|I have been doing needle work in one form or another all my life. My grandmother and older sister taught me to embroider, and my mother taught me to sew on a machine. Along the way I’ve cross-stitched, needlepointed, crocheted, knitted, woven, spun, hooked, and appliqued everything and anything. I discovered quilting about 2006, when I needed to fill up some wall space with some sound-absorbing material, and my first quilt, the ‘Mountain Quilt’, was born. With a lot of encouragement from Marti Cummins and the gang at Marti’s Patchwork Cottage (now long out of business), and some classes at John C. Campbell Folk School, I’ve been working on developing my own techniques and my own style, and have had a marvelous adventure in fabric along the way.Originally from Aiken, South Carolina, I’ve lived in Seattle and Bellingham, Washington, and San Francisco, California. I have a masters degree in Ecology from UNC Chapel Hill (concentrated in plant geography), and spent many years as an estate gardener, and later as a field biologist and land manager. The biggest feather in my cap in that respect is that I wrote (with help) the management plan for Hitchcock Woods, the largest privately owned urban forest in North America, and home to the National Champion Long Leaf Pine. With that, my days of field work came to an end.
At about the same time (mid-late 1990’s) that I worked with the Hitchcock Woods Foundation, I also led the restoration of the formal gardens at Rose Hill Estate, also in my home town of Aiken, South Carolina. I’m still amused that my interest in plants spans from formal horticulture to science-based ecology, and I will never tire of nurturing the natural world around me, in all its various manifestations. It inspires my interest in landscape quilts.
In 2000, along with husband/luthier Tom Fellenbaum we opened Acoustic Corner, a musical instrument shop in Black Mountain, NC. While Tom built instruments in the back, I ran the showroom, kept the books, and spent ten years repairing violins. We sold the business in 2016 and though I no longer repair violins, I still play old-time banjo.
Tom is still busy building musical instruments in his home workshop, where he also puts together his Celtic Winds music show for WNCW. I’ve had a couple of jobs in Old Fort – first with Painters Greenhouse (an awesome, family-owned plant nursery), then worked part time at now-defunct Kitsbow Cycling Apparel in downtown Old Fort, as Repair Seamstress, Operations Associate, and Generally Useful Person. I exhibit my quilts at our local Arrowhead Gallery and Studios. I am still an avid gardener, of course, and share our little homestead with husband Tom and Ben, our rescue puggle. Apart from the hayfield and struggling apple orchard, we’ve dedicated most of our land to wildlife habitat, with an emphasis in supporting wetland restoration and preservation, native bees and migratory songbirds.
When I’m not working in our garden, or working (playing) in my studio, I am usually at the gallery throwing pots or carving in clay. While my ceramic work is not featured here, I have a good selection for sale at the gallery. I also draw for fun and relaxation, but I draw some pretty weird stuff. I like to draw chimeras, especially working from photos of pets and people. It’s a new thing for me, let me know what you think. You can always email me at [email protected].