1, What year did you make your first quilt? Traditional or art? I made my first quilt in 1997, and it was a block of the month kit from JoAnn Fabrics. That very first quilt is still unfinished because I started hand quilting it and found it not to my taste. By 1998 I had moved away from traditional quilting and began art quilting. By 2003 I turned to smaller art quilts so that I could actually finish them.
2. What is the first show, and year, that you ever entered your art quilts? Venue? My first show was the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza in 2009. My quilt took "Best Amateur Quilt - Innovative Category".
3. What is your artistic style? I am best known for my cartoon style quilts, but my style varies from abstract to representational as well.
4. Have you ever changed your style from when you started making quilts? I have completely changed my style from when I first started. I spent the last 6 years doing small weekly quilts which really honed my skills. When you look back at those 300+ quilts, my style has clearly emerged. If I had not put in that work, I think I would still be trying to find myself as an artist.
5. What other style in quilt making piques your interest? I think there's so much innovation going on in art quilts right now. We have not yet reached the limit of new techniques and materials to work with. Right now I'm working with LEDs and other materials that light up in my quilts. In some ways, what is old is new again. I've been looking to the past to incorporate dimension in my work by using vintage smocking techniques.
6. What other medium in art influences your work as a fiber artist? I love when my day job inspires me to do something for my night job of being a fiber artist. My day job is in the comic book industry, so I find much of my work heavily influenced by comic books and pop culture. As a kid, I drew what I saw in my comic books, and those skills continue to serve me today in my sketchbook of quilt ideas.
7. What do you have coming up? Shows, Articles in magazines, Books, etc. I will be part of Quilting Arts TV Season 12, and I have work in several group shows that are on exhibit around the country. I'm teaching, demoing, and lecturing to guilds, too. I have a lot of other projects that are "top secret" right now and are certainly keeping me busy!
8. Where will your art take you from here? Every time I think my artistic life can't get any better, it does. I feel very fortunate. The sky is the limit when you put your mind on success.
9. Describe your studio space: My studio is one of the spare bedrooms in the home I share with my husband. He got the smaller spare bedroom as a studio of his own in exchange for the basement space, so my studio is a bit larger. One entire wall is a fleece covered pinnable design wall, and the wall next to it has my IKEA bins of fabric sorted by color. I have a wonderful sewing table that houses my Janome, which all of my quilts are made and quilted on. This bedroom has a small walk in closet, which I have lined with book cases for my books, magazines, and small containers. My ironing board is in front of the window, and I like to watch the neighborhood go by as I iron. The room was painted green and lavender from the home's previous owner and I kept the wall colors as they were.
10. What was the biggest challenge you have encountered in the making of your art quilt for "An Exquisite Moment?" The idea for the theme came right to me once I heard about it, so for me the biggest challenge was to represent the metal in my quilt without using metallic fabrics or thread. I collected piles of grey threads and fabrics to give the quilt the look of metal. I studied paintings that had metal represented in them to see how painters chose to pick out the highlights and reflections, so I feel it really stretched me as an artist to work on this quilt.