About the artist

I have been making quilts since I took my first sampler class in 1990. That sampler was small and yellow and very bright and was my first improvisational quilt, because I’m not always good at following instructions. I gave it to my best friend when she had her first child. It was worn to pieces by her two babies and that makes me feel happy.

I’ve wandered through many quilt making styles since then, and taken many different directions. I used to make pointy points and repeat blocks in traditional styles (using not so traditional colours) but now I cut free hand and improvise my designs as I go.  I used to love collecting fabrics and working with vibrant prints (and I always considered the quilts I made with these to be collaborations with those anonymous fabric designers), but now I mostly work with solid chunks of colour.  I used to pay close attention to colour relationships, working out how the colours reacted together by consulting my colour wheel and studying different traditional “schemes”, but now I pay close attention to my gut reaction to colour and design. I am training my eye to see good relationships in colour, value, line and shape. Its a hard slog sometimes, but getting the cloth to sing is what keeps me in the studio. Its just that simple.

One day I woke up and said to myself “Self, I said, you are going to be a spoon maker”, and that is precisely how I started making spoons. A kind jeweller in my community offers lessons while she works in her studio, and I took advantage of that to learn some basics of silversmithing. From there I have consulted YouTube and books and have pestered as many people as I can while I learn what I need to know next. I use the same gut instincts to cut shapes and determine scale and proportion and connect some bits of metal to other bits of metal to create a spoon, or sometimes a piece of jewelry.


Barb posing as Hank at the fall fair

Barb posing as Hank Haymaker at the fall fair