Deirdre McConathy

Silver Lining Horizon
upholstery fabric, thread
38 x 36 in.

I have lots of education, two master’s degrees and a PhD to show as evidence, but my quilt art is entirely self-taught. Certainly, my studies in science and art inform my quilting, but why fabric as my medium? Fabric is intensely personal. Traditional quilts made from childhood clothing, kitchen curtains or feed sacks speak to this deeper connection, but so do the antique silk kimonos and upholstery fabrics I use in my work.

Textile art, whether used to cuddle on a couch or viewed from afar in a public atrium pulls at the threads of our hearts; fabric cannot be squeezed from a tube.

My barn studio, footsteps out the backdoor from the house I grew up in, and relocated to after inheriting the family farm, provides inspiration out every window. Although much of my work reflects the scenery and experiences of farm life my work stretches the limits of abstract to realistic, traditional to modern, and utilitarian to gallery goals.

My education now is to learn from every quilt. What new technique to try? How do these fabrics speak to one another? What story will be held in the thread? Each day I follow that thread in the art of my quilting.

© Deirdre McConathy