I learned a lot of stitching as a girl. When I was expecting my first child, I switched from painting in watercolors and acrylics to my making my first baby quilt. I never stopped after that, I had a lot of friends who were also having babies and I wanted to make a quilt for each one. Growing up “gifted” didn’t really prepare me for working as a homemaker. I have struggled with the issue of choosing to opt out of a traditional engineering career in favor of keeping one parent home with young kids. I’ve finally found a place in the big wide world where being “mildly gifted” means doing what I love and caring for those I love in the way that suits me best without trying to fit in or measure up, but quilting played a big role in helping find that resolution and peace.
Since that first baby quilt, there have been many more quilting experiments, and when I crawled out from under a rock in 2010 and discovered the modern quilting movement and that the local Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild was forming close to our house, I went to a meeting and I realized this was the conversation I wanted to have with my own work. Previously my quilts had been too busy with my own joy of making them, but contained too many elements crammed into one quilt. I am trying to slow down my enthusiasm and savor a bit more simplicity in my new work, thinking like an artist rather than the squirrel who has to make a new quilt every time someone announces their pregnancy! I enjoy contemplating the relationship between the satisfaction of the feminist DIY craft and sustainability movements, and minimalist, post-punk art projects. Most importantly for me (and perhaps for you), now I design and sew for myself rather than for unborn baby gifts. I still make baby quilts too, but now they are part of an intentional process of developing my craft.
And now I’m all grown up with two teenage daughters and a career to boot. I love teaching math and science but I am not finding as much time to quilt as I did before. I helped incorporate the non-profit Seattle Modern Quilt Guild when our family moved back to Seattle in 2012, and I just finished my second wonderful year serving on the board and making lots of new friends. Go check them out, our amazing members are probably creating more new works than I am!