When I sew, I remember that the past is always present in my work, quilts are more than just blankets, social stitching is healing, and sometimes a surprise ending is the best outcome.
I come from a long line of potholder makers. Quilts save lives. Quilts are art that hug you. I am passionate about textiles, stitching, and quilts.
My art is more than the finished product. Practically all of the materials I use are secondhand, discarded, or repurposed. Rarely do I buy new fabrics. A large part of my practice is seeking out the materials that I will eventually use in a piece. I journey, I junk, and I allow those pieces to cross my path organically.
I believe strongly in the energy and history that an object holds, and as I work with forgotten materials, that energy is infused into the new creation.
It has become my practice to learn traditional techniques with great respect, and to see where traditional quilt boundaries can be pushed or broken. Much like my improvisationally pieced triangle designs, many of my quilts are finished in unexpected shapes. I sew one step at a time without patterns or guides.
Briana Hefley-Shepard is a self-taught textile artist, adult English as a Second Language professor, and mother of a six-year-old. She enjoys approaching large-scale or multi-phased projects with respect for the craft, appreciation for every stage, and trust for the process.