1. How do you make your work? Where do you start? I pin up a piece of background fabric on a pinning board in my studio that will be the base of the top part of the quilt. (Quilts are usually defined as a three layered piece, with a decorated top, a middle batting, and a bottom backing.) I then begin cutting out and pinning in place various pieces of fabric, lace, ribbon, netting and whatever flat materials that I need to get the effect I want. I stand back and look at each addition, move it around, and then “live” with the look for awhile to be sure I like it. (I HATE to rip anything out.) Then I baste the 2 layers of fabric and batting together and get started sewing down the bigger elements such as buttons, large beads, metal stampings, etc. The final additions are the small seed beads.

2. How long does it take to finish a piece? The only piece I ever actually counted its entire construction was a simple appliqué and hand quilting piece for my final work for my MFA. I had to document how long it took, as the head of the crafts department didn’t think that textiles were a legitimate art form (this was 1977.) The 6.5'W x 5.5'T piece took 650 hours to complete. Since then, the most I’ve ever documented as to time invested is the hand beading, as that’s the most labor intensive part of the quilt. A 1 ½ “square of complicated seed beading takes about 1 hour to complete.

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