Allison Wilbur - art quilter

Allison Wilbur

Stitching traditions bind the women of the world together. In almost all cultures, women have used the art of stitch to create everyday necessities such as clothing, bedding and household textiles. But it rarely stopped there. Women have used needle and thread to make themselves and their world more beautiful, to shower those they cherish with love, and to calm busy minds with busy fingers.

I love the meditative quality of stitching, whether it be by hand or machine. Fabric is the palette with which I begin a piece, and then I layer paint, stitch and embellishments. As I progress, my materials help guide me, so rarely is a piece fully planned from the beginning. With decades of practice, I have come to understand that it is the journey of creating that brings me the most joy and peace.

Traveling the world has allowed me to explore the textile traditions of many countries and therefore many global techniques and fabrics are now incorporated in my work. Japanese design and textile traditions continue to be a major influence, including shibori dyeing with indigo, sashiko stitching, boro patchwork and a variety of fabrics including silk kimonos, cotton  yukatas, obi brocades and woven ikat fabrics.

Women have long used the power of stitch to speak out in support of or against many issues. For a decade, my husband and I ran a project called Quilt for Change, which used challenge art quilt exhibits to raise awareness on issues that affect women globally. I am now focusing on using my own voice to highlight issues which are important to me and to help me process the ever changing challenges of our world today.