Artist Statement

My work captures everyday moments—a memory, a dream, or a glimpse of nature—using media associated with home and homemaking. Yarn, fabric, buttons, and stitching seem insignificant in our culture of enormity. We tend to take them for granted, which is odd considering how much we depend upon the humble stitch, and how deeply the vocabulary of textiles is embedded in our lives.

I consider the versatile words of textiles as I use yarn to knit and crochet quilts which tell yarns. My thread connects patches and layers of fabric, and establishes connections with other people. I explore the fabric of space-time, where families and friends talk and reminisce. I follow the thread of their conversation to their pride in skill and hard work, their appreciation for the land, and their hopes for the times ahead. The buttons on my quilts sometimes push people’s buttons.

My current project, Celebrate Doilies, examines how creating these handmade laces, one stitch at a time, gave many makers an opportunity to create beauty and welcome in bleak times. It emphasizes how every inch of the thread in a doily traveled through their hands, connecting us with them across generations and miles. Celebrate Doilies weaves the story of doily-makers of the past and present, through text illustrated with photos of their work. My textile artwork creates a context for doilies, interpreting their relationship to home, human nature, family, and dreams of the future, or simply dreams.

By using simple materials like thread, buttons, and doilies, I draw attention to the insignificant and underappreciated. I honor the small important things people do, like working for a living, creating a comfortable home, taking care of themselves and others, and many other important things that will never make them famous. I celebrate moments of everyday life, because everyday life is what most of us live, and it is honorable and worthy.

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson