What is a Fiber Artist?

“The Narrow Gate”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

I am no longer a member of the Milwaukee Art Quilters, but I am part of a new fiber art group in the Milwaukee area called the Threadbenders. I’m very excited about what’s going on with this creative bunch and I hope to share pictures and ideas about the group in a future blog.

So, what makes someone a fiber artist? I couldn’t find a definition in the dictionary, but I have my own opinions on this subject 😀 . I feel that anyone who makes quilts is a fiber artist! We have a passion and purpose for creating quilts that keep our families warm, adorn our walls and tables, or help those who are in need. We purchase fabric and supplies carefully, yet with enthusiasm, cut it apart, sew (or fuse) it back together again, and receive joy in the process. What better form of “art” can there be?

Because I do not have a background in art, I never thought of myself as an artist. When I began quilting I chose geometric patterns to piece because I loved geometry and could use a sewing machine.

My first quilt

As I continued to make quilts I started envisioning projects I couldn’t find patterns for. With the encouragement of teachers and friends, I tried to put into fabric what was floating through my brain and, lo and behold, I was happy with the results (most of the time).

“1491 A Quilter’s View” – made for the Quilters Newsletter Magazine contest “Discovering a New World in Quiltmaking”; 1992

Since, as I said, I have no background in art, I have always felt that there is creativity inside of each of us. That’s what I try to share with my students.

Parallelisms I – my first adventure into the world of abstract art.

But this opinion has evolved over the years. Artists are inspired by many things and my faith in Jesus Christ is a huge part of my inspiration.

“Into the Light – a Journey of Faith” – made for a contest entitled “Windshield Visions”, I’m driving down the curvy road of life towards the light of Christ, and in the rear view mirror is the sinful life I’m attempting to leave behind with the help of the Holy Spirit.

As I’ve grown in my faith I’ve come to realize that, because we are created in God’s image, and His amazing imagination created everything – we must each have some creativity inside of us! I know that my abilities and opportunities are all a gift from Him and I praise and thank Him for it every day! What a blessing it is to be able to do what I love and have others want to know about it. Praise the Lord!

“Crossings V: Living Water” – This is one of a series of quilts I’ve made called “Crossings”. I feel the beads cross the gap and hold the broken pieces of my quilt together, as my faith holds the broken pieces of my life together.

Coming to know Jesus as my Savior has changed my life and my attitude. I realize I have a purpose: to bring God glory. I don’t always succeed, I’m a work in progress, but it is my goal and my joy to share this with others. That’s why I’m a fiber artist!


For those of you in the Milwaukee area, I’d like to share a special opportunity to take a class in fiber art. My dear friend Laura is hosting a special workshop with Barbara Yates Beasley on June 11th. I’m already signed up! Here’s the flyer with all the information.

8 Opinions

  • bobbiequilts said:

    Lynn, I love that you share your faith of Jesus Christ in all you do. You are such an inspiration to everyone. May God continue to bless you in all your endeavors.

  • Bonnie Camp said:

    Well said. When I look at the quilting that my longarmer partner does on the quilts of valor–they are art! And when we are able to do machine quilt designs with threads on quilt tops, that is art. Each of us interprets. And it is God’s gift to us to be able to do it. And greater when we can share what we know or what we have made with others.

  • Cheryl Parker said:

    I’ve taught beginning quilting classes at my church. I learned to quilt from a lady at our church, in another state, many years ago. Now we have crafting days, where we can get together and work on any craft. It’s a great way to bring new crafters to the church.

  • Jean said:

    Chris, Thank you for this wonderful testimony and story of your quilting journey. I belonged to a fiber artists group in Cedar Rapids, Ia, years ago, and we were all weavers, and there were some art weavers. Now my journey has taken me to quilting, and when you spoke to our guild in 2011 you saw the quilt I was making that I donated to the Alzheimers Assoc.made with 1.25″ squares. That quilt was in a raffle at a Speedway in Vinton , Ia, and brought $1016 for Alz.. The Speedway paid all raffle costs. I agree there is creativity in all of us. I was busy with family, then working, then caring for husband, and finally I had time to create. I find so many wonderful ideas on the quilt blogs I follow. .I am now making a lot of charity quilts for guild and for our teams to take to Haiti. Blessings as you follow His leading.

  • Kate Larson said:

    So appreciate your testimony of how God influences your creative quilting. God bless you for sharing your talents with us!!
    Kate Larson

  • Di said:

    Beautifully said, Chris!

  • Evelyn Link said:

    Hazel and I went to a quilt show in Sun City on Saturday. I saw a quilt with a different way of connecting parts of the quilt. I will send a picture to your phone. Enlarge the tag so you can read it. AND . . . I called Laura and signed up for the class!

  • Ellen Schwantes said:

    Chris, I’ve always thought of you as a “fiber artist”.


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