Sewn is happy to introduce you to Monika Schiwy, quilt artist, teacher and owner of Quilt Star, a shop located in Freiburg, Germany; in her gallery, she also exhibits the works of other artists and organizes international exhibitions.
I have grown up in a “textile” environment: my grand mother had a knitting and handicraft shop, my mother was a dressmaker and sewed all our clothes when we were young.
Oddly enough, before moving to the US in 1991, I knew nothing about patchwork and quilting! As a matter of fact, it is not quite true, indeed, just before leaving Germany I saw some quilts at a friend’s house and it was “love at first sight”!
Needless to say, as soon as I arrived in New Jersey, I had to learn how to quilt. I attended all kind of classes at the local quilt shop and I loved the teaching as well as the friendly atmosphere.
After a year, I returned to Germany and decided that I had to teach patchwork and quilting to my German fellows.
I opened a tiny shop in my house with a separate entrance and invited renowned German teachers; I couldn’t accept more than 3 persons at a time, because my teaching room was too small!
In 2000 I managed to open a real shop with a beautiful class room: Quilt Star!
I like to teach and share with my students and I find that they also teach me something.
I am sure you might ask yourself “does she have time to quilt for herself anymore?” and my answer is YES! I manage to make 6 to 7 quilts a year.
For a long time, I wanted to work in series; this is what I am doing actually and I enjoy it very much. I use all kind of textiles, sometimes paper. I took classes with Caryl Bryer Fallert (USA), Charlotte Yde (Denmark), Heide Stoll Weber (Germany) and they helped me a lot in “daring” to work differently.
I have various sources of inspiration: most of the time I work by instinct, but I a perfectionist : first I test my new project on a small scale to determine what techniques will be the best and then I work on my final project.
Some of you have probably seen my series at the European Patchwork Meeting in 2011 and noticed that the theme I had chosen was “Nature” where I mixed embroidery, surface design and writing.
If you don’t know my work, I hope you will enjoy discovering some of it here and if you happen to come to Freiburg, you will always be welcome at Quilt Star.