A Quilting Artist Statement

I have been quilting since I was in college. I needed a bedspread; I had material so I decided to make a quilt. No one taught me. I just did it. I used the Grandmother’s Churn Dasher Pattern. Well, that was over 30 years ago. I found I love making quilts. In general, I like to work small; 45x60 seems to be a good size. I like a rectangular shape. I like a vertical line. I like fabric that has some weight to it; color that has depth or sheen. I like to decorate a traditional pattern with buttons, sequins, or embroidery. Quilts, I have found, are a good use for earrings that have lost their mate. I like to make the plain fancy, the serviceable beautiful. My approach to quilt making is not the different from my approach to music. I draw from the past but I make it my own. There is a certain joy in piecing together colors to make a pattern – a quilt top. But the act of quilting enhances every ordinary or exquisite top. The primary element in quilting is time. There is a commitment from me to devote the in and out movement of my fingers, countless stitches and knots to take a top and turn it into a quilt. I machine piece but I hand quilt and to me that is what makes the work come alive. My signature, my breath, is in every stitch. Another element of my work is that I use what I have at hand. I do not plan a pattern and then go to the store and buy the needed fabrics. I start with what I have, what I’ve collected, what I’ve been given over the years. Then if necessary I’ll buy what is missing. In this sense I feel I stay true to the thrifty nature of the craft. It is true that quilting is a craft. The product serves a purpose. But the product is also a piece of art drawing the eye back again and again to the beauty of the work. This is what I try to do: to make a thing of beauty to be used and enjoyed for years to come.

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