About my work

Here's a January 2018 interview with me, which was done by the Atlantic Canada region of SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates. 

The photos below show the evolution of Wait an Hour and the Weather Will Change. First, cutting out circles from fabric. Then, arranging them on my work wall. Deciding that they must be sliced! The third photo shows me arranging the vertical rows of the final quilt top. The finished quilt has no complete circles in it.

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Selected exhibitions and publications

East Coast Living, "Visual Field" (a profile), Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2016

Structures: A Textile Art Exhibition (juried), travelled to five venues throughout Atlantic Canada, 2015-2016

Coastal Home, "The Art of a Remodel," Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 2014

Textile Festival (invitational), Inverness County Centre for the Arts, 2011

Purchase award, Nova Scotia Art Bank, 2009

Visual Arts News, “Crafting the Future," Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2008

Newcomer Artist Project (juried), Anna Leonowens Gallery, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2008

The New Cartography of Craft (juried), Mary Black Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2007

Art Exchange (invitational), Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Division and Bowling Green State University, both in Ohio, 2006

Art Quilts: A Celebration, published by Lark Books, 2005

Silver Threads (invitational), The New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts, 2002

Branching Out: Quilts as Art, New Art Center, Newton, Massachusetts (co-curator), 2000

Quilt National ’99: An International Exhibit of Innovative Quilts (juried), Athens, Ohio, 1999

Gridworks: A Juried Exhibition of New England Artists, Hera Gallery, Wakefield, Rhode Island, 1999

Fiberarts Design Book Six,  published by Lark Books, 1999

Crafts National 32 (juried), University Park, Pennsylvania, 1998

 

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Preliminary sections for the quilt Tidal River Improv on my design wall.

 

Biography

I grew up in Sylvan Lake, a small community near Chicago. During walks in the fields and woods with my grandmother, I discovered wild strawberries and learned the difference between oaks and maples. I was the oldest of five children, and my writer mother and engineer father encouraged our creative enterprises as long as we cleaned up the messes. My sister now makes quilts too, and my brothers write and do woodwork in their spare time.

At Brown University I studied English literature, also taking drawing and painting classes and a quirky but influential class called “Notebooks, Diaries, Collections, and Lists,” which involved making visual/verbal collages.  In 1972 I spent a summer in a cooperative study program on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, the beginning of a passion for the island’s people, landscape, and music.

After graduating from college, I worked at a small Boston book publisher, learning to produce and design books and taking classes in design, typograpy, and calligraphy.  For most of my career I supported myself primarily with freelance work in publishing.

In 1978 I saw a spectacular show of southern Illinois quilts at the Chicago Public Library.  My favorite, a “Storm at Sea” pattern in blue and yellow, made a strong graphic statement and fooled the eye into seeing curves where there were really only straight lines. After seeing that show, I wanted to buy a quilt, but when I couldn’t find just the right one I decided to make my own quilt.  That experience was so satisfying that I began collecting fabric, designing my own patterns, and eventually dyeing my own fabric.  

Althought mostly self-taught, I took several quilting and dyeing workshops, including one at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts taught by Nancy Crow. I was involved with the Names Project (the AIDS Memorial Quilt) when it toured Boston, and I joined a large quilt guild and helped to establish a small critique group.

In the meantime, I travelled twice to India, including a tour of textile arts, several times to Europe, and many times to Nova Scotia.  In 2007 my partner and I became permanent residents of Canada and moved from Boston to a small village in Nova Scotia.  In 2009 I gave up my freelance publishing work and began to make art full time.  Because I find the dyeing process irrestible and continue to be fascinated by colour and pattern, I branched out into dyeing silk scarves and began to give fabric dyeing workshops to share the fun with others.

Besides doing my creative work and learning how to promote it, other diversions in my life include friends, a big vegetable garden, hiking in the Mabou hills, going to concerts, and learning to play the piano.