Emily Parson is an award-winning quilt artist from St. Charles, Illinois.  Her work has been shown across the United States in galleries and national juried shows, such as “Edge to Edge:  Selections From Studio Art Quilt Associates” at the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City, “Quilt National ’97 and ‘99”, at the Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, Athens, Ohio, and “The Artist as Quiltmaker” at the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts, Oberlin, Ohio. 

Emily's work is best known for her whimsical designs and bold color.  In her pictorial quilts, everyday, ordinary objects become special, larger-than-life tapestries.

Parts of this process includes making a life-size drawing, collaging hundreds of pieces of fabric onto a background, stitching them down, layering this collage with batting and a backing layer, and quilting through all the layers.  One of her favorite parts of the process is dyeing her own vibrant colored fabrics. 

Emily was born and grew up in Muncie, Indiana. She graduated with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. She worked as a clothing designer in New York City for several years before pursuing her hobby and passion of quilting  full time. 




All my life I have played with fabric.  I did almost every type of sewing and craft as a girl, and my grandmother exposed me to traditional quilt-making.  I was not inspired to try quilting myself, however, until I saw some art quilts by Nancy Crow at the Museum of American Folk Art.   That visit to the museum in 1991 was a turning point in my life.

I finished my first quilt the following year, and have been quilting in every spare moment since.  My favorite part of the process is working with color.  Colored pens, colored paper, colored dyes, and of course, the endless colors and textures of the fabric itself.  When I was in college, I opened a fortune cookie that said “Colors and textures will become important to you.”  If they only knew! 

I am inspired by things near and dear to me, my family and pets, my collection of oddball household objects.  I also gain inspiration from architecture and the cities in which I have lived, and most of all, the beauty of nature I am surrounded by now.  I do not make quilts only for myself.  It is my desire that they will be seen and enjoyed by other people.   My hope is that my quilts will cause people to think, to feel, and occasionally, to laugh. 

Home Nature Techno Kitchen Exhibits About Emily What's New? Classes The Process