I finished my quilt this summer as the heat topped 100 degrees in Indiana. I finished parts of this quilt on a treadle sewing machine (no electricity) at my Amish teacher's house, and some parts I painted with fabric paint. I was inspired by classic Amish symbols (fruit pie, ice skates, laundry drying on the clothing line, jam jars, etc), Icelandic sweaters, Japanese shibori and my experiences (and some fabrics) from Scandinavia. With thanks to the patience and expertise of my teacher, Saloma, who helped all along the way!
I would like to introduce the beginning of my newest body of work inspired by Amish quilts. Though craft is often a symbol of feminine duty and domesticity, my process subverts craft into artifacts of adventure and exploration. For my current body of work, I go back to my hometown in Northern Indiana several times a year to work with my Amish quilting teacher, Saloma Slabaugh, and others in her community of Amish quilters. She is part of an old order Amish group who intentionally separate themselves from mainstream United States population, speak low German, and embrace every kind of do-it-yourself projects imagineable.
Above: The front of my first completed quilt filled with shapes of baskets, an Amish buggy, cardinal in the pine tree, a pickled egg, a blueberry, tea cup, and much more.
Above: A watercolor with loose ideas for that quilt.
My teacher, a master quilter named Saloma, helping me to sandwich the pieced layers of my quilt together in preparation for quilting.
Above: Woodblock print of me staying overnight at Saloma's house.
Above: Back of my quilt mixing shibori dye with a classic geometric Amish pattern.
Above: Headed to class on a beautiful late summer morning.
Above: A woodblock print of having lunch with Saloma and her family.
Above: There are always lots of snacks during quilting - homemade bread, cookies, honey from Saloma's bees, and maple syrup from her trees.
Above: A watercolor trying out ideas for my next quilt.
An in-depth interview with Terra where she talks about the development of her work, her inspirations and her current Amish quilt work at www.textileartist.org.
As We Learn to Speak As Prophets: An Essay by Tyler Kline on “Tunapu”, An Exhibit by Terra Fuller and Reuben Lorch-Miller at Grizzly Grizzly
Terra Fuller is a multidisciplinary artist who makes drawings, paintings, photographs, prints, and textiles such as carpet weaving, quilting and basket weaving. Terra has exhibited extensively on the east and west coast. Terra is currently learning how to make quilts with an Amish master quilter from her hometown.