Quilting is how I heal myself.
Cutting and piecing vibrating bits of colorful cloth calms and centers me when I am stressed or discouraged.
As an improvisor, making unplanned ‘crazy quilts’ suits me best. I play at these quilts, just as I play at singing and dancing. I rarely buy fabric; part of the game is to make do with material that comes my way unbidden – and bagsful arrive on my doorstep all the time, from neighbors and friends who know where to bring their scraps!
On days when my mood is agitated, I sew together nature colors - browns and greens; when I need a lift, I work with reds and purples; when I am grieving, it is mauves and grays that comfort me. When I am feeling too chaotic for even a crazy quilt, I pick up scraps blindfolded and make a CHAOS quilt!
Snoo and Boyfriend (the cat)
Sun in the Forest - Barbara's Quilt
Fish Gotta Swim, Birds Gotta Fly
For those willing to not follow rules, I recommend this healing mode highly
My quilts almost always start out with a central “seed motif” around which the quilt grows. Border by border, I add colors and forms onto the center until a whole design takes shape.
This was my first quilt. I called it 'Tibetan Ninepatch'.
Sometimes, as in EarthFire (Ethan and Anne's Quilt),
several seed motifs sewn together create the quilt.
Sometimes it has a formal feel,
as in this Blue and White (Lisby's Quilt).
Sometimes I just try out new color combinations,
like this red and brown.
I thrive on the unexpected. I love it when I get stuck while doing a quilt – I’ve run out of orange fabric for the borders but…oh, look at that bolt of fuscia sitting on the shelf!
Whatever am I going to do with these wild bits from a long-abandoned project? When ten year old Lael says they remind her of a butterfly, why then it’s obvious what to do with them.
Lael's Butterfly Quilt
And when four year old Lucy asks if I’ll let her design her own quilt, we collaborate to produce this piece of wonder. When I let her know this is the hardest quilt I have ever made, she claims that next she wants to design one even harder!
I enjoy making quilts for special occasions . Using fabric that is significant to the person, I create a quilt that embodies history. This quilt contains the dresses of three generations of women in the same family.
After my sister's death, I made this triangle quilt to represent the triangle between my mother, my sister, and I.
For a new baby born shortly after the death of his grandmother, I made a quilt from her favorite clothes.
Tristan is born!
All my favorite children (and elders) have quilts.
Mike, Kaila and Lucy
Kelly and Tristan
Robbie and his Grandma
For a friend’s 70th birthday, the whole extended family sent pieces of significant fabric:
Tree of Life
And I love making wedding quilts.
Jennifer and Joan
Charlie and Cristie
Games and Challenges
Unlike my fast and slap-dash ways, my friend Anne Hudes is a meticulous quilter. I make a quilt in a few weeks; her quilts can take up to 6 months to complete.
So we challenge each other, for fun:
One such challenge was to use exactly the same fabrics, and when they were finished unveil them for the first time. Can you guess which is mine and which is hers?
Once, we had to make quilts using only blacks and whites; once, we had to work in each others' styles - she quickly and intuitively and me with meticulous care. It drove both of us crazy!
Buy a Quilt!
To order one of these quilts or inquire about commissioning one, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where the Desert Meets the Sea, King Size
Spring Garden, single bed
Blue and Orange
Micah & Jin in Calder's Quilt