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Virtual Connections: Together From a Distance by Everyone

Now Showing:INSTRUCTION ART QUILT, A Meditative Quilt Pattern By Alanna Stapleton

In times of uncertainty and change, it can be difficult to analyze and process. You might not know exactly what to say or how to feel. 


I am an illustrator. I use illustration as a means for communication, so I draw when I have something to say. My illustrative work is more outward facing, something that is shared and meant to live in the world.


Quilting doesn’t occupy the same space for me. I still feel the need to make when I don’t have any words or explanations, and I can make an improv quilt thinking only about color and shape and balance. It becomes a meditative process for me, grounding me in my body and helping me to access what I’m really thinking and feeling.


As the world around me went into lockdown in early March 2020, I turned to quilting to keep my anxiety in check. I don’t tend to use quilt patterns, preferring to make it up as I go along, but I made several quilts at the beginning of my time in quarantine following quilt patterns. Having specific instructions to follow was really satisfying and calming when I didn’t have any control over what was happening outside my apartment. 


I was inspired by instruction art and quilter Heidi Parkes’ Scavenger Hunt Quilts. I wanted to write a pattern that acted as both a guided meditation and instructions for making a quilt. I hope to prompt makers to think more deeply about the mundane and to use making as a meditative process. -Alanna Stapleton

On Wednesday July 29th, Alanna held a Zoom event, part artist talk, part show and tell for her and participants, and a little quilting workshop sprinkled in. You can watch the video of the event below.

Alanna Stapleton is an illustrator, educator, and textile artist based in Madison, WI. Using bold colors and hand-lettering, her illustrations explore the humor found in everyday experiences and the connections between objects and memory. Her recent textile work has explored making as meditation. Alanna has taught illustration at Northern Michigan University and currently works as the Arts Programming Specialist for Wheelhouse Studios at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned an MFA in Visual Studies with a concentration in Illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

You can download the Meditative Quilt Manual HERE.

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