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Jackie Manley


I am a quilt artist. My colors, shapes and lines are bold and strong and represent the world around me — the flowing panorama of a granite mountain gouged and smoothed by glaciers, slopes of desert hills, startling color of Nova Scotia woods in autumn, rising sun striking stacks and rows of buildings on city streets, juxtaposition of various angles of walls and rooftops of houses, variety of rugged textures of tree trunks, changing shapes of leaves seen from different angles, repetitive grace of a single blossom. I am fascinated by reproducing changing light and shadows, depth and volume.

I have chosen to express myself with fabric because it is ubiquitous, versatile and connected to daily life. Each quilt displays the intriguing search to represent the myriad colors and textures of this world. Such variety and versatility! Such pleasure to the hand!

Each piece has a voice, unique and individual, of its own. I feel it grow through me from the glance that first caught my eye, through the photographs to sketches and plans, creating a stronger composition to clearly express the emotion behind the image.

They are ‘works’ of art because I struggle diligently to mold the image into a state - one that may not be true to my preliminary plan - that accurately evokes the original inspiration. I work from a plan though it modulates throughout the process. And it is a process. The product is fulfilling but the thrill and the work is in the process, auditioning fabric after fabric, removing stitching over and over, changing out individual pieces and whole sections to create an image and evoke a feeling, a sensation. My quilt of Nova Scotia in the Fall isn’t a photograph, but an evocation of what it felt like to be surrounded by all that glorious color.

I have been a full-time quilt artist for about ten years. What a gift to nourish my muse all day long — and she me!