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About Ruth B. McDowell

After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967 with a B.S. in Art and Design, Ruth spent several years working as an illustrator, while simultaneously expanding her interests in fibers and nature. She began her quilting career in 1972.

Since that time, she has become a full-time professional quilt artist, with nearly 600 quilts to her credit. Her wall quilts have been exhibited nationally and internationally in many galleries and museums, as well as in juried, invitational and several solo shows. They are also represented in many public, private and corporate art collections worldwide.

Ruth’s very active career includes teaching design workshops and lecturing about her work throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.

Ruth wrote her first book, Pattern on Pattern (Quilt Digest Press) in 1991. Symmetry: A Design System for Quiltmakers (1994) and Art and Inspirations: Ruth B. McDowell (1996) were both published by C&T Publishing of Concord, CA. The latter book, a retrospective of Ruth’s career, features full-color illustrations of 97 of her quilts, many color details and drawings, and a fascinating text.

Ruth's most recent books, Ruth B. McDowell's Piecing Workshop (C&T 2007) and Ruth B. McDowell's Design Workshop (C&T Fall 2007) replace and update her well-loved Piecing: Expanding the Basics. They contain excellent instruction for quiltmakers to explore Ruth's methods for designing original pieced quilts. A Fabric Journey: An Inside Look at the quilts of Ruth B. McDowell (C&T 2005) discusses in detail the creation of 18 of her art quilts. Pieced Flowers (C&T 2000) and Pieced Vegetables (C&T 2002) are pattern books and visual feasts of great pieced quilt ideas.

The art quilts of Ruth McDowell represent a sustained and extraordinary development over time, intertwining the themes of nature, geometry, the piecing medium and her abiding love of fabrics.

Click here to read her artist's statement

Click here for Ruth's resume

©2004 Ruth B. McDowell