Quiltmaking and the desire to design art quilts is a very important part of my life. It began with learning about traditional patterns and techniques which soon led me to the excitement of original fabric surface designing and making my own decisions. It also became apparent that I really preferred techniques of piecing, or patchwork, over appliquing, although I sometimes occasionally use both. Thus my fabric work tends to be eclectic - that is the surface design of my art quilts has developed and continues to develop over time from my personal expressions of ideas and thoughts. For me, the challenge is to create original fabric work influenced by fine art and craft knowledge, and to work at it full-time in my studio.
I have a university degree in textiles, first studying at MacDonald Institute which is now part of the University of Guelph, Ontario, and graduating from Michigan State University; later returning to study and work in textiles and in fine arts at the University of Manitoba, near where I live. My art quilts have been juried into Quilt National, Visions, Fabric Gardens, "Off The Wall" in Scotland, Tactile Architecture, and other national and international venues. They have been invited to Japan, Australia, several Canadian Art Galleries and U.S. venues, as well as one very special occasion on invitation of the Senate of Canada to hang in the Hall of Honour of the Parliament Building, Ottawa, at the unveiling of the Famous Five women's statues on Parliament Hill. My Art Quilts are in national, provincial and private collections. I have also lectured in many countries and taught workshops in fabric surface design at Houston's Quilt Festivals, Quilting-by-the-Lake, Australia's Bi-Centennial Conference, and others. As Juror, I have been privileged to view exciting and conceptual work in fabrics and other media.
In 1988, I wrote, self-published and retailed my book "Curved Strip-Piecing - a New Technique" -a how-to book of my original method of strip-piecing fabric in curves. This was developed over several years after the closing of my quilt shop. It was Nancy Crow's encouragement and advice (after studying with her in 1982) that I get it published - the book is now out of print but I have a Manual (40 instructional pages of the original book) for students and others.
I have been fortunate to receive Manitoba Arts Council grants for developing my art quilts, as well as honorary memberships in organizations such as the Canadian Crafts Council (was national president) and the Manitoba Crafts Council, and in addition several medals and awards for my work. I was also regional president of the World Crafts Council for North America. This opened up a visual respect for international work in crafts. On invitation, I wrote the definition of the word "quilt" for the Canadian Encyclopedia - it was a difficult task to put into few words and to attempt to define all aspects of our fabric work.
For my current resume and further information - please inquire.
I continue to explore with textiles in my original art quilts, in commissions, in small works, and in new fabric surface design.
Marilyn Stewart Stothers