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.