Therese May

Christine, Heidi and I are busy bees getting ready for the Zephyr Point retreat which is only about 2 weeks away!  I am also feverishly working on my Chuck Close project, using any morsel of free time I can manage to work on it.

Going back a few weeks, I had the pleasure of visiting the Santa Clara Quilt Guild, in my old stomping ground of the Bay Area where I used to live. I did my lecture for approximately 250 enthusiastic ladies, and taught 2 full workshops in the following couple of days.

A trip to the Bay Area, especially one that involves quilting, is not complete without a visit with my good friend Therese May. She was at one time my next door neighbor, and I credit her for introducing me to the world of quilting, in particular, art quilting. She is, in case you don’t know, one of the foremothers of the modern American quilting movement, and developed her delightful style of quilting during the 60’s. She went on to become very well-known and on the cutting edge of what was happening in art quilts.

In the late 80’s, while we were neighbors, we started a quilting group of 16 people who met once a month and came from very diverse art disciplines and interests. We each got a turn and had the others make a square to our specifications. This is where my love of quilting truly began.

Here is Therese in front of her “Fantasy Animal” quilt, which was made of all the creatures we made for her, around 1989.


The square I made for her was a funny creature I named “Quiltbird”.IMG_1900

And here’s the whole group, at a pot luck we had, in front of a “Self-Portrait” quilt a group member made from our contributions.040 Therese even joined in a group more recently here in Grass Valley, CA at Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, similar to the group we had had so many years ago. She participated long-distance, and we all made blocks for her from fabric she designed and had printed by Spoonflower. Here she is with the finished quilt at PIQF a couple of years ago. I love this picture!042

I also credit Therese for the seed planted that turned into my Material Matrix technique. During a visit here one Spring we had lengthy discussions about the painter Chuck Close’s work, and talked about   doing some sort of collaboration inspired by him. Spurred by a challenge in the group Mountain Art Quilters which I belong to, the idea of doing a self portrait proved irresistible and I was off and running. Perhaps some sort of collaboration is still a possibility, it would be fun to do!

Back to the present, and my visit to the Santa Clara Guild,  I spent time with Therese while in the Bay Area and visited her studio/home. Here are a few shots I took, showing the wonderful and whimsical style that so defines Therese’s work, and is her “joie de vivre”.






Of course we had to hit a couple of fabric stores.IMG_9398

Words really cannot express the appreciation I have for Therese, in terms of her friendship, inspiration, and generosity! Below is her blog and website address, I know you will want to visit.
Bye for now, I hope you are enjoying the last bits of summer.


2 thoughts on “Therese May

  1. Sandra, thank you for all of your heartfelt words! Your pictures are wonderful. I truly enjoy and appreciate our friendship and all of the inspiration, creativity and playfulness we share. More and more, I see that Ideas and art making would never happen without the interactions and conversations we all have with each other. Art is made real by the sharing we do! Amen! Love to you, Sandra! And to Heidi and Christine, also. I know your retreat will be great.

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