The quilting arts have caught me hook, line, and sinker.

An exhibit at Lycoming College, my alma mater, started the fascination when in 1999 our Snowden Gallery hosted "The Lucky Tomato Pincushion Project". Incredible works by such celebrated quilt artists as Jane Burch Cochran and Susan Shie were included in the exhibit. When I saw the work for the first time, my jaw dropped. Something just clicked for me. These artists were bringing principles and elements of design into the mix. Previously, I had only considered sewing and quilting to be the things grandmothers occupied their time with, although none of mine ever had. In fact, I doubt I considered anything at all about the subject.

For me, art quilting has provided a vehicle for expressing my inner thoughts visually, yet still silently. My work says so much more than I ever would. Much of it is small and therefore intricate. I find striving for perfection in technique much more attainable in a small format. Creating my work is a very time consuming process, but I adore the alone time. It gives my mind time to slow and time to process my thoughts. As my hands repetitively stitch, I work out my worries and find solace in peacefulness. Additionally, even though I have branched out in a different direction, I now take great pride in the fact that I am preserving an historically feminine craft. I have an affinity for vintage quilts and enjoy incorporating antique blocks whenever possible.

I create my original work using a combination of techniques. I quilt and embellish both by hand and by machine, often hand painting designs I have free-motion machine stitched on plain muslin. I adore the multitude of colors and patterns of fabric now available. I hoard it all, but most often work in the warm palette. I love red! It's an attention grabber. It's so flashy, seductive, and alluring. I can't take my eyes off it. It makes my heart dance. It makes me want to sew, sew, sew.

  -Sara Mika