Quilt Takes a Life of Its Own


Meet Sheila Frampton-Cooper

Her entry into the AQS QuiltWeek™ – Paducah, Kentucky 2013 Contest, titled FANTASYLAND, took home the TinLizzie18 Judge’s Recognition Award chosen by Libby Lehman. A huge fan of Libby, Sheila is incredibly honored to have been chosen among all of the entries in Paducah as Libby’s favorite.

Creating such a detailed piece

For many of us, the starting point in any quilt is an idea, pattern, or goal. Yet Sheila works differently. She starts with a nucleus, or center, then allows the work to grow from there. Her improvisational technique may be a challenge for some, but gives a beautifully organic flow to her pieces.

This small section of her work, not even in the center, served as the starting point for this amazing design. Lacking a direct plan, the work begins to take on a life of its own. As Sheila puts it, the quilt begins to show her what is is to become.

It’s amazing to know that this small area evolved to become this astounding work seen below.

Emotional Connection

It’s no surprise that Sheila forms such a close connection with her artwork. As the natural flow from the center builds outward, she grows and changes along with the work. In this particular work, she found creating it a welcome escape during a challenging time in her life. Essentially, it became her “amusement park”, where she could go to play, have fun, and enjoy life.


The top of the work is made entirely of hand-dyed fabric, giving it just the right color. She had always wanted to create a piece using blue and orange in combination. Inspired by the “magic hour” where the orange of the sunset combines with a perfect blue in Malibu near her home, she loves the way the two play on one another. While the combination may seem, in her words, “intense for some,” she finds these colors a part of the “natural world in a crazy way.”

The entire work is pieced, without any applique. The wool batting and tiny, intricate corners throughout made for very challenging quilting. Of course, as an accomplished fiber artist, whose work A VIEW FROM ABOVE displayed at AQS QuiltWeek Paducah, Kentucky 2012, she has the skill to make it happen.

She’s very attached to this piece, and will take it home to enjoy. Showing her work is simply the bonus or icing on the cake.

View the video interview with Sheila Frampton-Cooper with her award-winning quilt.


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