Private stash of Centennial quilters, part one: Alicia Sterna

Alicia Sterna

Alicia Sterna in her studio

In interviewing some of the quilters who contributed to the 100 Arizona Quilts centennial exhibit, I was treated to some samples of other work each did beyond their centennial contributions. Thought I’d share some of these creations in the blog, starting with works by Alicia Sterna.

 

 

Quilt by Alicia Sterna: Time Waits for No Mom

Quilt by Alicia Sterna: Time Waits for No Mom

Surprise, Arizona fabric artist Alicia Sterna has been quilting started quilting in 2002 after a chance visit to a quilting shop in Oregon. A former lawyer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Sterna spent seven years as  a volunteer with the forest service along the Oregon sea coast with her husband Randy, who also had a career with the DPS. She’s been a resident of Arizona since 1970 when she came to Tucson as a University of Arizona student.

 

In her ten years of quilting Sterna has become a remarkably facile textile artist. Largely self taught, her works are masterful mixed media creations that may involve anything from the usual bewildering array of fabrics to buttons, stones, special fibers, bits of glass and metal, fabric paint and anything else that might further her artistic vision.

 

Detail from Alicia Sterna's Arizona centennial quilt "News."

Detail from Alicia Sterna's Arizona centennial quilt "News."

The quilt she created for the centennial exhibit, titled “News,” celebrates Arizona’s newspapers and assorted means of spreading news in Arizona’s first century. She used tea bags, steeped, then split and emptied, to simulate the color of newsprint. She printed the titles of the paper in reverse, flipping them to let the name show through the fabric of the tea bag.

 

Quilt by Alicia Sterna: Season's End

Quilt by Alicia Sterna: Season's End

Sterna teaches the creative process of quilting and has been president of the Sun City Grand quilting club. In addition she has generated ideas for a number of quilting “challenges” in which a series of ideas is introduced a week at a time to a group of quilters to see where those loose directions might lead.

 

An avid hiker and outdoors person, she often collaborates with her husband Randy, who is a gifted photographer. His photos have inspired both her own quilts and several challenge quilts she has generated with others.

 

She has created quilts for breast cancer patients, and one of her quilts is currently on tour for a fabric company’s challenge exhibit. The subject of that particular quilt was the Wallow Fire, which she watched progress from her Airstream trailer in Lakeside, Arizona.

 

Quilt by Alicia Sterna: Butterfly, reverse side

Quilt by Alicia Sterna: Butterfly, reverse side

As a quilter, Sterna clearly enjoys the creative process, as well as the technical side. She loves watching her original concept transform as the fabric and the design evolve in her converted bedroom sewing studio. Some of her quilts are as intricate on the reverse side as on the side intended to be viewed.

 

Her work has won numerous show competitions, yet there are some pieces in her home that she will never show because she couldn’t bear to be without them. Seeing them lovingly displayed around her home, one can understand why.

 

 

 

 

Quilt by Alicia Sterna shows her Airstream trailer, places she and her husband have been

Quilt by Alicia Sterna shows her Airstream trailer, places she and her husband have been

 

 

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~ by Daniel Buckley on January 4, 2012.

One Response to “Private stash of Centennial quilters, part one: Alicia Sterna”

  1. This page looks great, she is a fantastic artist. I can’t wait to meet her. Wanda

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