“Everybody loves everybody at Quilt Expo. Strangers are like best friends. I usually go with a few other ladies from the quilt guild, and there are vendors who are like family to us.” — Cindy Frese, Kenosha, WI
When Cindy Frese, one of the first-prize winners from last year’s Quilt Expo, says she’s “quilted in some odd places,” it’s an understatement.
“I did 20 years in the Navy and met my husband there. He worked with the State Department when I retired, and I followed him around to different embassies,” Frese says. “We lived in Nigeria for a couple of years, and were there for their first democratic election. We were in Egypt on September 11. We lived in Mexico and Mali. The first day after I retired, we went into Kuwait. That was in 1991, and the oil fires were still burning. So I’m taking two toddlers in, the first family to go back in after the war.”
Frese started quilting after the birth of her first daughter, and despite distance or difficulty, Frese took her hobby wherever she went.
“Kuwait was great for quilting because you could go to the open markets – there were no stores open at the time,” Frese says. “The ambassador’s wife and I were the only ones there, as far as government families went, but we met some oil company wives. We had nothing to do, so I taught them to quilt.”
Throughout her travels, Frese has found a way to work sewing and quilting into her life.
“My husband knows I pack more fabric than clothing. I can always sew something if I need to,” Frese says. “One time I did turn quilting fabric into evening gowns. Barbara Bush came to visit in Kuwait, and suddenly everyone needed something to wear.”
As she became familiar with different cultures, Frese began to appreciate the unique aspects of each region’s fabrics.
Are you ready for Quilt Expo this morning? Here’s a very fast 15-second sneak peek at the quilt contest exhibit. We hope you’ll get to spend a bit more time with these beautiful quilts today through Saturday!
Posted by Quilt Expo on Thursday, September 10, 2015
Continue reading Behind the Scenes of Quilt Expo: Award-Winning Artist Cindy Frese