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FEATURED ARTIST – CARMEN FRIESEN

Carmen began quilting in 2001, after retiring from 37 years in education. She wanted a birthday gift for her 2 year old granddaughter, that “she wouldn’t outgrow, would last over time, and would hold memories in years to come.”   At the urging of a friend, she considered making a quilt.  Her friend took her to the quilt store, and Carmen was hooked, as in obsessed.  She made her granddaughter a flannel Card Tricks quilt for her birthday, creating a new tradition.  Her granddaughter has received a quilt for her birthday every year, for 17 years.

Carmen’s background included sewing clothes, hand embroidery, and dyeing fabrics to make batiks.  The process of quilting was entirely new to her.  Each new aspect of quilting brings her joy, but she especially loves the comradery of the quilting community.  She’s found that, more than anything, is what keeps her quilting.

Carmen considers herself an “average everyday quilter.”  She began as a traditional quiltmaker, but has gradually found herself moving towards making small art quilts.  Modern quilts, appliqué, quilts with mixed media, wool appliqué on cotton, she loves it all.  She has found that art quilts give her the freedom to express herself. 

Carmen is inspired by the world around her.  She has a menagerie of pets, including horses, chickens, geese, cats, dogs, a pygmy goat, and a miniature sheep.  She takes as many classes as possible.  She’s always learning something new.  She especially likes the techniques she recently learned from Laurie Britt (appliqué), Janet Paehlig, aka Tenaj (creative hand-stitching), and Lori Holt (mixed media).  Many of these techniques are reflected in the quilts you will see on display.

Carmen is thankful to all of her quilt instructors, her quilting group, The Friday Girls, her friends, and her husband, who gives her “support and free rein to be myself.”   

Carmen says she quilts “for myself, family, friends, and neighbors.  My personal objective in entering quilt shows is for people to see my work and celebrate a quilting life.”  She is honored and thankful to have been selected as the 2019 Best of the Valley Featured Artist.  Likewise, we are honored and delighted to share her work with you. 

A feast for the eyes, we bring you the work of Carmen Friesen.