[Originally published 09/01/2018, updated 10/02/2021]
Just saying this right up front. I’m thinking of this less of a blog as more as a supplement to this online portfolio. A place to document inspirations, WIPs, things like that. Kind of like… a blog. So to start, I guess we go to the beginning.
In this picture are all four generations of quilting. A quilt started by my great grandmother, finished by my grandmother, and held by my mom and I.
I started quilting just like my mother did – in the firm affirmation that I’d never do it. Cut up fabric into tiny fussy pieces and sew them back together? Pffft. Ridiculous. By the late 90s my mom was in it deep. I followed suit around 2008. I was cutting up magazines and arranging them into nested patterns. She says to me, you know what you’re doing, right?
Alright, I get it. It’s a quilt.
I started off making NICU covers. Small, achievable, rewarding, and useful. Then I made a dog quilt or two. Then immediately onto 1″ squares. Ah, beginner’s confidence.
“For Elisa”, 2009
I had to put quilting on the back burner for a while…grad school, life, etc. Then in 2015, my mom invited me to a class with the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild with Victoria Findlay Wolfe. That began an introduction to modern quilt instructors, new methods, and people who also loved quilting and inspired and challenged me. I reconnected with quilters I followed back in the Flickr days on social media and I was all in. Suddenly, time came a little easier. I mean time is always an issue, but when you really get into something you tend to find the time, right?
Two Years After exhibit at the Orange County Regional History Center, 2018
In 2017 I was elected President of the Orlando MQG. We were winding up the Quilts for Pulse project, a drive that yielded nearly 1800 quilts from all 50 states and 23 countries as a project of community support for those who were directly affected by, or aided in relief to the tragic mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. Let me just pause here and say this: I had never before seen such a outpouring of love. And it was one of my greatest privileges to hand over those works of art and objects of love to those intended recipients. I could really go on here, but that story can never be summed up. Another fascinating thing is how this group, which had then grown to about 100 people, basically put everything on hold for a year to work on this project. And now I, along with an outstanding group of Leaders on the board, were now entrusted to return to the broader mission of the Guild.
One of many highlights of my Orlando MQG Presidency: The opportunity to create the vision for the Art 31 Finale Pop Up at the Maitland Art Center in 2018. All works shown were from Guild Members who volunteered to tell visitors about the history and art of quilting during the Museum’s month long celebration of Fiber. I was inspired by Luke Haynes to show quilts as sculpture, and fully supported by the talented staff at the museum to see it come to fruition.
I’d been rekindled by the opportunity to take my love of arts and experience in business and leadership and see myself as a combination of the two. In the past, those two sides of me were either at odds, or in some quiet symbiosis, but weren’t actively collaborating. With the gifts from those Guild leadership years, I got to transition to a chapter that springboards off of both.
Without doubt, being part of the Guild gave me encouragement, access to a wealth of knowledge, and friendship. In 2018 I began entering quits into shows and have been lucky enough to be invited to show my work at Quiltcon, the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts, and The National Quilt Museum.
With Waterfall at Quiltcon in Nashville, TN 2019
In the past few years I’ve also been excited to delve into garment sewing, embroidery, and visible mending. The influence of the talented community around me in the Guild, online, and right here in Orlando provides a huge cache of sewing and fiber art inspiration.
Pattern is the Petula blouse from Republique du Chiffon. Made as part of a challenge using the same fabric as several other Orlando sewists.
Teaching kids to sew and about fiber arts was a particularly joyful challenge. It was amazing to see how the art forms intrigued them, and interesting to impart life skills, like sewing on a button.
This was the Sheila Hicks inspired project with the kids
Shortly before the pandemic began I had the pleasure of teaching sewing to adults with a friend and partner under the name C&C Sewing Co. We had some very rewarding experiences teaching students how to sew from absolute beginners to more specific classes. Unfortunately, as with many things, the Pandemic changed our plans.
Recently I’ve been enjoying making community outreach quilts for Orlando MQG projects, quilts for the home, and quilts for meaningful people with whom I cross paths.
A quilt made just for our home, “Sawtooth Star Redux”
In the near future I look forward to turning my focus to art quilts and surface design. Thanks for reading and for visiting my site!