Copyright 1996 Libby Lehman. 80" x 80".
Known for her spectacular use of thread and the complexity of her surface stitching, Libby Lehman is the author of Threadplay a book on mastering the art of machine embroidery techniques.
"I love thread. Thread companies love me because these techniques eat thread. I became real excited when I saw the metallic threads for the first time and wanted to learn how to use those and it really became a matter more of problem solving because they are brittle threads. Sometimes they're hard to work with. And it took me about six months to figure out how to work with them.
"I work on a quilt one at a time from start to finish and 'finished' means the slides are taken and labeled and in the folder. I don't know that that's the best way to work but when I work on a quilt, I carry on a conversation with it and it may not be a deep conversation about the meaning of life, but it's like, 'Do you need more red? Yes or no? ' And if I'm carrying on five conversations, it gets too confusing. So I focus in on one quilt, get that one done and then move on to the next one. And I work very quickly, I don't agonize over things a lot, I just do them and then if they don't turn out then you have to do something else.
"I just can't imagine not quilting. I love it. It's just part of who I am now. I started 28 years ago, my mother signed us up for a class and she and I started together and she eventually opened a shop and it was nice to have something in common with her that we learned as adults, as peers rather than mother and child.
"And I just love it. It's part of my life now."