is one of life’s supreme blessings!
I love playing with shaped pieces of colored fabric.
I love experiencing the different qualities associated with the
various numeric divisions of the circle and then interweaving them
through additional concentric circles.
I love the experience of symmetrical geometric designs, and patterns
– they irresistibly inspire me, especially those that are called
“sacred” geometries, meaning that they form the underlying patterns and
proportions for all the forms of Creation.
wholeness can be encountered through certain patterns and colors.
Whereas words and thoughts create intellectual understanding, art can
uplift to the level of the spirit with color, design, and imagery.
I love the
mandala form, its clear center and enclosing circumferences, its
extensive radial symmetry. Mandala has become the main thrust of my
work, in a tightly interwoven and precise format, as well as in a more
free, improvisatory fashion. This universally sacred configuration
bears a Sanskrit name: mand, a verb root meaning “to mark off or
decorate,” and the suffix la, meaning “circle, essence, sacred center”.
Mandalas feature prominently in the art of the great and ancient
traditions, for they map the infinite nature of our spirit and its
connectedness to our Universe and our Source.
I love precise
and complex work, niggling and teasing out the interrelations among
tiny printed shapes, symphonic lines, and texture and color
I love the sight of a finished mandala, the
contrasting experience of the close with the far viewing of the surface
in intricate work. The eye feels movement, not only around the layered
circles, but also from center out to the periphery and returning to
center again, to the bounds of the universe and back. All this
activity, while the underlying design web is often only partially
visible, just as life plays itself out over a deeper mystery.
creating sacred art that supports and harmonizes those who live with it.
Perhaps it was
inevitable that I would be a quilter, having been born into a Mennonite
farming family and culture. At the time, women held value mostly for
their reproductive capability and capacity for skilled and uncomplaining
labor at keeping house, garden, and field, while managing the feeding
and well-being of their large families with few of the conveniences
familiar to homes in suburbia. Women were generally expected to remain
“plain,” but they could not resist color and visual expression in their
gaudy flower gardens, their organized, colorful washlines, and their
Although the role and experience of some Mennonite women has changed considerably since my childhood, and although many women feel they have liberated themselves from societal and cultural restrictions their mothers may have experienced, I wonder if our actual situation is so different? Our reproductive life is still not our own. Our children and friends are still subject to selection for cannon fodder and corporate disrespect. Our world seems to offer fewer and fewer soul-touching vistas, fewer moments of repose, more depersonalization.
When my craving for beauty and communion asserts itself, however, I can still tend lively flowerbeds of many kinds, artfully arrange laundry on a line, and put together quilts that magnify my soul.”