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Langston: May-June 2009


Artist’s Statement:


Quilting is a necessity for me, the way to express my personal vision in cloth, with joy and energy. I learned to sew on my mother’s old Singer, dabbling in traditional quilt techniques. I quickly found that the traditional blocks did not challenge me; they were static and limited in color opportunities. Luckily for me, the quilt world was beginning to change. Quilts no longer had to be functional or relegated to the bedroom; they were coming off the bed and being hung on the wall as art. I was free to design my own ideas; to use many colors, to change the shapes of blocks---or even have no blocks.

Today I start with an idea---rather like a picture in my mind. With a color range in mind, I start gathering a wide variety of fabrics of different colors, textures, and values. I often use 50 to100 fabrics in a piece, sometimes adding a zinger to surprise or to move the eye around the design. Next I start sewing units---small rectangles, squares, or sections of the design. Working on my large design wall, I put up these units and start moving them around, tossing some segments and making more of those that seem to work. This fluid way of working allows me to try new techniques or to change sections as I go.

My quilting is a result of time, effort, and commitment. I take risks, go beyond my comfort level in technique and design, always asking new questions and exploring new places. It is the way I say YES to life!

(Photographs by Alan Carroll)