I have been designing and making art quilts for nearly 30 years. Prior to turning to art and art education full time, I worked as a US diplomat in Latin America and as a human rights/civil rights lawyer and associate law professor at Syracuse University School of Law. I also worked as a community artist in art centers and schools in Upstate NY and Central Florida, the Bahamas, Kenya, Sichuan and Guizhou Provinces in China. in each place I created art quilts and provided outreach demonstrations and workshops to area community groups, schools and families. I feel very lucky that I can now devote myself to making art full time.
I have lived in China for the past 4 years, the last two years in Shanghai. My studio is in a traditional Shanghai “lilong” building that I share with two other artists. I dye and paint all fabric used in my quilts, and spend a lot of time drawing the people of Shanghai and studying Chinese language and culture.
I began printing scans of my family photos memorabilia and keepsakes onto fabric to make quilts for family and friends after my grandmother passed away. I like that old family photos can be part of our everyday lives through inclusion in art work.
About ten years ago I developed a method of machine quilting that enables me to draw faces, figures, scenes and patterns with the sewing machine. I use the patterns and textures in my dyed cloth as a starting point for drawing images with the sewing machine. I work with the fabric in a relaxed, improvisational way. Often the quilt drawings will completely cover a quilt background, with appliqué, piecing and 3-D attachments completing and enhancing the design.