My love of art and craftsmanship began at an young age. I was an enthusiastic drawer, and eagerly took kids classes at the MIA. My wonderful Uncle Fred graduated from MCAD, and gave me many of his leftover art supplies. I didn’t know what gouache or pastels were, but if I needed them, I had them! I remember my kindergarten teacher pushing me out the door for recess, when what I really wanted to do was draw. I won a number of coloring contests, and later my woven pot-holder business kept the neighbors well supplied. With all this encouragement, and entrepreneurial spirit, what else would I become but a textile artist.
In the mid1970s, after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a Master’s in Textile Design, I began my studio career. I took on almost anything textile related including architectural banners, hand-dyed silk scarves, trapunto quilts and soft sculpture. Later, with a glut of beautiful fabric scraps, I added applique embellished clothing to the mix. When I made my first sewn greeting card, and found it framed, in my friend’s house, I knew I must do that, also.
My style comes from personal observations of my surroundings, with a twist from what a professor called my “kicky sense of humor.”
At a recent art fair, I struck up a conversation with a boy who wondered how it was possible to ‘draw’ with a sewing machine. I gestured with my hands, to show him how I move the paper and fabric around, while the needle stays in one place. The next day, his parents came to my booth, saying their son had come home, all exited, and told them they had to go see the woman who did ‘Extreme Sewing.’ Extreme Sewer – As good an occupation as any!
I feel lucky that I have been able to make my living selling my art, following my own path, and sharing it with others.