Quilts have brought people together for centuries. They can invoke communication,
bring warmth and bind history. While few quilt out of necessity anymore,
the influences of quilts and their powerful messages continue to be seen
in contemporary times. I dye fabric, embroider and quilt my pieces because
the medium provides me with many layers of fiber to create my images within.
While my quilts are not traditional, I connect to quilting because of its
pedestrian qualities. Almost everyone has some story they can tell about
a quilt they slept under, created, or loved.
My quilts reflect my own history. I have carefully examined irises since
I was a child. I delight in the delicate spaces, color changes and velvety
petals. I have a friend who tends her farm, grows gorgeous vegetables,
freely speaks her mind, makes outsider art, and raises champion irises.
When I look at these irises I think of her life and how I can try to emulate
it. I now grow over 40 kinds of irises and am able to delight in the organic
spaces, irregular shapes and outrageous colors. By quilting images of flowers
in my garden I can delve into the delicious textures, and keep them top
of mind, year round.
I often make quilts about food. My ancestors were Italian and Irish.
I once lived in Bay Ridge Brooklynan Italian/Irish neighborhood in
New York. With this upbringing, I enjoy cooking up delicious conversation
while tomato sauce simmers in the background. My love of food and cooking
has led me to learning more and more about the politics of farming and
raising produce. My quilts are my way of honoring where I come from and
how our food is grown, and the beauty of the earth.
Through my studies at Parsons School of Design in New York, NY and at
Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI I have developed strong skills in art
and design. While I have worked with fiber arts including papermaking,
bookmaking, fabric dyeing and batik for more than ten years, I didn't develop
my interest in quilting until more recently. In 1997 I worked with Nancy
Crow's collection of Improvisational Quilts. These vibrant contemporary
quilts changed my life and I learned to sew, integrating my love of color
and layered fiber art into original quilt designs. The quilts I exhibit
regionally use my hand-dyed fabrics, free motion embroidery and appliquì
techniques to create pieces that people often refer to as three-dimensional
I own Pizzazz Studios, a company dedicated to teaching others to be creative
and helping the world learn to quilt. I live in West Milwaukee, Wisconsin
with my partner and our two fuzzy dogs.