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Needle and Thread

As an 11-year-old Hungarian immigrant, I noticed right away that my American classmates wore a different outfit every day.

Desperate to fit in—and to augment my spartan European wardrobe—I took up sewing, which I really enjoyed. Later, as a penniless grad student, I made clothes for my children, myself, and even my husband, Rudy Rucker ’67.

I have always been madly in love with color and geometry. In fact, I used to paint abstracts in strict blocks, masking off each color area with tape, inspired by Frank Stella and other later 20th-century hard-edge painters.

Quilting, which I took up in retirement a few years ago, was a natural continuation: I assemble blocks of beautiful colors. I don’t like to plan too far ahead. I choose a few colors and geometric shapes and let serendipity take over, but it can be hard to branch out from my favorite combinations, blue and yellow or red and black. Once in a while, I make a scrap quilt to use up all my leftover fabric and go wild with colors, but generally I try to restrict myself to a very limited palette, as did the inspiring Gee’s Bend quilters.

My goal is to make enough quilts to use up all my fabric, but it’s hopeless; like all quilters, I always buy much more than I need because all those yummy colors call out to me!

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