Pam Riggs

"No one else in my family quilts, or even sews. I learned sewing in 4-H, started when I was ten years old. I always enjoyed it, made clothes for myself and others from that point on. It wasn't until two years ago that I discovered that my grandmother had made a set of quilt blocks in the 1920's - she sent them to me and I plan to make them into a quilt for my uncle. She had pieced them when she was expecting him, planned to make a baby quilt but never got around to it. About ten years ago I took a class to make a pieced quilt and quilted vest, and have been quilting ever since. I started making quilts for beds, wall hangings, gifts, and finally just to make quilts. I even made two baby quilts - definitely a quiltmaking tradition! It's relaxing and provides a creative outlet that I realized I needed. I hated art class all through school - I couldn't draw at all. With quilts, I can use color and design in ways I never could with paper and pencil. One of the reasons I love quilting is that I love fabric - the colors, the visual texture, feel, even the smell. Working with fabric and making quilts is very relaxing for me - a recent study found that people who sew are less stressed and hence healthier. But it's more than just a hobby for me at this point. Over the last few years I've made fewer "traditional" style quilts and joined the art quilt movement. My daughter asked me to make her an Amish Triangles quilt about four years ago. The design is squares cut in half, with half black and half with various other colors. I was ready to try something less traditional at that point, so I made a grid of different sized squares and rectangles and after much experimenting was able to produce an arrangement that gave the illusion of curves. I've just finished the second quilt in that series." The two quilts are displayed below and above. Ms. Riggs uses a blend of many traditions in her work: bright contrasting colors, strong pattern, improvisation, self-expression.

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