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Thursday, May 26, 2016
Taylor made
(Page 2 of 2)
Chris Connolly
When Taylor heard Nina Simone’s version of the song, “Feeling Good,” she literally felt compelled to create a quilt that captured the beauty and intensity of Simone’s voice. The artist’s 11-year-old daughter designed the earrings.

Taylor’s quilts were originally displayed in a small room in the museum’s front, but a leaking roof necessitated that they be moved to the large theater on the opposite side of the building. The six visually varied works deal with subjects from underwater life to the earthquake in Haiti and Taylor’s own family tree.

Taylor said that music is a big part of her process, explaining that she tries to match her listening selections to her theme. “I listen to music that reminds me of what I’m trying to say and then I see what happens,” she said. “I think the quilts are created through me, rather than by me.”

Indicating a colorful piece entitled “Sunset on the Serengeti,” she said that the work was created to the accompaniment of African lullabies. Another quilt is named “Feeling Good As Sung By Nina Simone,” in honor of the singer who inspired it. 

Although she has been quilting for only five years, Taylor has been interested in textiles most of her life. “When I was a child of five or six, I would spend much of my playtime creating outfits for my dolls out of my mother’s scarves or any other scraps of material I could find,” the self-taught seamstress says in the biography that accompanies her work.

Taylor’s projects generally take around two months, and she explores different techniques and materials with each new undertaking. Her next work, “Juneteenth,” will celebrate the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865. The quilt, she said, will be her biggest and most ambitious to date. “I become consumed by quilting when I’m working,” said the mother of one. “When there was a lot of negativity around the school board, it helped me deal with that.”

To see more of Taylor’s work, check out her website.


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