The idea of quilting started as I watched a college friend make patchwork pillows. One day she asked if I wanted to try and all I remember is her repeatedly hounding me that all my seams had to match. The real quilting started in 1992 when I took an actual class and I squelched my creativity in the name of following patterns. Then came the revelation that I could create work that wasn’t a pattern and the work could begin to reflect my life on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels. This insight was freeing and daunting because now I would be expressing myself from my core, sharing my beliefs, and asking tough questions about life and its meaning.
Although I’m not a Buddhist through osmosis I make a point of sitting in the question and allowing the answer to come forth through my art. The work is about creating a place of safety and inquiry while tickling and tantalizing the senses, allowing each person who experiences the work to feel fully alive.
I returned to school two years ago to pursue a PhD in wisdom studies. My personal emphasis is on the impact of art on healing the body, mind and spirit. I’m paying particular attention to staying conscious with each mark I make on the cloth. Much of my recent work includes seed stitching because of its meditative nature. Engaging in this type of active meditation brings forth the exhilaration I experience by creating the art. It encourages me to continue telling the story as if each stitch were a letter of the alphabet combining together to make words through symbols.
The current body of work is focused on health and healing. It consists of panels approximately 20” wide and 45” long (reminiscent of a wall hanging in a Japanese Tea Room). The work meant to hang as an installation will provide the viewer (focusing on those facing a health challenge) to experience sacred space through art. The viewer can find pieces that resonate with them and that hopefully will inspire their own creative expression on their own journey to wellness.