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Local Woman's Sewing Brings Honors posted: 4/22/2004
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Category: Reviews Method: All Series: In The News
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Amy Wellnitz/The Daily Journal
Ann Horton quilts about 25 to 30 hours a week in addition to her full-time job as a therapist with Mendocino Family Services.
Reprinted with permission from The Ukiah Daily Journal
2004 Laura Clark and The Ukiah Daily Journal

If the name Ann Horton doesn't ring a bell, think quilt.

It doesn't take a therapist to pick up on the fact Horton has a passion for quilting.

You can hear it in her voice and see it in the multi-colored, multi-textured works of art hanging on the walls inside her office at Mendocino Family Services where she works full-time as a marriage, family and child therapist.

She is also the recipient of five international awards, three for quilts she has created on her own and two for the work she's done as part of a group with the Mendocino Quilt Artists.

Most recently, Horton won second place in the Machine Embroidery category at the International Quilt Festival in Houston for her quilt, "My Soul: God's Fertile Garden."

She was among 408 finalists in the competition, which attracted a record 826 entries from around the world. The festival, Houston's largest convention, attracted more than 53,000 people.

Later this month, Horton's Fertile Garden quilt will be at an international show in Chicago. From there it goes to Europe for another show, she said.

"It's my statement about my relationship with God, creativity, life choices, and how God interacts with me about how life evolves ... " she said.

"I just love quilting as a way to express who I am. I've studied art, done about every kind of art, but when I came into quilting ... it's such a way to convey and explore who I am," said this creator of "400-or-more" quilts.

Horton, who spends approximately 25 to 30 hours a week quilting, said she has been sewing all her life and started seriously quilting about 20 years ago after her daughter was born.

"I'd quilt while she'd nap and I thought this is so soothing,'" she said.

Her daughter caught the bug as a result.

"She learned how to use my sewing machine by the time she was 5 and she'd make tiny quilts ... My kids grew up playing with the button jar while I was quilting," Horton said.

She said she started with traditional quilting and about eight years ago branched into making what she refers to as "art quilts."

"Quilts to me are a multi-layered expression ... you start with your fabric and color and then you blend that fabric with texture from quilting, from embellishments like beading and overlay of more textured fabrics like silks and satins and embroidery made with gorgeous rayon threads ... " she said.

"I made a decision five or so years ago to take my quilting as a really serious part of my life ... It's not just a hobby, it's a part of me," she said.

Often her quilts will reflect some type of emotional theme, she said.

Take for example, "Honoring those who served," a quilt hanging in her office which portrays three soldiers in Vietnam.

"This quilt evolved out of my work with veterans," she said. "My appreciation for the emotional wounds, struggling and healing that takes place ... I made this quilt as a tribute to those men and women and their spiritual journey and healing," she said.

This particular quilt would probably sell for $6,000 -- if she wanted to sell it. Horton said she's pretty attached to this one.

"It's getting shipped off to the mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival," she said. Horton said she also has a quilt in the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial exhibit.

"Visions of Istanbul" is in a master piece exhibit, she said. That particular quilt is listed for $10,000, Horton said.

On average, Horton said it takes her anywhere from 200 to 500 hours to make a quilt, though oftentimes she is working on several quilts simultaneously.

She said each and every quilt has a couple hundred fabrics in it. For this reason, she has been collecting fabric for even longer than she has been quilting.

"I have thousands of yards of fabric," she said. "I go to a number of international shows; they sell all the new lines at those shows ... fabrics from all over the world."

Reprinted with permission from The Ukiah Daily Journal
2004 Laura Clark and The Ukiah Daily Journal
2/10/2004 Medocino, California

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