Enjoy the vibrant fiber art portfolio of Marsha Dingeldein, who talks about making an emotional connection with your collectors.
ABI: You use a lot of words in your art, such as in the Wisdom Series. Could you explain?
MD: I like text, and it started with the quilt, “Windy Day”, that reminded me of flying kites as a kid with my mom. To me it was more than just a memory that was personal to me. It is really a cautionary tale about what is important to children. People will not remember if the house was cleaned, ready for company, or if the laundry was always neatly folded. But they will remember doing that fun, spontaneous activity with a parent.
I put that story on a quilt. And that got me to thinking that now that I have children and grandchildren, I would be considered one of the “wise women” in our family. So maybe I do have some things to say about what is important for living a good and happy life! And so began the “Wisdom Series” of quilts.
Since my faith informs much of my work, often times a Bible verse provides inspiration for the design of the quilt, either by using the verse as it’s found (Word Search), or by the lesson I take from it (Focus). But other times, it could be my thoughts about how we talk to ourselves (Sometimes Perfect), or why we do things the way we do (Stand Firm), or how we beat ourselves up because we don’t feel our best effort measured up to some undefined standard (Pursue Excellence).
ABI: How do your collectors display your art?
MD: My quilts are meant to be hung on walls, and I work in a larger format because the newer houses usually have a great wall that can showcase art in a great way. Also, corporate art spaces generally have the ability to accommodate larger pieces. I attach a hanging apparatus on the backs of my quilts so that they can be hung just like any painting or photograph. Some of my newer work is smaller in scale and is mounted on painted canvases.
ABI: How does your fiber art connect emotionally with the viewer?
MD: I believe that my art quilts connect emotionally with the viewer because of the use of fiber. Everyone had a favorite blanket at one time or another and the fabric is a tactile reminder of that emotional security. Everyone asks if it’s okay to touch my quilts, and my answer is always, “yes”. Unless they have something sticky on their hands!
The basic components of a bed quilt are: the top, the batting, and the backing. I put an extra layer of a stiffer fabric in my quilts so that they hang straight and stay square. So while you can’t really pull them off the wall and cuddle up with them, I want you to feel like you want to! The other thing is, I love being with people! And when I am with people, there is ALWAYS laughter! I want to make people feel good about themselves. And my quilts are a visual reminder of having had a good time with me.