The world of quilting brings together a colorful patchwork of perspectives and people. And much like a top, no two are exactly alike. In our five-part series Patchwork Nation, we dive into the seams of that colorful community, connecting with five talented, artistic quilters — each with very different takes on quilting, creativity, and as it would turn out, life.
Think science and quilting couldn't be further apart? Well to Sylvia Schaefer, quilting's a science in itself. It's a way of making a hypothesis and setting out to find the right formula, knowing that no two of those formulas ever come out quite the same. In Episode One of "Patchwork Nation," we explore how a life in the lab ignited Sylvia's unexpected passion for the design and piecing, showing that the greatest inspiration often comes from the places we least expect.
To Sherri Lynn Woods, quilting isn't just a craft, it's a model for how we interact with the world. One look at her recycled improv quilts, and you'll see Sherri's interaction is a little different from most. Episode 2 of "Patchwork Nation" follows Sherri on a journey into her Oakland neighborhood, from the studio where she finds solace to the dump where she finds inspiration. It's a story all about living in the moment, and following the wonky, meandering pattern that we all call life.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Rachel Clark's quilted garments pen their own novels. As a dressmaker, folk artist and quilter, she has cultivated a deep appreciation for telling stories through fabric. In Episode 3 of "Patchwork Nation" we explore how Rachel found her voice in quilting, using her needle and thread to weave tales of color, community and heritage.
Design, planning, purpose … it's these principles that seam together the worlds of art, quilt and architecture. Luke Haynes draws his inspiration from all three to create quilts that are better suited for museums than any mattress. Our fourth episode of ""Patchwork Nation"" follows him down the blurry line between art and craft, posing the fascinating questions that lie at the heart of each.
Few individuals can claim the same magnitude of impact that Marti Michell has had on the quilting community. When she first picked up the needle and thread after moving to Atlanta, Marti considered quilting a "dying art." In episode five of "Patchwork Nation," we take a look at how one woman's entrepreneurial spirit led to the creation of the first quilting kits and helped feed an industry revival. From publications to patterns, it's Marti’s intuitive insights that have allowed her to give quilters exactly what they want and need.