Rita Steffenson is an award winning quilt artist whose work has been exhibited in many national and international shows. Rita was born in Wisconsin without a personal or family history in sewing or quilt making. She began quilting for a personal challenge after leaving her career as an environmental analyst to raise her children. Her naïve beginnings with graph paper and calculator have led to an independent approach to quilt making. Many years of doing things the hard way and reinventing the wheel has prepared Rita for her quest into the world of quilted textiles.
By discovering and joining a quilt guild and attending her first quilt shows in 1999, Rita began to glimpse the possibilities of what could be achieved. It was like being set free and any thought, joy or whim was now a potential quilt. She carved out a dedicated studio and concentrated on making pieces which reflect her feelings and experiences, always striving (at times obsessively) to achieve the highest level of craftsmanship. Rita's quilt making is enhanced by her joy of photography and ongoing study of nature. Her enthusiastic love of learning has led Rita to continue a self paced exploration of contemporary techniques, color, creativity and the elements of design. The support and encouragement of her husband and four daughters make her journey into textile art attainable.
Rita's works are all original designs drawn and developed from her own photographs and drawings. She hand-dyes all her own cotton fabric, occasionally embellished with paint. All quilt tops are constructed with a turned edge, invisible machine appliqué, without the aid of fusible materials. Rita quilts each piece with unmarked free-motion machine techniques. The additional space provided by the table inset version of the HQ Sixteen has made quilting large works a joy. It's no longer a challenge or a struggle to maneuver her large quilts during free-motion quilting.
Rita Steffenson's winning quilt
The Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry
HQ Sixteen Owner.
Uncertain Horizons by Rita Steffenson, Master Award for Thread Artistry 2007 Winner