a grandson.
Affiliations: Pelham Quilters; Northern Star Quilt Guild; FiberArts North East (FANE); Studio Art Quilting Association (SAQA); EPIC Colorful Stitchers and The Return of the Bees Quilting Collective.