Have you ever wondered where your sense of adventure has gone? Are you happily leading your “local” life, like me, your adventurous youth seemingly a haze on the horizon? I have to admit that occasionally I catch a glimpse of the adventurer within, which has been hibernating for years (and years and years…).Well I am happy to be able to tell you that Priscilla Kibbee is here to share her adventures with the rest of us. Honestly. Here’s the thing. Priscilla Kibbee has traveled to 33 countries, all in the interest of textiles!! Read on…
My path has crossed with Priscilla a few times. I contacted her when I was developing the program for my local quilt show. Her email reply to me came from Cambodia. Next, I visited her booth (and its luxurious textiles) at the local quilt show. She had just returned from Thailand. After that, I contacted her about a post for this site. She sent me the information from Guatemala. You get the picture.
As Priscilla says, “I love to travel all over the globe shopping for textiles which I add to my wearable art. I have taught quilting to school children in Nepal, seminole patchwork to seamstresses in Thailand, and jackets and embellishment to quilters in Turkey, where I also served as a judge at two of their International Quilt Shows. I have created garments for several Fairfield and Bernina Fashion Shows and teach classes on embellishment and wearable art. Lately I have been leaning more toward making art quilts.”
She has been making wearable art since 1979, when she saw a gorgeous patchwork jacket in a shop in Brattleboro, Vermont. In the last few years she has made the use of Seminole Patchwork-- almost a trademark in her work—and she has developed a method of incorporating gold thread on all the seams to give it extra sparkle.
Priscilla’s travels started with annual trips to Mexico (or the Southwest) that she took with her late husband. When he died, she accepted a job in Saudi Arabia. A commuting job in Atlanta followed, both of which gave her enough frequent flier miles to consider any country, anywhere around the globe. She took trips with her daughter to China, India and Nepal.
Her enduring love of Nepal resulted in three stints of teaching in one of their local schools. According to Priscilla, “The textiles I was purchasing on my trips began piling up and I started using them in my wearable art. I began attending the Wearable Art Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1996 which really raised the bar on the work I was producing. I won Best of Show in their Fashion Show in 1999 and taught at the conference during the last year of the conference in 2002.”
Another aspect of Priscilla Kibbee that often shows up in her work is her love of tigers. Their pent up energy and beauty inspires her work. She has actually spent time lounging with them, in Thailand. –Okay, so I am about to go outside and water my hosta. What can I say? Priscilla is living on a completely different level of experience from me. And that is why I am so interested in her life and her willingness to be open to “the whole” world, not just “her own” world.
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