Ellen Leigh

Ellen Leigh


   2502 E 8th Street, IN


It was my great grandmother’s quilts that first inspired me to make things. I remember when my grandmother pulled the quilts from her closet and showed a then 7-year -old me. Looking at those quilts made me want to create. I loved all the patterns and uneven stitches she had made. It brought her to life for me in a way that was different from my grandmother’s stories about her. The quilts were pieces of history that she had sewn that held actual fragments of her life. As I grew older,

Over time, I came to the conclusion that I did not need to make the same kind of functional quilts that my great grandmother had made. I could tell a story in a different way. It made sense to me that the vehicle for her expression was functional. It was part of her Appalachian roots. I wanted to tell a story about my time, my world. addressing a less tangible albeit important need, to create an expression of an interior world. I wanted to do it by employing techniques considered feminine arts such as quilting, embroidery, and weaving and I wanted to use overlooked materials. In my life, I do not need to make functional objects for everyday use like my great grandmother did. I wanted to create a sense of beauty, a sense of wonder out of the things that surround me which are usually found or discarded. I am attracted by the time-worn history they contain and changing my relationship to often mass-produced items by giving them a new context.