Attending my first quilt event in 1970 turned me into a quiltmaker. By the time I departed that lecture, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  Two classes later,  I made my first quilt with a heavy weight poly-cotton fabric, flannel for batting, and heavy duty thread and a sharp needle for the quilting. I had a lot to learn.

Born with teaching genes, the next logical step was to start teaching the subject myself. Fortunately, I have never been hindered by my lack of knowledge. When I get excited about a subject, I want to tell someone else about it. First, I don’t think you can ever learn all there is to know about a topic. And second, you learn from your students.

Cynthia's Quilt
50" x 68"
Doll House
Albany Adult Education
58" x 88"
Pueblo Indian Designs
Albany Adult Education
66" x 88"
By 1973 I had taught the first state accredited quiltmaking class through adult education in California. Intermediate classes made a group quilt to learn how to quilt on a frame. Each of the 41 quilts (1973-1980) had a different theme, with its own coloration and fabric appropriate to the selected topic. I was the buyer of all the necessary fabric, and I now realize that this was my apprenticeship in quiltmaking. Some of the quilts were featured in Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine in 1978. (My only two covers!)

Albany Adult Education Class
Stained Glass II, 1980

Traditional quilts have been my learning tool. Studying antique scrap quilts taught me about fabric usage. Amish quilts provided the key to color. As my tastes in fabric widened (Japanese, African, Australian), I found traditional formats sometimes limiting. Studying African-American quilts taught me how to build a quilt in a new way. The acquiring of the fabric is half the fun. The other half is figuring out how to best showcase it. Through studying the quiltmaking tradition I have come full circle, richer for the journey.

82" x 88"
Chinese Coins
62" x 77"
World Without End
Martha Currance, Missouri
66" x 80"

I am pleased to have been given two great honors. In 1994 I was selected as one of the 88 most influential quiltmakers in the world by Nihon Vogue, publisher of Quilts Japan. I was also the recipient of the 2000 Silver Star Award presented by the International Quilt Association in Houston. This was in recognition of my lifetime body of work and the long-term effect it has had on quilting.

What a wonderful adventure I have had in sharing what I have learned.

Roberta in Alaska

Teaching and Lecturing Venues

National Venues: 49 states (missing S. Dakota)

International Teaching Venues: 29 trips to 14 countries, including Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland.

Exhibition Venues

The Netherlands

Dutch Treat
60" x 76"

Robert Horton's books are published by C&T Publishing
1990, 1997
1983, 1996
I designed yarn dyed hand woven plaid and stripe fabric for Clothworks of Seattle, WA (1988-2000).
Left to Right: men hand dyeing; man weaving; women bobbin winding