Spontaneity in Fabric: Textile Art by Pat Autenrieth

A quilt made from mixed media with gold metallic fabricGlam Shapiro, hand appliqué, machine embroidery; cotton, lamé (polyester), gold metallic rick-rack and thread

Pat Autenrieth is a quilt maker whose textile art practice is informed by a background in painting. Pat’s quilts have an almost abstracted nature about them, and a level of spontaneity in fabric that toes the line between the worlds of fine art and craft making.


An image of a handmade quilt with a mysterious black shapeHawaiian Commentaries: A Bald-Headed Man, inkjet (pigment), machine-pieced, hand appliquéd and hand-quilted by Mennonite and Amish friends of Bellweather Dry Goods

Pat's works are a really interesting take on the practice of quilting in general. While quilts are usually thought of as functional objects, this artist’s works would do just as well as permanent artworks in a gallery or on a wall. Many of the quilts are densely conceptual, referencing both advanced methods of fabric work, and important moments in art history. Pat’s gallery of recent works leans toward two-dimensional textile art, utilizing white or neutral expanses of fabric in a similar manner to the negative space of a canvas.


A screen capture of Pat Autenrieth's textile art websiteThe front page of Pat's website

I like that the artist also includes a gallery of quick studies on her portfolio. Quilting isn’t a medium that one might associate with studies, however, these serve as interesting insights into the process behind Pat’s aesthetic and technical decisions. Pat’s innovations in quilting remind me a little of the works of Julie McIntyre

A quilt with a seemingly random pattern of buttonsWhat Makes a Quilt, cotton, polyester batting, tied with buttons

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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