'I enjoy the geometrics of it'
February 12, 2023
With a mother who sewed clothing and a grandmother who quilted and embroidered, it was natural for Dee Mason to learn about working with fabric. She was mostly interested in cross stitching until she decided to make a quilt for her husband.
"I just started piecing squares and piecing fabric together, just trying to make a design of my own," she says of that first effort. "From there it just expanded into different techniques."
Mason says moving to Alva in 2006 brought new friends and new experiences. "I met a couple of dear ladies, Ladonna Benningfield and Drue Washburn. They really brought different aspects of quilting to my attention. I started piecing a lot of Quilts of Valor (for veterans) with Drue, and I got a lot of books and help from Miss Ladonna," she said. "I just enjoyed those times with them and learning new things."
Mason does long-arm quilting, a process using a long-arm quilting machine. It allows you to sew the quilt top, the quilt backing and the batting together all at once to make a complete quilt. In 2009, she opened a quilting business and did that for a few years. When she decided to join the work force, the business closed but she still uses the machine to finish quilts for friends and family as well as her own work.
"I love paper piecing, and I like to do applique," said Mason. "Those are my favorite types besides doing Quilts of Valor or foster home quilts or quilts for our pregnancy center. I just really enjoy all aspects."
Smiling calmly, Mason says, "I took it on basically to relieve stress ... but I enjoy the geometrics of it. I love math. I love designing things and creating things. That just clears my mind when I do intricate stuff."
Some of Mason's quilts are displayed this month at Graceful Arts Gallery in Alva in the "Fabrics of the Heartland" exhibit.