As a quilt artist I bring to my work: intuition, a desire to explore the medium, a stong sense of color, a painter’s eye for shapes, an appreciation for the craft of quilting and a vexing itch to bend the rules. My work has been exhibited at Hollins University and at the Bedford Library and is included in numerous private collections. My interest in quilting grew out of a life long fascination with fiber in all its manifestations.
Growing up under a hand-made quilt created by my grandmother, it wasn’t long before I had to try my hand at quilting as well. My first effort was a montage of techniques including piecing, appliqué, embroidery and collage. So the leap decades later to art quilts was not at all out of character.
An interest in fiber lead me in many directions: spinning, first with a drop spindle in my teen years to spinning on a wheel, to card weaving, to weaving on a 4 harness rug loom, dyeing with plants, embroidery, felting, knitting and beading. If it is fiber, I am interested in it.
After taking quilting classes in my early 40’s, it wasn’t long before I was chafing at all the rules and regimentation and the cookie-cutter emphasis of traditional quilting. Line up those seams, get your points to all meet. That is when I discovered Nancy Crow and art quilting. Shortly thereafter the quilts of Gee’s Bend left me awestruck and inspired.
My quilts are always an exploration of shape, each piece of fabric a different one linked to the next, individually fashioned by eye and hand to please and fit together with yet another shape. Not unlike how we as people are cut and shaped by life to fit together again and anew with others.
I make quilts to create a unique expression of myself, of who I am, which does not rely primarily on words. I hope to leave my mark, my personality, my story on the pieces of fabric I cut and stitch, pinch and tweak and press and nudge into place.
As an artist I am interested in color and pattern and the interaction of solid colors and pattern. And shape. How shapes interact with other shapes and how that impacts color.
While quilt making is a traditional art form, I am more attracted to a contemporary expression of it. I machine piece fabric and prefer to hand quilt and embellish the results.
I like to start with a rough idea of the quilt, a germ of a notion. Sometimes I work from sketches or scraps or other experiments which are inspiration of a larger whole. I try to react to each cut of the fabric on an individual basis and choose not to cut through stacks of fabric. While I use rotary cutters I try to put away rulers unless I am squaring up blocks. I like the uneven line which free hand cutting leaves on the lines of my quilts. I am not looking for straight line perfection anywhere. I want people to see my hand, my marks on my quilts.
I like simplicity of line and shape and starkness, more of a graphic pared down aesthetic. I let the quilt grow as the fabric comes together and am willing to try new directions, ripping pieces apart to get the look I am seeking. I prefer to work alone in my studio with music playing. Stopping frequently to study from afar the canvas I allow some works to percolate for hours or days before continuing on with them.