Featured Artist: LaQuita Tummings

By Lily Homer
August, 2018

Carrousel, 1987, hand embroidery, appliqué, hand quilting, beading, needle punching in the lion’s mane, 65×70.

Needlework Origin Story
My mother encouraged me to learn traditional crafts. She taught me to sew and crochet before I was 12 years old. I credit my maternal grandmother for my love of quilting. Despite not knowing her. I started to make quilts after seeing quilts she had made. I have been quilting since 1976. In 2008 I took a class with Susan Else and realized that fabric can be used a medium for sculpture.

Materials and Artistic Process
I am a self-taught quilter (I took my first class in 1999, so by then my bad habits were firmly formed). I have used beads, floss, ribbon, commercial fabrics and paint all in the same piece. For many years, textiles have been the primary material that I use when I create, but I will use anything that appeals to me. When I see something (a leaf, a building, a place) I might think, what is it I like about this? What would this look like if. . . I am not really a good planner. I work very organically. Most of what I do I consider an “experiment”.

Once upon a time,  2010, beading in the letter O, embroidered text, hand piecing, appliqué, and hand quilting, 38×32. “There is a version of the Rapunzel tale that involves radishes, which I craved with my youngest.”

On Being an Individual
I find that I don’t really fit into a category. I think that sometimes people don’t know what to think about what I create, which is ok. Sometimes I feel like an outsider primarily because I don’t see people doing something different. I make things to please me. For many years I was the youngest person in the quilt guild/organizations.  The most important thing a creative person can do is be themselves, whatever that is. Don’t be afraid to create what you see in your mind. What you imagine is valid. Experiment. Do what pleases you.

Natural, 2015, hand quilting, appliqué, 3d and beaded elements in the ants making their way to her hair and in the bee among the flowers, 30×33.

Check out LaQuita’s Etsy shop, “ontheq”!