Friday, 7 July 2017

Self-introduction: Uta

My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was about five or six years old, and I have been involved with textiles ever since. Patchwork came into my life when I was an exchange student in High School in the US and saw the first patchwork pillows. After a period of self-taught traditional patterns (before the age of internet etc.) I turned to contemporary design in 1994: My mother’s cure for my then newly broken heart was an enrollment in a patchwork class. I started teaching patchwork classes and hand-dyeing my own fabrics a few years later, which has led to a small business with hand-dyed fabrics and a bi-monthly fabric club. I studied with Nancy Crow and other international teachers and am a member of SAQA, SDA, the German Patchwork Guild (currently the International Officer for the Guild) and QGBI. I write an English blog and a German blog (and I try to keep them different in topics).

When my son started drawing at the age of 2 ½ I soon realized that his drawings - completely standard for his development, nothing extraordinary - could be turned into inspiration for my work, and I began using his drawings as a starting point for my quilt designs. This led to a series “Play of Lines” which kept me busy for several years; two large quilts of mine from this series were exhibited in the “Color Improvisations” show curated by Nancy Crow.

Play of Lines X

Play of Lines VIII -
this quilt is now on its way to be traveling
with "Abstract and Geometric".

Other series of mine are called Shapes, and, most recently, text messages. Shapes began because I had an exhibition in a UNESCO World Heritage with two other quilters which was the first building designed and built by Walter Gropius, later founder of the famous Bauhaus Art School. So we had decided to use the basic geometric shapes, which figured prominently in Bauhaus teaching, as inspiration for the quilts that should be on display there.

Shapes 10

text messages turned into a series when SAQA issued a call for entries under that title. I had an idea right away, and then realized that I had already been working with text before. And it adds on to my former academic life, when I was a linguist. 

Promised Land 2015? (text messages 9)

I have had several solo exhibitions at international venues and been included in a number of juried traveling international exhibitions.

For the past three years it has been slightly harder to find enough and ample time for quilting as I got involved with voluntary work helping refugees in Germany, and for this past year I have been teaching German as a foreign language to a refugee class as well. This is a very important aspect of my life right now, that has also begun to enter my work. It will be interesting to see how it develops here - apart from how the refugee situation in Germany and Europe will develop in general.


  1. Thanks for this introduction Uta and for sharing some more of your work . I look forward to seeing your ideas on future artist's work . It is fascinating to belong to a group like this and to see how diverse and interesting everyones interpretations are. Rosemary

  2. I feel I am getting to know you already although we haven't met. We share some common aspects in that I met Dorle and have taken two workshops with Nancy. I always find it interesting how artists journey towards their interests and passion and how they interpret ideas.

    Sounds like you are at a bit of a crossroads in your life - I wonder what path will open up for you to travel down?

    Thank you for this lovely introduction.


  3. Wow! What a privilege to have you join our group. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for this great introduction to you and your impressive work Uta. And bravo to you for your work with the refugees. Helena

  5. Your life experiences are reflected in your work...I look forward to seeing more of your journey on our 12 By The Dozen site and on your website.

  6. Thank you for sharing your work with us and the inspirations you use. Great to have you with us and look forward to getting to know you and your work.

  7. Welcome aboard, Uta! Loved looking at your site.