First, Ann learned to sew, then she learned to dye fabric. In between, she earned a degree in Literature from Stanford University, and a Masters in Geography at the University of Oregon. She taught new math in Lima, Peru, raised two sons in Oregon with her husband Jim, and started quilting. Ann’s years of experimentation with dye and fabric have led to piles of quilts, worldwide travel, numerous shows and exhibitions, five books, and not a few aches and pains. Her collectors respect her viewpoint and her students admire her generosity and skill in teaching what she knows.

For more information about Ann, see her resume, and look at excerpts from her books: The Contact, The Quilter’s Book of Design, Second Edition (2008) Speaking in Cloth, 6 Quilters, 6 Voices (AJ, 2006), Color by Design: Paint and Print with Dye (AJ, 2001), Color By Accident: Low Water Immersion Dyeing (AJ, 1997), and Dye Painting! (AQS, 1992). Ann teaches workshops, lectures, and exhibits her fabric and quilts both nationally and internationally.


The impetus for my work is the world around me—its shapes, patterns, colors and textures. I work toward a goal in each quilt I make, having a particular concept in mind that is sometimes specific, sometimes broad.  I use many different construction techniques, traditional and contemporary--determined by the content of the piece--so my quilts are often very different from each other. I may start with a rough sketch or a full size drawing, one of my photos or one of my pieces of hand dyed fabric. In making the quilt, I allow the design to evolve according to the physical processes, that is, how the dye flows on the fabric, how my arm moves with a rotary cutter, where the last curved piece ends, or how the last line of quilting makes the fabric lay. Mastering the use of dye on fabric has allowed me to expand the kinds of quilts I can make and now, more and more frequently, the fabric I dye is itself a source for the design and structure of a quilt. I consider each piece to be a step in my growth as an artist, something I had to try, a process to learn from, never an end, but always an attempt to express meaning.


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NEW! > Ann's November 2011 interview with Barbara Harms