I have always loved language. Words have power and meaning can shift with the substitution of a single word in a sentence. It was my love of language that led me to explore Arabic in college. I enjoyed carefully making each loop in the foreign letters and relished the fact that a missing dot could change a word. I appreciated that the language followed a strict and well-organized root system. Love for that language led to a Middle Eastern Studies degree and later, a Master’s degree in Islam. As a result, Islamic art in the form of geometric tile work from the great Muslim palaces and mosques of the world became a source of inspiration for my quilts.
I soon felt the need, however, to make more of a statement with my work and I began a series called “Protest Quilts.” I use the soft form of fabric to grapple with the hard subjects of women’s inequality, xenophobia, racism and mass shootings. Each quilt begins with a statement of intent, sometimes overtly political and other times simply “Remember.” I then create the quilts, often incorporating words themselves in English or Arabic, imbuing meaning stitch by stitch.
Included in: Amish Quilts: The Adventure Continues: Featuring 21 Projects from Traditional to Modern, edited by Lynn Koolish, 2013
Illustrations for: Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library, self-published, 2016.
“The Quilt Life as a Mother,” The Quilt Life, December 2013
“Ruth B. McDowell: A Quilter’s Career,” Quilter’s Newsletter, August/September 2011
“A Quilter’s Dictionary of Household Terms,” Quilter’s Newsletter, April/ May 2010
“Memorial Quilts for Mass Shooting Victims,” Francesa Anderson Fine Art, February 19 – June 27, 2020
“Disarming: Memorial Quilts for Mass Shooting Victims,” Arlington Center for the Arts, April 20 – September 4, 2019
Featured Quilter, Rising Star Quilters Guild Show, Lexington, MA, October 4-5, 2019, Victims Quilt Project
World Quilt New England, Springfield, MA, August 15 – 17, 2019, “Bullet Holes” and “Stitch”
UNRAVEL: Fiber Art for Our Times, Arlington Center for the Arts, May 17 – July 8, 2019, “Welcome Mat”
Vermont Quilt Festival, Essex Junction, VT, 2010, “Iris”
Master of Theological Studies – Islamic Studies, Harvard Divinity School
Bachelor of Arts – Middle Eastern Studies and Religious Studies, University of Virginia