Helen Benninger -Textile Artist
My mother sewed, and I was fascinated by the process from an early age. I watched her for hours and tried to imitate her and bugged her to help me make things. I think she finally taught me to use her sewing machine (which I now have and still use occasionally) so that she could get a little peace. I've been sewing ever since.
Through all of this I was sewing and knitting and embroidering and weaving and needlepointing and crocheting at home. I wanted to experience every kind of fibre art that I could get my hands on. I even made paper.
In 1993, on a leave of absence from teaching, armed with lots of old issues of Threads magazine, my extensive sewing knowledge and a trunk load of fabric scraps, I made my first quilt. I was very fortunate to find and join the York Heritage Quilters' Guild of Toronto in 1994. There I learned how to make a quilt easily and properly. My quilting career had begun!
I discovered Rosemary Eichorn's fabric collage techniques in Threads # 66. When my fellow guild members saw my first fabric collage vest they made me teach it to them and another career was born. Right now I'm having a lot of fun with scarves. I have 3 Berninas and I just can't stop sewing...!
The World Around Me
This fabric collage poncho, THE WORLD AROUND ME, was created for The Common Thread 2000, part of the Oakville Fibre Arts Festival organized by the Oakville Arts Council. It won a juror's award. At odyssey, the Scarborough Arts Council's Annual Juried Show 2001 it received an Honourable Mention. It won the Wearable Art Award at the National Juried Show of the CQA/ACC held during Quilt BC 2001.