I have made over 300 quilts.
The purpose of my quilts is to make something beautiful for me but at the same time they are a means of expression representing my deepest feelings and my life experiences. In addition, my quilts are all about how I see color and color relationships; how I see shapes; and how I see line and linear movements. They are also about complexity, sadness, and hope.
My style of quiltmaking is contemporary in that I want to express my experiences now and not copy old quilts. They are traditional only in that they are pieced and hand-quilted.
I work in a 2400 square foot studio that is attached (by an enclosed walkthrough) to my house on an 90 acre farm east of Columbus, Ohio. The studio represents the environment in which I want to be in that I have large open spaces, large walls on which to work, many, many tables, high ceilings, excellent lighting that is color-corrected, a great stereo system, wood floors, enough large windows to give me a sense of the out-of-doors, wonderful storage for finished quilts, a bathroom, several different offices, an archival storage room for photography and collected textiles.
When I work on a quilt, I put away all thoughts that are not helpful and channel my energies towards relaxing and becoming one with my fabrics. Since I work intuitively, this is absolutely important. I begin to see shapes in my head and think about how to cut them out of my huge palette of colors that I have hand-dyed in my basement dye studio. Never, ever do I think about what others expect or want or what will sell, but rather I look at my time in my studio as a process of discovery. I love being inside my brain and pushing myself to think in ever more complex ways because I know the ideas are there for the taking. It’s all about being focused and disciplined and making use of one’s abilities. And about being alone, in solitude, so one can think and feel deeply without interruption. I have definitely grown far closer to myself rather than to others because I see my quiltmaking as my experience which has nothing to do with other people.
I identify who I am with my art work...in other words, I love the work, the experience of making each quilt. It’s my life, my life’s work! I feel lost not doing art, unsatisfied, anxious, bored. Everything else in comparison seems not terribly important. That is not to say I don’t love my two sons or my husband. I love them dearly but I cannot live through other human beings but rather I feel I can live only through using the talents or gifts I was given and to that end, I have always had a sense of time running out.
I believe in just doing it and not looking for excuses because who really cares in the end?
No one but oneself.
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