I was born in 1966 in a small village in the northern part of Germany. My grandmother and mother were both very skilled at knitting and I learned it from them at the age of 6. My mother also taught me crochet and embroidery and as a teenager I also gave calligraphy, miniature painting and glass grinding a try. The more delicate and filigree a craft is, the more I love it. As far as I know there has never been a quilter in my family.
In 1989 I found a book about patchwork quilts in my favourite book store and from that moment I was hooked. I bought some suitable cotton fabrics in different blue shades (quilt fabrics weren’t available here at that time) and started to sew my first patchwork top by hand. For cutting the patches I used self made cardboard templates and scissors. It took me more than a year to assemble the quilt top and a few more months to find a shop that was able to provide a quilting hoop. Finally I managed to teach myself hand quilting by trial and error – and I noticed quickly that I like hand quilting much more than piecing.
In 1993 I found Barbara Chainey’s book “The Essential Quilter”. It was a revelation for me to look at pictures of traditional British wholecloth quilts made in Wales and the North of England. All theses structures, beautiful patterns and ornaments made my heart sing and I was so happy and glad to see that I don’t have to piece before I can start to quilt. Very soon after that finding I stopped sewing patchwork and started to make my first quilt in the North Country style – a strippy quilt in dark red, rust brown and golden fabrics. The next quilt was a wholecloth, also with typical North Country patterns. I found the instructions in Barbara Chainey’s book and my father-in-law is the proud owner. All the quilts I made afterwards were wholecloth or strippy quilts in different colours.
North Country and Welsh wholecloth quilts are still very inspirational for me and I am collecting every book I can get about British quilt history. I still love to use the traditional patterns, but in the meantime I draw my own quilting patterns and create original designs. For marking I use the traditional method of needlemarking with a darning needle, self-cut cardboard templates and as well freehand marking and quilting.
A quilt top of a solid fabric is like a playground to me (or like the canvas to a painter). I can create ornaments, patterns and structures by adding tiny little quilting stitches and light and shadow make them lively. To me wholecloth quilts are silent beauties: they are simple and sophisticated at the same time, they don’t obtrude but they are full of life.
I quilts get names of gemstones and minerals and they have several things in common: they are unique, precious and they exist in many different colours.
The more quilts I make, the more ideas are in my mind. I can see quilting patterns everywhere- in wrought ironwork, jewellery, stucco work, carving, china und much more. Germany doesn’t have a quiltmaking tradition like other countries and as far as I know I am the only quilter here who is specialised in creating wholecloth and strippy quilts. I love to enter my work in international competitions in Europe and the US. It’s a pleasure and honour to share my work with many interested people and to keep the wonderful craft of hand quilting alive.