Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Fiber of My Being

People often ask me how I came to do fiber art. My response has always been that I made my first quilt in 1995, and within the last few years have moved to mainly fiber art. However, fiber was a part of my life long before that.
As far back as I can recall, I have been obsessed with clothes. My clothes, Barbie clothes, Cabbage Patch doll clothes. When we went to the Ben Franklin store, I liked to touch all the fabrics. I would also use scraps from my Mom and Grandma's fabrics to try and design and hand sew clothes for my dolls.

When I go to stores, I have to touch fibers. I usually can't walk past the clothing rack without mauling one piece or another to explore the texture.

I think a lot of this love of fiber probably stems from the women in my family. My great grandmother was a seamstress. My grandmother was an avid crocheter/knitter. My Mom has been making her own clothes since she was a teenager, knitting, crocheting, quilting you name it!

This past weekend I remembered something from when I was younger and I want to share it with you. My Mom and I shared a room for many years while living at my grandparents house. At some point I wanted my own room, and there was only one room in our old country house that wasn't being used. It was also an unfinished room - no drywall.

As a surprise to me, my mom took a blue calico fabric and tacked it too all of the walls like a wallpaper. I don't know how long it must have taken her, but I was so happy when she surprised me with it! I remember loving the fabric on the walls, it completely transformed the room. My bed was right next to a window, so I could hear the crickets and frogs at night (something I still love!)

I think the reason I bring this up, is that fabrics and textiles can be just as much of a memory/emotional trigger as a smell. I wouldn't change working with this medium for anything!


  1. I can rarely get past any type of fabric in a shop or store without touching it, either, so I know what you mean. My mother and grandmother sewed, knitted and crocheted. I caught the sewing bug, but not the knitting and croching bug like a lot of people. Your post reminds me of my childhood. Thanks! Cindy

  2. I hear ya!

    and oooh what lovely photos in your post!!!

    in Canada

  3. My mom also sewed, crocheted, knitted, and crafted up a storm when I was young. I think she gave it up when her hands hurt too much and the kids were too "grown up" for her to sew for them anymore. But I remember how she made many of my fav toys, sewed us matching dresses, helped us make Christmas ornaments, etc. She never actually taught me how to do these things, but I absorbed a lot. I should thank her! And you. Jennifer