I have been making quilts since my daughter was born in 1985. They started out looking pretty much like traditional American block-based quilts, based on pictures of historic quilts I saw in books. I became aware of the parallel tradition of African-American quilting when I saw an exhibit at the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum in 1988. It was a life-changing experience! For many years I struggled to incorporate that thrilling irregularity and the sense of freedom from the grid into my own quilts in a way that was mine.
I cut and assemble my pieces freehand, taking pleasure in sometimes surprising combinations of intense, saturated colors, flowing or crooked lines and organic shapes. My work is often drawn from traditional quilting themes and continues to be greatly inspired by the boldness and improvisation in African-American quilting. Pieces are finished with hand-quilting or are stretched on a frame. When I start a piece, I have no plan, only an idea that may originate from shapes or colors that are exciting me to get to work. Sections start to come together, suggesting other ideas. Sometimes I will piece a section, then cut it up and reassemble it into something else again. The best moment is when the bits start to organize themselves into the concept for the finished work!
Rather than dye my own fabric, I use only commercially available cottons for my pieces. I take pleasure in the fundamental idea of piecework – making something out of other things that already exist. I enjoy this concept across many media, but in quilting it is not only an artistic concept, but also a historic and practical reality, and has been a harsh necessity for many quilters over time. If you don’t have a bedcover, you put together whatever you do have, old torn clothing, scraps, flour sacks, to make two surfaces. You put something between them and sew (quilt) it all together. But what if you can take this matter of necessity and make it a thing of beauty? That drive has compelled many over the years!
I enjoy this combination of beauty and function, and though I hang my quilts as art, I also sleep under them and cover my friends with them when they come to visit.
Click here to view a gallery of some recent work. Pieces range in size and format, including original works as well as giclee prints of full sized works printed on archival paper. Pieces are available framed and unframed. Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Fabric Works Show
@ cafe Arrivederci, 11 G Street, San Rafael, CA
1 April to 26 April, 2012