Over the past three decades, the art of quilting has become quite a passion for Maureen Feenie. Her work is currently on display at the Niagara Falls Public Library, where she has worked as a reference librarian since 1991.
While she has spent many years making elaborate, colorful, original quilts, this past year she has been doing a lot of “re-quilting,” restoring old quits that have seen better days. She took a few minutes recently from behind the reference counter to share some thoughts about her patch-work passion.
QUESTION: How did you get into quilting?
ANSWER: It goes back to the bicentennial, a few of the faculty wives at Buffalo State College wanted to learn how to quilt, but there were no classes. In the early 90s I studied under Nancy Crow and other top quilters throughout the years. That’s when I started making my own quilts from fabric that I purchased. The re-quilting is something been doing over the past year.
Q: What exactly is “re-quilting?”
A: I buy old quilts from the Salvation Army. They’re usually not quilted or minimally quilted and they’re made in China. They’ll just fall apart when they’re washed. When they’re well made they don’t just fall apart. I’ve been making quilts for almost 40 years. They’re expensive sometimes you can spend $100 before you even start. So I find these beautiful (torn) quilts and start adding to them. It’s become a yearlong addiction.
Q: Once the quilts are done, do you sell them?
A: I will sell the re-quilted quilts. Maybe in the summer time I’ll try to get a booth to sell them. The original ones are pretty expensive, I like to hold on to those. Five of my designs are on display at the library behind the circulation desk. The re-quilted ones will be on display near the front entrance through the end of January.
Q: How have people responded to your quilts in the library? Have you gotten any feedback?
A: People just rave about them. The library is kind of gray and I think people are interested because they enjoy the color. I enjoy it. I never get to see the quilts hung up from a distance, so it is a visual treat.
Q: After all these years what keeps you interested in quilting?
A: It’s definitely a passion. I love the color, the texture, the art. It’s a wonderful hobby for anyone.