About Me

Welcome! This is where I show off my fabric art and other stuff. 

       I started designing and sketching the designs for quilts and embroidery when I was about 10 years old. I had no idea they would work for fabric art at the time. I just liked drawing them. Luckily for me I kept them all these years. 
     Then one year in 1999 I decided to stitch a design onto fabric. Of course that one was the biggest and I took 3 years to finish it! It's the "Passage of Time" and I didn't use any of my existing sketches. Then I realized I had a whole folder packed with designs and a fabric artist was born. 
     I started quilting in 2007 when I made a couple simple summer bIock quilts for the kids' beds. I and the kids spent 2 weeks out in the yard cutting 6" blocks out of all their baby clothes. Then they each picked out what blocks they wanted and I sewed them together and tie quilted them just like my Grandma used to do. The only design element in those was each quilt had the kid's name blocked out diagonally across the quilt. It's pretty hard to see, but it's there. 
       Then in 2008 we needed winter quilts and I discovered that some of my designs were perfect for pieced quilts. That's when quilting aspect of my fabric art started. A chance request in March of 2012 by my friend/Trinity's piano teacher, Diane Wilke, to attend a quilt retreat at Camp Phillip resulted in the instructor, Pam See, taking a keen notice in my quilts and emboidery. She gifted me Electric Quilt and a whole new realm of design was opened up for me. The software does resist my design technique quite often, but maybe someday my slight knowledge of pc programming can help fix that...ha. 
         Pam also gave me Chris Kirsch's name to look up because she noticed that some of my quilts had Mariner's Compasses in the design. Chris wrote a book on just how to do compasses. I emailed some pics of my quilts to Chris and she was intrigued and wanted to keep in touch. We did and when I finished 'Prism Stardust' we got together for lunch at her lovely place in the deep woods of Wisconsin where I was able to take a great picture of the quilt from her balcony. Chris' knowledge and advice from the world of quilt showing has been priceless.
        Each design is sketched in one take with rarely any redraws. I used to do them entirely in marker or pen, but now I use pencil and occasionally correct a line. When I start I never know what the end design will look like or how big it will be. Electric Quilt designs take a bit more fiddling, but the same principles apply from above. Some are better suited for quilts and others for embroidery. Each design becomes a one of a kind quilt or stitchery. A bit of a challenge here is that I never use a design more than once. I guess that's not much of a challenge since I don't like repeating projects or designs anyway. 

       My little personal goal for my quilts is that they should be entirely pieced. The embroidery pieces can be embellished how ever I see fit. I also try to use only fabrics from thrift stores and clothing that becomes unwearable in our house for all of the fabric art. All fabrics must be washable. For example, I have used old shower curtains (thoroughly washed of course), Packer t-shirts, nurse's scrubs, turtlenecks, skirts, blouses, pants and so on. The backs of the quilts are always old bed sheets. I do purchase the batting new though. It takes me about a month to complete a queen or king size winter (2"-21/2" thick batting) quilt because I tie quilt those. I tied quilt is more comfortable at least in my opinion. Other show quilts can take longer or shorter depending on the size and amount of quilting I plan to do. Yes, I do hand quilt at the moment, but I'm working on getting the hang of machine quilting because hand quilting is so tedious.
      I am a big fan of my kids art and sculpture work. Click on Brendan to see my son's prize winning pencil drawings and photoshop drawings. Click on Trinity to see my daughter's sculpture and 3D works.  I am also a huge fan of Wrebbit puzzles. I have my entire collection on Pinterest. Trinity and I also jointly collect Wasgij puzzles.
      Special Thanks to Diane Wilke,  Pam See and Chris Kirsch for encouraging me to get my work out there for others to notice. I guess I didn't really realize that my sewing projects were even art or something others might enjoy until they took a look and said "You need to enter some contests and show this stuff to people." Well they didn't say those words exactly, but it's many hours of conversation in one sentence.  

Sheesh I can get long winded eh! Well enough about me go ahead and enjoy the art.


  1. Joanne -

    It was a pleasure to meet you last night at the Darting Needles meeting. Your work is really intriguing, and I look forward to hooking up with you at Piece by Piece on College in Appleton 09/05/2013 at 5:30!

    Happy quilting,

    Susan Imbs

  2. Joanne, I love your blog. It is so nice to be able to access all your work in one place. You are one of the most original fiber artists I know! Congrats on your recent win and keep up the good work. Blessings, Chris