Deborah Melton Anderson has been an art quilt maker for 25 years, having been inspired by antique quilts, ethnic textiles, and other fabrics. Deborah began by emulating the designs and techniques used by 19th Century quiltmakers, but very quickly she evolved into an artist creating her own designs.
An early interest was liturgical textiles, where Deborah has had many commissions, but her primary mode of expression has been the art quilt. She has exhibited in numerous juried and invitational shows and has won many awards.
Deborah is the mother of two children, and with her husband, she has collected antique textiles from around the world. A transplanted Missourian, she resides in Columbus, Ohio, where she has lived since 1961.
My work reflects many design and construction ideas. My earliest work was based on traditional designs but with a twist. I have returned to this idea periodically, having created my own contemporary versions of the nine-patch, log cabin, hour glass, Amish, and other traditional designs.
Another group of my works is made up of pieces inspired by folk art textiles. One series of quilts is made up of miniature “ties” appliqued to the foundation to make the design. These pieces were inspired by a bed quilt from the 1930’s reportedly made by black women from North Carolina during the Great Depression. It is one of the great treasures of our family’s antique quilt collection.
Early in the 1990’s, I became intrigued by the expressive possibilities of using photo transfers — a technology which grew out of the tee shirt business. Using my own photographs, a color laser copier, and a heat press, I began making quilts based on the transmogrification of my photos. Like many other artists, I learned how a “realistic” subject could be changed for expressive purposes into something more abstract and suggestive by creative manipulation.
Finally, I have a group of quilts which defies easy definition. Perhaps the best way is to describe them as pictures or designs of varying degrees of abstraction built directly on the fabrics themselves. They may suggest architecture or landscapes or fantastic vegetation, other textiles, or just interesting designs. They are the most challenging to construct, yet can often prove to be the most rewarding.