Functional Art

Quilts, Garments and Wall Hangings


JMN in KvdA jacketIn addition to quilting, both functional and wall art pieces, I am a sock knitter, and garment maker. My energies have been channeled into these creative endeavours since I retired in 2006.

My interest in fabric/fibre art comes from finding ways to use these materials in creative, yet functional ways and encouraging people to reach beyond the functionality of each piece — to seeing the art each creative endeavour represents.

My functional quilts use a wide range of strong, colourful, mostly batik fabrics (although I use large scale prints in some of them). Often based on traditional quilting techniques (4-patch, 9-patch, half square triangles) I take these methods of constructing quilts and turn them into works of art.



My first foray into what is called art/landscape quilting was a piece I called “Asparagus Field which I completed after participating in a week-long workshop in September 2013 with Laurie Swim, the renown fibre artist who lives in Lunenburg, NS. (I worked from a photo I took in 2007 of an asparagus field outside of Canning NS.)


Asparagus Field

Toward The Future”, is a collage – an amalgamation of two photographs – one of children at the Toronto Zoo, the second of Spring Garden Road (Halifax) beside the Public Gardens. The original zoo background offered little interest, whereas Spring Garden Road provides the children a destination. The children in the piece were printed on fabric, fussy cut, then appliquéd to the background which consists of trees printed on fabric integrated into a pieced, appliquéd foreground.


Toward The Future

My interest in jackets began after a trip to New York City in 2011 – this textile tour included a visit to the studio of designer Koos Van Den Akker where I watched an appliqué jacket (appliqué is Koos’ trademark) being constructed. Three days later, the jacket was hanging in the Van Den Akker shop on Madison Ave. I examined it closely (waaaay too expensive to buy!). Puck, Koos’ partner encouraged me to try it on – “Ill take pictures, then you can go home and make it.


It wasn’t the specific jacket, but the appliqué technique that caught my attention — I used it to construct my red silk jacket. Just think, a plaid bias trim to edge the large floral appliqué elements on a red raw silk garment! And those red buttons – straight from New York.

Jacket front Jacket Back

I am also a skilled shirt-maker. My shirts represent creative ways of using fabric to construct functional, wearable art.

African Shirt Back African Shirt Front