Way back in August 2020, I reached out to Jo Packham, the creator of the Women Create suite of magazines, to see if she would be interested in featuring my memorial quilts. I was thrilled when she responded within half an hour, and then disappointed when I read her first sentence, which began, “I do not feature very many quilters in What Women Create…” In fact, as I remember, that’s the only part of her response that fit in my little iPhone 5 screen (yes, I used an iPhone 5 for seven years!) and so I closed out my phone and got on with my day, as I tend to do with polite rejections. It wasn’t until I got home to my larger computer that I was able to read the rest of her sentence, which ended “…but in your case, I think the concept and the materials you use are unusual and very touching – I would love to feature you in What Women Create”. And then I did a little dance around the kitchen.
I’ve never been featured in a magazine like What Women Create, and I had all of these crazy rock star fantasies about their team flying into Portland for a fancy photo shoot in my studio with stylists and makeup and photo lights with umbrellas, etc. When the editor reached out with the submission guidelines however, they were the complete opposite of my wild assumptions. I was asked to write my own story and supply an array of photographs showing the start to finish process of one of my quilts, including photos of me at work in the studio. It turned out to be a fantastic challenge as well as an opportunity to share the most authentic message behind my work.
Right about that time, I had been commissioned to make a series of five memorial quilts in honor of the late mayor of Salinas, California, Joe Gunter. The first quilt in that series became the subject for the article. The next step was to find a photographer whose work would measure up to the quality of the Women Create magazines. It didn’t take me long to realize all I needed to do was ask my mom! My mother, Lynn Weyand, is primarily a fine art photographer, but I knew that she would work her magic documenting my work in the studio. After all, I have been one of the many subjects of her portraiture for as long as I can remember.
Over the following few months, we mapped out a few photo sessions to coincide with the important moments in my process. My mom and I both work intuitively as well as efficiently, so things flowed smoothly. There was a lot of laughter and mutual teasing about how particular we both can get with respect to our work. Collaborating with my mom on a professional project was incredibly rewarding for both of us.
Of course we took way more photos than were needed for the Winter 2021 feature. I wanted to share some of my favorites that didn’t make it into print.
My studio exterior and interior:
Lighting a candle for Joe and unpacking the box of his garments:
Mapping out the design schematic:
My fantastic long-arm machine quilter, Nancy Stovall!
Ready for delivery:
All in all, it was an incredible experience and education to put together this feature article and one I hope I get to do again soon.