The Lingonberry Garden

A blog celebrating painting, design, folk art, Scandinavian-American heritage and everyday living.

Quilt Magic

So glad to meet Minnesota artist Jennifer Patterson at the Road to California Quilt Show. Loved her vast array of quilts -- they're traditional quilt block patterns she creates into jewelry from clay. I like to hear the stories behind the artwork -- makes the creations even more special. She started out with soft sculptured dolls doing local craft shows in the early nineties, but a few years later she was introduced to polymer clay. And the magic began... One thing led to another, and the focus turned to "Quilted in Clay."

There's a many-page profile of Jenny and her techniques in the August 2012 Polymer Cafe magazine. Her work has become so popular now that she and her husband, Bruce, are on the road much of the year doing shows all over the country, and keeping up with store orders for her pins, necklaces, bracelets, charms, earrings and Christmas ornaments. A number of PBS stations in the Midwest are showing a video feature on Jennifer and how she creates her polymer art. You can see a clip at

The Pattersons are committed and invested in the arts and education -- and it's part of their life on the road, too. While I was talking with them, a little girl, maybe 6 years old, came up to their booth, reminding them she'd been to their booth the previous year. They gave her a mini-quilt on a neck ribbon -- a gift to her along with a message to study hard in school and get A's and B's.

In Minnesota, they support a program to get children involved with sewing and quilting. Children are given a gift and encouraged to bring back a project they've completed when they visit the next time. Bruce said at one of the events, there were about a dozen proud, smiling kids when the doors opened, bringing an assortment of hand-made projects they'd finished. The kids were rewarded for their efforts -- but I think the givers were smiling and pretty proud, too.

It was a fun booth to visit, and a great interpretation of quilting.

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