Lisa Quintana




Lisa Quintana




Lisa Quintana


Karen Musgrave

Interview Date



Dublin, Ohio


Kim Greene


Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I'm conducting a Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories interview with Lisa Quintana. We are in Dublin, Ohio [in the lobby of the Drury Inn.]. However, Lisa lives in Troy [Ohio.]. Today's date is July 19, 2009. It is now 8:13 in the evening. Lisa, I really want to thank you for taking time out of your evening to do this interview with me. Please tell me about your quilt "In Orchid Paradise."

Lisa Quintana (LQ): "In Orchid Paradise" is a quilt that is three-dimensional. It was designed based on a poster done by Alphonse Mucha. I did this for a contest that was being hosted by the American Orchid Society and a quilt shop in Florida. This is one of the first machine done pieces that I have ever done. Her face is done with crayon and Jacquard and Dyna-flo paints as well as ink. I manipulated the fabric to be three-dimensional and used silk flowers for the orchid that she holds. This actually took a second place in the exhibition and the fun thing about it was the theme of the quilt show was "In Orchid Paradise." It actually was the opening quilt in the show. It was hung in a really honored spot which is kind of fun. Although I never was able to see it. A friend of mine saw it hanging there and took a picture of it, so actually I got to see where it was.

While this was done in 2004, I actually did my very first piecing when I was about six years old. My mother was a Home Ec teacher and had been an incredible seamstress. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on the floor with her sewing and me playing around her sewing machine case and playing with fabric. When I was really little, probably about four or five, I started sewing buttons on things. I was very proud of myself. When I was in kindergarten and our town in Bronson, Michigan, was having their centennial. In 1866, the town was founded. Somebody had the bright idea to make a quilt and all the elementary kids were working on this quilt and the children who were in the kindergarten and first grades were allowed to piece squares together. I was so proud of myself because I actually could stitch it and thinking back now, they probably were about half an inch long for an individual stitch, but it was kind of fun.

Then in about 1972 I remember I made a purse that was made out of patchwork for a friend of my sister's who was a German exchange student and I thought, 'Oh, what is quintessentially American? It's got to be a quilt!' So, I put together this horrific bag and gave it to her. My next part with quilting wasn't until I was about twelve or fourteen--actually more like fourteen, and this was still in a time period in my town which was Athens, Michigan, by that point, a town of about 826 people. There was nobody that I knew of who quilted. My mother, although she did seamstress work, made all of our garments and taught us to do our own garments. I think the first dress I made for myself was when I was eight. She didn't do that [quilts.] and I found out later it was because she doesn't really have a good spatial analysis of how to put things together when you are talking about a quilt square. Nobody in the town that I knew of did that and I was fascinated by it so I thought I'm going to make a quilt and went to the library and the only thing I could find at the time was Marguerite Ickis' "The Standard Book of Quilt Making" and then McKim's "101 Patchwork Patterns." Reading those books, I had no clue what it meant to match a seam. I didn't know anything about quarter inch seam allowances. We were using cardboard that was cut from cereal boxes and thinking we were quite clever at doing that. I made a quilt and gave it to one of my friends. I had all of our friends sign the quilt and I thought it was going to be very clever and made it two sided making Broken Dishes [quilt pattern.] on one side and Pinwheel on the other. It was a two-sided quilt, and it actually is still in existence although she [the owner.] had to have it repaired and the woman who repaired it for her couldn't quite figure out how she was going to fix it. I said because there is no fix to it. It simply wasn't done properly.

I continued doing quilting off and on. I gave away most of my early quilts. Even when I was in college, I would periodically work on a square or two to take a break from the books, but I didn't know anybody who quilted and didn't know anything about it. During the Bicentennial, there were a lot of people who were getting into it, but that hadn't filtered down to me yet. It was something I liked to do, and I continued working on it. Back in the late 1980's, I started doing more and more quilting, traditional patterns. I remember it was difficult to find 100 percent cotton fabric and getting those cotton blends, they had a life of their own and it sprang and went all over the place. I didn't do a whole lot with it [quilting.] until 1995. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had been recovering from it. My neighbor across the street was Susan Varanka and this was when I was living in Meriden, Connecticut. Susan was a teacher and had been for quite some time and had one of her quilts featured on an advertisement for Fairfield Batting. When she saw some of the pieces that I had started and hadn't finished, she invited me to attend one of her classes and that got me back into the world of quilting very heavily.

I haven't stopped, although I swear, I'm the empress of UFOs [unfinished objects.] because I have so many pieces that are not 100 percent completed. I'm intrigued by designing and going on from that design doing my own thing. I've never been able to do exactly what somebody else tells me to do. From there I started doing things that were more akin to art quilting although I do love to do traditional patterns. I feel that by working on traditional patterns it is almost touchstone to the past, to all the people who had been quilting hundreds of years ago. I'm getting into different kinds of things. I like to paint on quilts, and I love color and texture, which is one of the reasons why this one is--I manipulated the fabric to make the folds in the dress. I remember when I was doing one of the ones when I was in high school, my grandmother didn't quilt but my great-grandmother [Augusta Anderson Broberg.] had been a quilter and we were at my great aunt's house, and I had no idea that anybody in the family had ever quilted and Aunt Amanda [Amanda Wilhelmina Broberg Jaynes.] was a librarian never had any children. She liked us because when we went to her house, we kind of sat and read. We were quiet. We were seen but we were not heard. I was working on the Sunshine and Shadows quilt. I was hand quilting it and in Aunt Man's inimical style, she said, 'So you like to quilt, huh?' and it was like, 'Yes, Aunt Man.' You were always kind of afraid of Aunt Amanda and she gave me a Log Cabin quilt which had been done by a woman whose name was Schuyler Bowen. She was a woman who had been the wife of a mill owner [from Berrien Springs, Michigan.] and her husband [Aunt Amanda's husband.] was in the milling business in Augusta, Michigan. Shortly after that when she saw me working again in my lap on this piece she says, 'You need a quilting frame,' and I said, 'What?' My mother kind of gave me a deep dig in the side and she [Aunt Amanda.] gave me my great-grandmother's quilting frame. My great-grandmother immigrated to the United States from Halmstad, Sweden in about 1870 or 1880 and she died in her fifties from a massive heart attack in probably about 1930. I never had met her or anything like that. I have the last quilt top she ever pieced, and I have a couple of individual squares that she had done, but that was the only connection in my family that had ever been with quilting to the best of my knowledge and so I kind of feel honored to have had these pieces that had once belonged to her and this frame.

I actually quilted a quilt on that frame once. It was a large room frame, and it was kind of interesting because you couldn't quite reach to the middle of it very easily and in the summer is when I was working on it. When I wasn't working on it, I would flip it up and set it in front of the fireplace because it covered the fireplace.

I enjoy hand piecing and hand appliquéing. I have a lot of doctors' appointments because I've managed to survive cancer twice. The second time being Stage IV. I was diagnosed in 1998. You do have a lot of time sitting in doctors' offices and waiting. A lot of people have said to me, 'Oh you must be really, really patient,' and I said, 'I'm absolutely the least patient in the entire world. The reason why I'm quilting is I want to keep my hands busy.' By hand piecing or appliquéing, I actually get quite a bit done. When my daughter was really little, I remember hand piecing while standing in line at Disneyland [laughs.] so it is really portable, and I find it almost Zen like when you are working with hand piecing.

It is interesting to me to see how the world of quilting has changed so much because it used to be that the line between art quilting and regular quilting was very distinct and while there is still that distinctiveness to it, because there are so many contemporary quilts, the line between the two different worlds are blurring. I think that there are people who have been traditional quilters who are becoming a lot more accepting of art quilts. Whereas before you were kind of afraid to say, 'Well this is what I do.'

I remember when I first moved to Troy, which is a very conservative town in many respects, I brought a couple of my quilts to show the ladies there what I did and I held them out and they said, [gasp.] 'It's an art quilt.' I had never really thought of art quilting at that point, it was just something I did. I thought for a minute that maybe I should hide it in the bag and bring out some Nine Patch or something. That would be a little bit more accepted.

It is also kind of amusing because there was a man who lived down the street from me who worked with a young woman who was a quilter, and he was the one who kind of turned me on to this local guild. He contacted this young woman, and I sent her an email and she said, 'What kind of quilts do you do?' I sent her a couple of shots of some things that I had done. One is called "Hot Tamales." It is turquoise and cheddar orange and brilliant yellow and red and green, lime green and she hesitated for a few minutes, and she started laughing when she finally met me. She said, 'I thought when he said that a quilter moved in down the street you were going to be some gray-haired lady who only did antique type quilts.' She says, 'Your quilts are as bright as mine are.' She was all of 25 years old. It was like 'Okay, yeah alright. I'm old enough to be your mom, but I can do bright and shiny too.' So, it has been kind of fun to look at it in that regard.

It's interesting how so many people now have been bringing in the question of copyright and that kind of thing, much more technicalities of whose work you are doing and where it is derived from and that it all has to be 100 percent your work. I think there is a place in that, but I also think that as long as you recognize where the inspiration for your design came from that is okay too. I'm usually very careful when working with something to say that this was inspired by a Mucha print or whatever and I think back about in the eighteenth century how many of the pieces of needlework that people did were actually designed from frontice pieces in books and printed sources. Even gravestone elements or actually the gravestone elements may reflect another type of folk art, but we live in a world where imagery is so important to us, and it doesn't surprise one then that one takes it and puts it into their quilt work.

I'm professionally trained as a museum curator. I'm into "stuff." [i.e., things, material culture.] I love fabric and I was contemplating the other day, 'Why is it that you work on this and do a quilt out of it rather than just do a painting?' I don't know. Sometimes somebody says, 'Well jeeze, wouldn't that make a better painting than a quilt?' I don't know, it [quilts or fiber art.] is what I like to work in, and I think that each aspect of it is just as important as another. I know that sometimes people say that quilts are harder to get recognized because people still look at them as something that is just to be put on a bed or to be used up and worn out. I think that there is a place for that too. It is just an interesting concept.

KM: How do you use this quilt?

LQ: [laughs.] I hang it on the wall. I try to change it out with some of the other things I've done. Unfortunately, my cat has been able to reach it from where it hangs [laughs.] and has bitten some of the orchid parts on it, so it has to be fixed. I hang it out. I use it in shows to share with other people. On occasion I've taken it to show people how to do portraits and use it as an example. I don't do, I do a realistic kind of imagery on it as opposed to the type of portraits that are done that you cut out the shading out of the pieces of fabric and put it on. Somebody once referred to them [quilts using that method such as Charlotte Warr Andersen's technique.] as "map-like" in quality when they are done that way, and that particular style is just not mine. Mine is more of doing, more realistic. This one is actually much more cartoon-like than one of my more recent works and I learned quite a lot from other art quilters. For instance, this one does not have interfacing behind the face so if you hang it up, she looks a little bit wrinklier, that she has five o'clock shadow. It is pretty sad that at five years old she needs a facelift but oh well, you learn as you go along.

KM: Is this typical of your style?

LQ: I think that because I've done three of portrait kind, like an image that has a realistic person on it. Probably it's more similar to my style than anything else. I have been interested in doing some of the printing techniques and using paint in other ways, doing much more collage-like type, but I think that this is really my basic style. I've done her. I've done "Lady of Guadalupe." I've done a Flamenco dancer. I'm working on an ice queen and some other ones that have a really realistic aspect to it.

KM: What are your favorite techniques and materials?

LQ: I like hand appliqué. I like machine appliqué. I absolutely abhor 1930's prints and when anybody looks at anything I've done and says it's cute, I almost want to barf. Cute is not in my vocabulary. In the car, I actually have a piece I'm working on which my art quilt group. Miami Valley Art Quilt Network takes a word out of a box as a challenge, and we have two months to complete the pieces and bring it in and the challenge for this particular one was frogs. I actually did a design that was inspired by Northwest American Indian Haida works and I'm making a button blanket out of it, although the colors are not right for that particular kind of thing. There is this frog that is sitting on the quilt and that's all that there is, and it is done in felt and the number of times people look at it and say, 'Oh it's cute,' and it makes me want to take that piece and just roll it up and throw it away [laughs.] But I have to keep on saying, 'No, it's not cute.' It is okay. There is a cartoonish aspect to it, but it is not done yet. That's one thing that really scares me away.

KM: Tell me about your creative process.

LQ: It is kind of interesting because I recently was doing a class with Elin Waterston's and Jane Davila's "Art Quilt Workbook" and I found it extremely restrictive. I tend to be inspired by an idea, whether it's a word or an image, [or fabric.] and then take off and go from there. I don't usually sketch it out in completeness first. Although, I have to say I've been doing more and more of that. To transfer the images, I will draft it out. I love working on drafting Mylar, but I don't have a lot of it and so a lot of times now I'll just sketch it out on a big piece of paper and transfer it onto vinyl, clear vinyl, but I've marked it through with a Sharpie so I have the reference point so I can know for location where everything is. I will then do the face next. I usually do two or three images and pick the one that I like of the face first.

I usually use a combination of crayons and Sakura ink pens; pigment pens and I like using Setacolor paints and other types of acrylic paints that have been thinned out. I enjoy working with batiks, but I don't limit myself to anything that is sheer fabric that is designed for quilting. In fact, I was buying some things on clearance in JoAnn's, and I had all of these wild things that were truly bizarre for most people here and I had swimsuit material and I had upholstery material and I had this mound of fabric at the cutting table and my cutter says, 'Oh what are you going to do with this?' And I said, 'Well I'm going to make quilts with it,' and this lady behind me snorted and said, 'You can't make quilts with those.' I said, 'I'm an art quilter. I can make it out of whatever I want to,' [laughs.] and they were stunned. I've been messing around with some of the more modern materials, i.e. Tyvek and melting acrylic felt and that kind of thing and doing foiling and experimenting with different kinds of embellishments. It is kind of funny, I guess I dabble in a lot of different styles and I'm always willing to try something new, but I always go back to working with imagery and I still continue to do traditional patterns because I think it is so important to have that connection with our history. I just find it extremely soothing and sometimes just exciting to work with just plain colors to give your mind a rest. I can't divorce myself from the world of the traditional quilter because I think by denying yourself one aspect of quilting, whether it is a traditional quilter who denies themselves working with art quilts or art quilters who deny themselves from working in traditional quilts, they are missing out on something. It is a huge world and there's plenty of things that we can specialize in, but there is so many wonderful things you can take and adapt in using it in your own quilts.

KM: Do you work on one thing at a time, or do you have multiple things?

LQ: [laughs.] Multiple things. I get annoyed with myself sometimes because I sometimes think I have A.D.D. [Attention Deficit Disorder] or something because I flip from one thing to another. One idea grabs you and you want to get going on it and you just, you are right in the bottom of that. One of the problems I have is being involved in these groups that have challenges. I guess I'm competitive in nature because those challenges sound so intriguing to me and it is like oh, I can do this, and I can do this and so you work on this one for a little while and then you go back.

Then the other problem that I, well the other reason why I tend to do more than one thing at a time is that sometimes there are design, you have a design in your mind, but you have to figure out the construction technique. I have one that is, I've been trying to figure out how to do, it's a hurricane and it is called "Eye of the Storm" and the center part is open, there is a bead in it and then these arms that are radiating off of it that are designed actually on Hurricane Ike because that's when I actually started this quilt. I took the pattern from N.O.A.A. [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.] and was working with it. Every other arm is two layers of organza that are fused together. So how do you make this piece that is not square, that has all of these arms that are out there stand up? How do you make it work so that it can hold up, it can hold its shape and it is not flopping all over the place? I've had a couple of people suggest one or two things to me and I've tried those, and they don't work. So, you get stuck in the design, the technicalities of it and eventually I'll work out how it needs to be done but you can't do that all the while. You have to set it aside and go do something else.

I often find that I'm stuck in the car for some reason, and I can't appliqué in the car if I'm [laughs.] riding. I definitely don't try to quilt while I'm driving, but that is okay. Some people text when they are driving, I wouldn't do that. I do like to piece and so if we are going on a trip, I'm in a car or airplane I will try to cut up a bunch of pieces ahead of time so I can piece them, because you can piece easily regardless of how many bumps that you get. So, I end up having several things that are in various states of completion just because of what my time happens to tell me I need to do.

KM: You mentioned belonging to the Miami Valley Network [LQ agrees.]. Do you belong to any other groups?

LQ: Yes, I belong to the Batty Binders, which is the Troy, Ohio quilt group and then I also belong to the Miami Valley Quilt Guild. There is Miami Valley Art Quilt Network and then the Miami Valley Quilt Guild. The Miami Valley Quilt Guild is the Dayton area, traditional, for the most part, quilters. It has probably about three to four hundred members and they bring in a lot of teachers from outside, so it is really advantageous to do that. They also host a show every other year and I do like to put my work out so that it can be seen, whereas the Batty Binders don't show at all. They have been in existence for 14 years now and had one quilt show. That's fine. They are a wonderful group of ladies. They are extremely supportive even though I'm the renegade out of the whole batch. I'm bringing a few others along with me, so I suppose I'm a bit of a subversive quilter in that regard. The Miami Valley Art Quilt Network is solely art quilters. There are some people who are joining it who have never done art quilting before, so they are just exploring that, but they show quite a bit. I'm actually a past president and the exhibition chairman right now. I have to sort out places where we can show and that kind of thing.

Ohio is an extremely rich area for quilting. When I was in Connecticut, although it's much smaller state, I belonged to one guild, which was in Wallingford, the Heritage Chapter of the Greater Hartford Quilt Guild, and although their work and the people I worked with were exquisite. They were really, really good. Down here the amount of quilting that is done, the different styles of quilting that is done, the number of shows that you can go to at any one particular time is just utterly amazing. The number of quilters that I've met here- Carolyn Mazloomi, Vikki Pignatelli, Nancy Crow. How often can you run into that kind of caliber of people? Even though like I said Ohio is a bigger state, Connecticut was smaller, you think you would run into that kind of quilter more frequently. When some of my friends, when I said I was moving to Ohio, said, 'Oh you are moving to the quilting country.' I didn't quite understand what they meant until I got down here and it really is a rich, rich area.

KM: You've mentioned some big-name people, so whose works are you drawn to and why?

LQ: Oh, my goodness, Katherine Allen. I like the colors that she uses. Boy, I didn't even think about that one. I will have to think about that one some more. [laughs.] I like Carol Taylor's work a lot. I like some of Vikki Pignatelli's quilts. I think that there is so many people, I like going to shows because I'm inspired by a lot of people and I think there's so many people out there who are not recognized, who are new quilters that can be just as inspiring as some of the big-name quilters. I'm truly blessed in the amount of time that I'm able to spend going to some of these shows in Bloomington, Indiana and then the NQA [National Quilting Association, Inc.] show in Columbus. I'm really kind of like [makes frazzled sound.] what you take from that.

KM: Let's talk about the shows you've been to because you've talked a little bit about that. Tell me why do you like going to quilt shows and what do you get out of going to quilt shows.

LQ: It is wonderful to see what people are doing and how they are using things. I was really, really struck by the Sacred Threads quilt show this year. This is the first time I've ever been able to go, and a lot of people can make quilts that are pretty, but there were a lot of quilts there that had a statement to them. They were people who were putting their own lives out there and exposing themselves and saying, 'this is what it is'. I think that is really good. There were people who were trying to bring attention to various causes and that really inspired me, that there were actually people who were feeling things and moving in those kinds of ways trying to publicize the AIDS epidemic in Africa, different elements like that.

I am definitely a color junky and to be able to see how people are working with things. Liz Berg's "Stones" were just wonderful to me. There were some quilts--I didn't get to spend a lot of time at the NQA show because I was actually working for the Embellishment Village [laughs.] at the time. I didn't get to spend as much time looking at the quilts as I normally do, but there were some ones there that were pretty, pretty amazing. You come back and you are so energized by seeing all the wonderful things that other people are doing and knowing that there are lots of other people out there who are not just working from a kit. There is a place for kits too, I don't mean to say that's a negative thing, but I think that there is a place for growth and there is certainly people out there that have done fabulous, fabulous things.

KM: What advice would you offer someone starting out?

LQ: I think to look at as many different styles and types of quilting as you can. There are some really good quilt books out there [laughs.] that actually tell you how to match things. Thank your lucky stars that the rotary cutter was invented. I think to not be afraid to try different things even if some people say that this might not work. For heaven sakes, get a real light, get a real dark, and a real mid-tone. They are out there. It is hard to find. [laughs.] I think the other thing that is really important is to do a style that you like and colors that you like, because if you let somebody else pick out your colors or what you're doing, you will find that it is probably one of the worst exercises you have ever done and it will turn you off from doing what can be a really exciting and invigorating and calming experience.

KM: Describe your studio.

LQ: [laughs.] I quilt in a bedroom which is probably about ten feet by twelve feet. Unfortunately, in my soul, I'm a very neat person. In reality, I am not and there are piles of fabric stacked all over the place and bits of this particular project here and something I was working in there and piles of beads and that kind of thing. It's really pretty awful. Then I have to come in and clean it up because I feel so guilty and try to get at it, it is not the best way to work.

I sew on a Bernina. I have a Bernina 440. I kind of wish I had my 153 back, but I have a 440. I think that one of the best expenditures I ever made was buying a Horn cabinet on the Internet because it dropped it down, so it is perfectly level. One of the pieces I was working on by not having a flat, large flat surface to work on the background buckled and it caused extreme problems, and I was finally able to fix it, but it was very frustrating in the meantime. I have an ironing board set up in there, I have various things that I've pinned up on a wall that are kind of areas of inspiration, and a very, very, very, very small television in there with me. The cats usually come in and help me out. I have three cats, one of whom likes to sit on top of the sewing machine, I suppose because it's warm, while I'm sewing and it's fine until she decides to grab the thread as it goes past her and that usually brings quite a lot of consternation on my part.

It's interesting because we have one cat that's a relatively new cat, and he is kind of trying to take over dominance from one of the older females and this sewing room is the neutral room, which I think is kind of an interesting concept. There is a table set up in it and I have tons and tons of quilt books and I had three bookshelves in that room that I've moved down to the basement now because I began to get a little concerned about what it was doing to the wall, the weight of the books. [laughs.] I thought, 'Well we better move it downstairs.' Most of my fabric storage is down in the basement and on one wall, one segment of the wall I have a bookcase set up and then a CD tower on top of the bookcase and those hold fat quarters, so I can pull fat quarters out and do little projects if I want.

KM: What does your family think of your quiltmaking?

LQ: [laughs.] My husband is kind of mystified by it. I remember back several years ago he looked at me and he said, 'Do you know you're spending more money on fabrics than you are on food?' I looked at him and I said, 'Yes,' [laughs.] that was the end of the discussion. I think my daughter is a little bit jealous of it. She has made two small quilts herself, which she did at school. She had no interest in working on them with me, but when she was in 5th and 6th grade there was a teacher in class who taught her how to do a couple of things. She made one for me. She hasn't bound it yet, and I think I'm going to bind it for her.

I usually take a lot of photographs and I use it as a traveling sketchbook and I will do details of things that I hope to incorporate into quilts and she was looking at some of the stuff I was taking pictures of when we were in Chicago and she says, 'Mom, I don't understand why you are taking these pictures. They are such random pictures.' Yet it is strange because she is an absolutely wonderful photographer on her own and her interest is in doing detail, so I don't understand why I can't do it but she can. I suppose because her end result is a photograph and mine is a sketch in essence for a quilt. They are pretty supportive overall though because my husband never says anything to me about me going to a show or going out here, I will just say, 'This is what I want to do, does this work with your schedule?' and he will say 'Go,' which I think is wonderful.

There are a lot of people who are not like that. Vice versa though, I was in Bloomington, and I was eating lunch at a table, and I really felt kind of sorry for this person. She was sitting there, and she was saying that her husband had recently retired, and she didn't know what she was going to do with him. He had expressed an interest in quilting, and she was doing as much as she could to discourage him. I thought it was a little bit sad and I understand that probably part of it was that she wanted to have something that was solely hers, yet on the other hand I sometimes think that quilting, the quilting world because it is so predominately women, can often work to exclude men. I was a little bit irritated when last year at the NQA show somebody got on the loudspeaker and said, 'Ladies.' Well, you know John Flynn is not a lady and he is a quilter and there are a couple of guys in our guild who are men who are quilters, and I don't know about that. I think that we need to be a little bit more open especially as a lot of men have a lot to do with quilting. Certainly, Michael James was one of the early, early people who made a significant impact on the quilt world. Gerald Roy and Paul Pilgrim still. George Siciliano is a hoot, and he is one hundred percent man. Of course, the thing that cracks me up the most is that my brother lives in Montana and he knows John Flynn. When John Flynn was in Connecticut, he was giving a lecture to Greater Hartford Quilt Guild and he was talking about how horrible it was that people shoot deer with guns and that was certainly the politically correct way to talk about hunting in Connecticut, because there is a huge anti-hunting group even though the deer population in Connecticut is out of bounds. When I told my brother this, because I couldn't believe a guy from Montana was actually saying this, my brother started laughing and I asked him, 'Why?' He says, 'Because he [John Flynn.] is one of the best bow hunters in Montana.' I said, 'Okay. [laughs.] That is the other half the story.' [laughs.]

KM: What do you think is the biggest challenge confronting quilting?

LQ: I think that a lot of people are putting an emphasis on quick and not taking the time to really make something that is a masterpiece. Just something that has a lot more thought and a lot more work put into it. There seems to be this shying away [from doing more involved work rather than quick or working quilts.]. How many quilts can you get done in a weekend, or whatever? I think that's not the right way to go. I think sometimes we tend to get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that is out there that we can do, and I've seen women who spend money like drunken sailors. Certainly, I have fallen in that category more than once and it's really easy to be seduced by the newest fabric and by the newest gadget that comes out when in reality all you need is some fabric, some batting, a needle, thread, and scissors. I think that we need to step back from that and see what we can do with what we have. It is not a race to see who gets the most fabric in the end. You can have all the money resources in the world and still produce crap.

KM: That is very true. How do you want to be remembered?

LQ: I think one of the most important things to me is to make things of beauty and yet also to create things that make people think. Not all quilts are meant to be beautiful. Some quilts are meant to make a statement to make you pay attention to something, to mean something more than just being beautiful. But I can't get awards with them.

KM: Is there anything that you would like to share that we haven't touched upon?

[vacuuming can be heard in the background through the rest of the interview.]

LQ: You know I don't think [laughs.]. It is hard for me to think about that because I talk so much. Nobody has ever accused me of being a woman of few words. I think that it is really great that the internet has come out and has made it so much easier for people to share ideas and techniques and point people in how to use things in a different way than maybe they had ever thought to. Certainly, has opened up an entirely new world to me and I think it is fabulous to be able to meet people like you. I wouldn't have met you except for the Internet. There is so many people out there that you discover think the same way as you. It is kind of like; I look back to the 1970's when people were working in a vacuum and now the entire world can share. You can talk to somebody across the world about quilting. You are talking about the same thing.

KM: I think that is a great way for us to conclude. Thank you for taking time out of your day and coming out and hanging out with me and doing this interview with me. We are going to conclude our interview at 9:57.



“Lisa Quintana,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed July 19, 2024,