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Artist’s Statement

I’ve had several people who know me well ask why I took up quilting. The short answer is that I have finally given myself permission to follow my muse. The longer answer, specific to ‘why quilting and not something else?’ is that quilting draws together the largest number of strands in my life.

There are few things as sensuously tactile as working in fiber art. Much of what I do for a day job is sit at a computer researching and writing – very ‘high tech.’ Quilting is a very basic and powerful answer to my ‘high touch’ needs - to have my hands in contact with soft, pliable, concrete objects.

Quilt making can accommodate whatever level of drafting, mathematics, and spatial problem-solving one cares to pursue, and I like to pose challenges to myself. I am intrigued and somewhat in awe of the trajectory of quilters such as Ruth McDowell who have incorporated the formal study of such fields as symmetry and fractals into their creations. As I follow my own path I will be sampling and incorporating more of these areas into my works.

Quilts can also require a good bit of instinct to work within the confines of the materials at hand – my goal to date. The quilter’s axiom is that you always get a more interesting and usually better quilt if you have to make do, or run out of at least one fabric while you’re finishing the design. I like this idea both because it honors the history of quilting and because it pushes my creative boundaries.

Making quilts is so joyful for me that I rarely lose patience with a project even when I’m stuck. I easily lose track of time while in my studio. If these are the signs of ‘right livelihood’ as suggested my Marsha Minetar, then I was born to quilt. I look at the masterpieces created by others and rather than being discouraged I am inspired. As a relative novice I am still devouring technique by imitating, but it is a happy discipline that does not feel like work.

© 2005 Denise Konicek