Frieda Anderson – I am a Quilter

Frieda AndersonWhen people ask Frieda Anderson what she does, her modest reply is, “I am a quilter.” Which, actually, is quite an understatement.

Frieda Anderson is a celebrated American art quilter whose award-winning quilts have been exhibited at museums, art galleries and the most prestigious quilt shows in the world. She has written many books and dozens of magazine articles and is a frequent guest on sewing and quilting television shows. Frieda makes her living as a quilter, and travels the world, teaching her innovative art quilt techniques at guilds and expos.

Frieda is one of those people who doesn’t pay much attention to the established rules of the game. She clearly marches to her own drummer, and along the way, has inspired an army of art quilters to do the same. To march to their own beat . . . .

Seaside Village

Seaside Village

“From as far back as I can remember I have always made things. My father was a railroad executive, and when I was growing up, we moved often. When we got to a new city, my mom would put me into some kind of class. I liked to be in art classes, girl scouts, 4-H, while my sister chose tennis classes, golf lessons or playing softball. So, even though my mother did NOT sew, she is responsible for encouraging me to be creative.

My maternal grandmother was a gorgeous seamstress and maybe I inherited the love of making from her. There was a black Singer sewing machine in our house and I started using it very early. I loved making clothes for my Troll dolls! But when I got to high school Home Ec and had to make an apron (something I had done when I was 10) I said I’m out of here. I went to the art department, and never looked back.

Under the Sea

I made my first ‘quilt’ when I was in high school. I remember very clearly tracing around a cardboard square and cutting out squares from left over dress fabrics. I pieced that quilt on that old black Singer and my grandmother and I tied it with yarn.”

Frieda went to college in Vermont. As a student, she went to a job interview, and the interviewer asked what she planned to do when she graduated. Frieda’s answer was, “I want to be a quilter.” Looking back at that statement, she’s sure that guy thought she was nuts, but, as it turns out, she was predicting her own future.

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