ABOUT MY WORK

Picture of me
Me a few years ago

I developed Bamquilts.com myself, with a lot of help from Michael Roach, of michaelroachcreative.com. He is an excellent resource for anyone needing help with computer software.

Most of the art quilt photographs depicted here were taken by either Gregory Case (photos@gregorycase.com) or McGreevy Prolab and ProPress (info@mcgreevyprolab.com). Again, I was very satisfied with their work.

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I’ve been quilting since 1971. That’s the year my son was born, and I was stuck at home during continual snowstorms after working in nearby Albany for years. I figured I needed a hobby that I could do at home while the baby was sleeping. As many before me have said – little did I know it would take over my life.

There was so much I didn’t know about quilting. I had a sewing machine and knew how to sew some clothes. I had access to a library and took out everything on quilting I could find, which wasn’t much back then. Many of my first quilts were red, white and blue. I figured if these colors went together in the flag, I couldn’t go wrong.

Eventually I found a local quilt group, and that made quite a difference. People would see me working and say “why don’t you do it this way?” I couldn’t believe the things that didn’t occur to me, but fortunately they had occurred to other people. That’s my first suggestion to beginning quilters – find a group. A small one may be less intimidating, but usually quilters are welcoming people. Even larger groups often have subgroups for people with special interests.

I enjoyed what I was doing, but after about ten years I was tired of making other people’s designs. That’s when I started “art quilting,” which is a fancy way of saying my pieces are original if nothing else. I know I’m creating art because of the process I go through – that feeling that I have to get this vague vision created into fabric, and there’s an urgency to keep going until it’s done. It’s up to people other than me to decide if I make ‘good’ art, but I believe the process is the same whether you’re working on the Sistine Chapel or Looney Tunes.

I was fairly prolific during the ’80’s with shows and teaching, and then stopped quilting entirely for three years in the ’90’s. My husband and I were raising our grandson, who must have been the most oral kid ever born. He could spot a pin on the floor that I completely missed, and in his mouth it would go. So it wasn’t worth the danger to him until he outgrew it, although I continued to make jewelry. We also eventually raised his two younger sisters, but they didn’t seem to be so attracted to sharp pins.

So once that phase was past, I gradually came back to quilting and mostly sold in craft fairs for several years. It’s only been in the last four or five years that I’ve gone back to teaching and entering contests. I’ve also had articles and pictures published in several issues of Art Quilting Studio magazine. I’ve listed the editions and pages of some of my articles below. The magazine can usually be found in the magazine section of book stores.

That about sums up my life in quilting. I consider myself a quilt artist, but I haven’t had any formal background in art. My high school art teacher said words to me to the effect that I had absolutely no artistic aptitude and I might as well forget it. So I think like many people, I started quilting, not art work, and it was a long time before I made the connection between the two. I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with quilt art. Or if you aren’t quite ready to make original designs, show me what you’re doing and maybe I can nudge you in the design direction. It’s so much fun.

ART QUILTING STUDIO:

ISSUE/DATE, PAGES, ARTICLE

Autumn 2020, 6-9, Inspired by New Mexico

Summer 2020, 118-120, Dancing in the Moonlight

Winter 2020, 80-82, Waiting for Spring

Autumn 2019, 86-89, An Abundance of Trees

Summer 2019, 18-23, Working in Bleach on Fabric

Summer 2018, 56-59, Studies in Blue and Orange