Terri Stevenson - Sustainable Quilt Artist

My name is Terri Stevenson, and my evolution as an artist is firmly rooted in seeing new purpose and form in the objects of mundane and ordinary life. The years I spent caring for my family required I find ways to nurture the creative side of myself with materials I had at hand. De-constructing clothing left behind by rapidly growing children served as my fabric stash for years as I taught myself the art of quilting, and, to this day most of my fabric comes to me second-hand. I have been creating mandala quilts for a few years and continue to explore using the mandala form to teach others how to tap into their own creativity.

Much of my work is done on a commissioned basis. Whether it is crib-sized Angel Wing Quilt for a newborn, a mandala made just for you, a unique quilted handbag, or a quilted landscape of a special place or home, my work is done in sacred space and begins with a meditation to seek the vision of the piece attempted.Each piece becomes a journey of the heart and each stitch a gift offered.

I love to teach others the process I have developed so they, too, can create works of their own choosing. My classes focus more on getting in touch with your creative spirit and imagination. with no need to worry that each stitch is executed perfectly. Students soon learn that mistakes are often blessings in disquise, and even those with no previous experience find it quite rewarding to have created an original artifact of great beauty, rich with meaning and cherished for its personal value. All of this from scraps of reclaimed fabric and thrift-store throw-aways with as little as 10 hours of instruction. (Online lessons by Terri Stevenson coming soon.)

Enjoy your visit. Your comments are always welcome. Stop back often to see what's new.


Terri Stevenson
Sustainable Quilt Artist

Take What You Have & Make What You Need!

I really can't quite remember when I started getting crafty. I mean seriously crafty! Oh, sure ... being the eldest daughter of four girls in rural Ohio, I learned the basics of sewing, cooking, a little gardening, in my youth. And being raised in a family of modest means I knew the value of creative thinking. My sisters and I found countless ways to use what resources we had to stage elaborate scenarios of imaginitive play.

My first venture into offering handmade goods was more of an accident, if I recall. I was a young single-mother with little money, and the holidays were just around the corner. I had two babies in high-chairs and was living on my own for the first time.

I purchased two disposable aluminum pans shaped like a gingerbread house, and made the cutest little cakes topped with Christmas candies. When my father stopped for a visit, he snagged a cake and left, only to return a few hours later with orders for LOTS and LOTS of cakes at $5.00 each! The next few days were a mad dash to fulfill the orders, two cakes at a time! I learned a lot from that experience.

One thing I hated most about having little money was not being able to buy Christmas gifts for my entire family, so I learned to think ahead and give handmade gifts instead.

I've built fabric-covered card-board doll-house with furniture and wired with electricity. I've made pitch and toss games and story books and LOTS and LOTS of jewelry.

When I learned about crazy-quilts ... I was hooked. Old clothes were plentiful, and even tiny pieces of lace and ribbon were useful.

My passion was growing and further research led me to discover that there was, indeed, such a beast as non-traditional quilt art. I was very familiar with the Amish quilts of some of our neighbors, and all of the traditional block quilts, always looking perfectly quilted by hand and way beyond my skills.

The more I was exposed to the techniques used by many of the non-traditional quilt artists, I found myself free to be imperfect and explore this exciting new realm.

Angel Wing Quilts - Handmade Blessings by Terri Stevenson

Terri Stevenson - angel win

Like a bird following a trail of crumbs, I began following the scraps of fabric on the floor, and it wasn't long before I was drowning in lots and lots of tiny scraps. Most quilt artist's live by the rule that she who dies with the most fabric wins - and I had a lot of catching up to do!

About that time, I was in need of multiple baby-shower gifts ... and I had an image come to me in meditation of what would become my Angel Wings Quilt Series. I use the same basic pattern with different fabrics for very different quilt. You can see more of my Angel Wings here and check back soon for more information about how you can make your own quilt, too!

Terri Stevenson Meets the Mandala

In the spirit of play, I began experimenting with making a circular quilt. I was particularly inspired by a NASA image, which seemed to me to look like a giant blue cosmic eye. It became a sort of touch stone in my life emotionally connected to my mother, who had recently died. I kept playing with this idea and soon I had quite collection of these odd little round quilts that seemed to serve little purpose. I imagine some of my friends and family couldn't help but wonder why I persisted so ... making these weird quilts that no one wanted.

I accumulated enough to share a tent space at a large festival in nearby Columbus, Ohio called Comfest. This was the very first time I ever had a public veiwing of my quilt art. Several times that week-end, someone would stop by and ask when I began doing mandalas. I had no real understanding of the term. I didn't even really consider myself an artist. so, as soon as the festival was over I was introduced to the mandala. The mandala continues to serve me in many surprising ways. I'll be adding a section all about mandalas soon. If you find the topic interesting, you can look forward to lots more to come. For now, you can see a selection of the many mandalas I have done by visiting Terri's Mandala Galleries through the links listed below.

Mandala Gallery One

Mandala Gallery Two

Mandala Gallery Three

The Rotunda - by Terri Stevenson

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