Erin Wilson is a quilt maker and textile artist. Her interest in color and fabric emerged early, with mother as teacher, and continued to develop alongside an intensive study of dance. The dancing brought her to New York, where she earned a BFA at The Juilliard School and performed for 8 years with David Neumann/advancedbeginnergroup. Now focused fully on her textile work, Erin exhibits regularly at shows around the country and does extensive custom sewing for the interior design industry. Her work has been shown at Quilt National 2009 (People’s Choice Award), Quilts=Art=Quilts at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center (Best in Show and Juror’s Prize), John Michael Kohler Arts Center, New England Quilt Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. She is a member of Manhattan Quilters Guild and was a nominee for the 2009 Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award. Recently, Erin and her partner Owen Marshall completed a two year adventure building a new house from the ground up in Brooklyn.
My work begins with the interplay of colors. I dye my fabrics without rigid recipes or formulas, achieving subtle variations in each color family through repeated mixing and gradation of the dyes.
Technically, I adhere to the traditional rules of patchwork – the quilts are entirely pieced. But, like my dyeing, my design process is spontaneous, without advance planning or sketching. The piecing is intricate: thin strips of fabric sometimes as narrow as 1/16″ become like pen lines on each small “canvas.” Contained within the regularity of the overall grid structure, each block is a separate vibrant, complex composition, dense with visual information. Although I have built up a language of forms and gestures that recur in my work, each block is a new improvisation. No two are alike. I draw inspiration from all directions: the urban architecture that surrounds me, a chance grouping of colors on the fabric shelf, my imagination.
I hope the resulting quilts are satisfying on two levels: from a distance, there is an overall color flow in the arrangement of the blocks; up close, each block contains a story without words, to be discovered- or invented- by the viewer.