Maura Grace Ambrose
" I nominate Maura because the girl (my dream college friend) embodies a work ethic like I've never seen before...She breathes art and she'll die if she doesn't craft!!! She mixes all of her loves into one incredible art form...Making insanely beautiful handcrafted quilts (grows her own food to collect the dye for her incredible creations). "
- Yasmine Ghoniem
// Q+A //
1. Where do you source your inspiration in Austin?
Walking, canoeing, or swimming in nature. The spring fed natural swimming holes are my favourite places to be in Texas.
2. Describe your creative process:
- I dream about quilts, keep a journal of ideas and paint studies to plan for designs and colour combos. When getting started on a quilt, I graph out the design and select my fabrics.
- Then I cut my pieces of fabric and machine sew them together.
- Once the quilt top is complete I make the quilt back using large pieces of fabric usually left over from the front design.
- Then I sandwich the top, batting, and back together and either baste or pin them together.
- Then the fabrics are quilted together with hand stitching. This secures all three layers together and adds unique beauty.
- The quilt is then finished with a binding around all four edges, and photographed before sending to it's recipient.
3. When I travel, I always take ( ) with me.
4. Yas asks: How do you make money and still stay true to your art?
That's a great question! I try to only work on projects that inspire me. I refuse to compromise on the process it takes to achieve quality. I document the time it takes to create each quilt so the prices reflects accurately the work that went into making it. I keep in mind ways to maintain a sustainable practice such as growing my own dyes and using recycled resources. I feel it's also important to diversify whether that be partnering on collaborations or teaching workshops and going to markets. I find that people are just as interested in my story as they are in my work.
5. What are the best/ worst things about road tripping in America?
Best are the quaint small towns and sleepy main streets. The antique shops off the beaten path are full of treasures. But most of all I lobe the State Parks for getting in touch with nature through camping and hiking. Simple living opens my eyes to observations such as the changing of the seasons.
The worst thing about road trips are the fast food options. Packing a cooler helps but it's hard to cook your own food on the road unless you station yourself somewhere for a couple of days.
6. Draw and describe your favourite quilt:
I call this quilt the Montana Quilt. The design was inspired by a traditional Native American Quilt. The lone star design has an Eagle incorporated into it. The eagle symbolises freedom and harmony with nature. It now hangs in John Mayer's recording studio.
7. What is your favourite travel experience?
My husband and I took 4 months and travelled around middle + east America in our VW campervan. We avoided the highways mostly because our van doesn't handle well above 65 mph but taking the backroads ended up becoming a highlight of the trip. Taking is slow and passing through the small towns of America was my favourite way to connect with the spirit of our country.
8. Yas asks: How do your personal travel stories weave into your hand crafted quilts?
I am inspired by the natural colours in the changing landscape. Simply gazing out the window fills my head with dreams. I enjoy visiting rural towns and meeting folks living in small communities. Often times quilt makers flock to small towns. Yet almost everybody I meet has a quilt story, whether it be a relative who makes quilts or a special quilt passed down as a family heirloom. When I travel it clears my head and enlivens my intuition. Often times I come away with a clear vision for my next design.
9. How do you spread the love for your craft?
I share my process through social media. I also teach workshops on natural dying and hand quilting. I'm now in the early stages of writing a book!
10. How can we make more art + less war?
Keep a positive outlook by focusing on the solutions not the problems.
Thank you Maura it has been a pleasure x