Lincoln woman paints quilts
By Kaitlin Karins, NewsNetNebraska
“It has always been meditative for me to sit and sew.”
Chris Taylor first began quilting after her youngest son Max was diagnosed at the age of four with retinoblastoma or as it is more commonly known, cancer of the eye.
“My husband Rick got me a sewing machine because I wasn’t able to sleep at night and he thought that I needed a hobby.”
Eighteen years later and both Max and that same machine are still thriving. Shortly after first receiving her sewing machine in 1994, Taylor began taking lessons on how to use it in a local fabric store and from there began garment sewing. She quickly realized, that with four boys growing boys it was more expensive to make clothing than it was to buy it at stores.
Another woman, Jan, who Taylor met in classes at the fabric store, suggested that she try quilting and brought her to a lesson run by the quilters guild.
“I went to two meetings with the founding mothers of the guild, and they were so nice and so helpful that when they asked me to join I knew this was something I could do.”
Through the guild, Taylor began to attend workshops and lessons to help her to build her skills and soon went from making simple patch-work blankets for her boys to creating one-of-a kind quilts.
Some of her favorite techniques begin with hand painting her fabrics. From there she lets the art guide her and describes quilting with her machine as a very similar process to painting.
“When painting your canvas is still and all you have to do is move the brushes, yet with my machine it’s the opposite. My needle is the canvas and I move my fabric like the brush.”
Taylor attends local competitions and, when it was still in Lincoln, the Nebraska State Fair, and has even had quilts hung in the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.
Taylor prefers to quilt for herself and does not usually sell her pieces, although she says there are a few of them around. She does donate many smaller projects, such as baby blankets made of left-over fabrics, to hospitals or other organizations that help people. Taylor believes that sewing and quilting helped her through a hard time in her life and likes to believe that by doing something as simple as donating a baby blanket, her quilting can help others too.