| From 1994 through 2002, I was the proprietor of The Quilted Gallery located in Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Being able to devote full time to quilting for 5 months a year enabled me to explore several new ideas in my own work. I also met so many wonderful people! I miss my studio overlooking Smith Cove, but have now have a studio in my home.
I consider myself a contemporary traditionalist when it comes to quilting. By this, I mean that much of my work is based on traditional quilt blocks such as Card Trick, Mariner’s Compass, Eight-pointed Star, etc., but by using modern cottons, hand-dyed fabrics, border prints, and fussy-cutting, my work has a very contemporary feel. Fussy-cutting is the isolating of a motif in a fabric and cutting out several pieces exactly alike to produce a kaleidoscopic or mirror-image effect. This can be seen in my cards and matted quilt blocks.
In the last few years, I have been adapting Chinese lattice designs to quilting—designs that have been used in China for thousands of years. So, again, I have based my work on an old tradition. See my article in the Spring 1998 issue of American Quilter. The same goes for bargello designs that go back to needlepoint in the Middle Agest; but in my color-shift bargellos, I am making use of all the marvelous new designs found in modern cottons, including baticks and metallics. These color-shifts have at least 90 different fabrics in them and often more than 200. My approach to color-shift bargello designs is described in the Fall 2001 issue of American Quilter.
Working with color families in my color-shift bargello work has now led me to a group of pieces I call Sweep Bargellos. They still use fabrics organized into color families of usually eight fabrics, but I am concentrating on a particular bargello design element that I call a sweep.
In the February 2006 issue of Quilters World, I have two articles. The first explains how to inset a circular block such as a Mariner’s compass into a solid piece of fabric. The second article shows my “Fire and Sky Compass” with instructions and templates to make it.
I have been quilting for more than 25 years and teaching for more than 20 years. While living in Boston, I was a member of the Proper Bostonian Quilters. While living in Peabody, Massachusetts, I was a member of the Common Threads Quilt Guild in Topsfield, Massachusetts. I am also a member of the East Coast Quilters Alliance and the American Quilter’s Society. I have had quilts in the Vermont Quilt Festival (a third place ribbon), the New England Images shows, and the East Coast Quilters Alliance “A Quilter’s Gathering” (a blue ribbon on a Bargello Jacket in 1998 and a white ribbon for hand quilting in 2001).
I enjoy working with people to make commissioned wall-hangings that will fit their space and color scheme. I also enjoy giving slide shows, trunk shows, and workshops to quilt guilds and other groups.
Ann S. Lainhart