Name Glendora Simonson
Live Where ~ City, State East Orange, NJ
Tell us something about you! A native of Newark, NJ, I recently retired from education after 36 years. I Initially I worked as a special education teacher, working with adjudicated delinquents then as a learning consultant, diagnosing learning disabilities. Much of my work involved underserved populations. In addition to textile art, my hobbies include drawing, cooking and baking. Someday, I also hope to learn to play the piano really well. My house is full! Two of my three adult children still live with me (but I’m working on that); the oldest lives happily across town. I also live with 3 cats.
When did you become a quilter? Before quilting, I sewed clothing for myself and my dolls. I also made window treatments. I’ve been quilting for about 40 years. My first quilt was an appliqued and embroidered baby quilt that I made from a Simplicity pattern. Always intrigued by textile crafts, I started quilting in earnest after taking a class in a local adult school program. I previously used the sewing machine and was accustomed to completing projects quickly and efficiently. This class emphasized hand sewing which helped me improve those skills tremendously. I was also introduced to the rotary cutter and discovered that you could actually cut and measure at the same time!
Why do you quilt? The urge to create is persistent. Quilting is my medium. I quilt because I must express visually what I’m thinking and feeling. Making art affords me the opportunity to achieve a zen-like state where I feel like I’m channeling ancestral memories.
What is your favorite part of quilting? The design process is my favorite part of quilting. Most of my recent quilts tend to be narrative. In addition to telling a story, I also enjoy solving design dilemmas, playing with textures, shapes and colors.
What is the part of quilting you don’t like? Cleaning up after a project is so tedious to me. I never want to throw away any scraps, because I can “use” them for another project. I realize the necessity of clearing the work surface but I find the housekeeping, organizing part unpleasant. While I thoroughly enjoy working in a clean and orderly space, it just doesn’t come naturally to me. I have to expend a great deal of energy to achieve orderliness. After spending that time and effort, I’m either annoyed that the day is over or that I’m too tired to do anything creative. So, when my choice is to regain order or keep working, I usually just keep working.
Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere. I find inspiration in nature, particularly flowers and plants that have unusual shapes or colors. I also find inspiration in music, fabric, as well as socio-political events. I find the current political climate to be a perpetual source of rich inspiration, good and bad.
What do you do when you are not quilting? When I’m not quilting, I enjoy cooking and baking, playing with my cats, as well as reading about different craft or quilting projects. I also enjoy traveling to different places on my bucket list.