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Priscilla Bianchi Lecture - How I Took A Leap of Faith and Plunged into Quilting!

Priscilla Bianchi, Textile Artist, Designer, International Teacher & Author, represents a unique personality in today’s contemporary fiber arts world. She was born and raised in Guatemala, Central America, where she still resides today. In 1997, she realized that Art Quilting brought together everything she loved. Her one-of-a-kind art quilts unite cultures, as she combines the richness and ethnic beauty of her native Mayan Guatemalan hand-woven textiles, colors, patterns and symbolism, with American quilt-making techniques; creating pieces that are fresh, vibrant, and innovative. Priscilla’s work has been widely published and exhibited internationally and has been acquired by the Museum of Arts & Design (MAD) in New York City, NY, the Hyatt Centric Hotel, and the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Textiles in Guatemala City, and by many Private Collectors.

This inspirational slide lecture will appeal to Quilters and non-quilters alike.  In it Priscilla tells her amazing story as a quilt maker.  What motivated her to start quilting and how she was hooked, the difficulties and obstacles she’s had to overcome living in a country without any quilting tradition, community or resources.  Her message is simple:  if, against all odds, she was able to achieve what she has…. anyone can do it! 

The slides show her sources of inspiration: The Guatemalan textiles and Mayan culture that influence her to create unique Art Quilts, as well as an overview of her body of work. 

With humor, entertaining stories and lots of insight, this lecture is sure to please audiences.

Instructor: Priscilla Bianchi
Instructor Bio: The story of how I became a textile artist is an interesting one. I live in Guatemala, Central America, where I was born and raised. When I was 4 years old, my mother taught me to sew using her grandmother's Singer treadle sewing machine. Then when I was 11, I took a class to learn how to use patterns to sew my own clothing and I haven't stopped sewing, creating and designing since. Ever since I can remember, I have studied and experimented with different arts and crafts: drawing, painting, graphic design, stenciling, interior decorating, and needle arts like knitting, crochet, cross stitch, embroidery. However, nothing really stuck. Alongside my love for the arts was my love for education as well. I started teaching preschool kids in 1975. Later on, I graduated from College as an Industrial Psychologist, and in 1988 began working in Human Resources. I had my own consulting firm and for the next few years I traveled around Central America and the Caribbean training big company managers in Leadership, Assertive Communication, Teamwork, Motivation, Human Relations, and other related topics. I loved every second of it. But after ten years, I was tired of the corporate world and felt I needed to do something else. Late in 1997, a quilting book about "Charm Quilts" fell into my hands. I read the book from cover to cover in a couple of days. Then, I started pulling out fabrics from my then small stash, and followed the instructions to make my first quilt. I remember the feeling of urgency, wanting to finish it as fast as I could to start with the next one, and the next one. I knew early on that becoming a textile artist was my calling and that this would stay with me for the rest of my life, at the time I didn't know it, but I was about to take a leap of faith that would change my life! Six months later, I quit my day job so I could stay home sewing all day. Many thought I had gone mad, but I was fascinated when I realized that art quilts brought together everything that I love: fabrics, colors, sewing, art, design, creating with my hands, and being original. For me, art is a journey and my art quilts are steps in a never-ending learning process towards a higher level of self-expression and spirituality. It's not the destination, but the journey what makes everything I do worthwhile. Finding the Art of Quilting has given my spirit a voice, which speaks of my Guatemalan context, my roots and my passion. God has opened many doors for me and I am grateful to have such incredible experiences in my artistic career. I hope that you will enjoy my work as much as I have enjoyed creating it.
Lecture & Trunk Show

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