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  • Diane Graf Henry

Meet the artist

Hello, I'm Diane Graf Henry, professional long arm quilter and teacher and chief cook and bottle washer at Chez Henry. I have the wonderful job of quilting for friends and teaching friends, both new and long-time, how to quilt. As an International Educator for Handi Quilter, Inc, I've had the privilege of working with people all around the world learning to quilt and use the wonderful long arm quilting technology available through the Handi Quilter family of products.

I've also used those very products to finish my own and customer quilts. To date, I've done 1500+ quilts. That's a lot of stitching and I've loved every minute of it. I've enjoyed the challenges and creativity that drives this mini-obsession of mine. Quilting draws people together at every level, whether making quilts, quilting quilts, giving quilts or cuddling with someone special. Quilting is an art form like no other!


Real Life Quilting is a Balance

"I look for a place of balance where both priorities and asthetics where both are important."

I ask my customers and students questions to reveal how they think about their projects. What is your favorite color, block or part of the project? Can you describe the project in terms of a mood, feeling or story it's telling? What parts are most important to see? Who is the project for? Where will it live? Do you want it to last forever? All these questions are important to determining what to emphasize and how much resources should be committed to the project.


Real Life Quilting Reaches for that Little Something More


Take this beautiful antique quilt for example:


Presented to me by Handi Quilter as part of a group challenge project, my first thoughts were, "That's my favorite color green; I must have it!"


What I didn't notice is that the top and bottom borders were narrower than the sides and that the applique, while beautifully pieced had be squashed flat by long years of storage. When I opened the quilt and got a long look, I began to take it's inventory and my love for the top grew. I began a list of priorities: 1) not to distract from the original maker's work but rather enhance it; 2) decide on a border design that would work with both border sizes without drawing attention to them; 3) keep the two color look while adding texture. Then I began to focus on the story I felt the quilt was trying to tell. One phrase kept coming to mind, "I want to bring those Laurel Leaves to life."


And then I had it! Instead of straight line piano keys in the borders, I curved those lines like summer breezes blowing through the garden. Can't you just hear the leaves rustling as the breezes blow? How gently do they land as they fall from their boughs. I think the quilting preserves the sense of grace and peace I felt when I first saw the quilt and enhances the story of the plants so beautifully appliqued.


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