Wakefield-Peacedale, Rhode Island
Barbara Perrino's influence as a one time fine art photographer is apparent in her quilts - simple forms and colors that look as beautiful on the wall as they do on a bed. I was immediately attracted to her eye catching designs and how something as traditional as a quilt, could also be so modern.
Your designs are very bold and geometric, how does your design process start and what are some of your sources of inspiration?
If I’m paying enough attention, there is inspiration to be had everywhere. I often notice color palettes or combinations first, then lines and shapes. These become my initial (mental) notes. I work with graph paper and a scanner for enlarging quick sketches and create templates for designs that don’t fit within a grid.
There are a great many artists whose work I may never tire of - Giorgio Morandi’s still lifes, Alex Katz’s watercolors and Maira Kalman’s illustrations, to name a few. Specific quilt works that I really admire include those of Marilyn Henrion and Nancy Crow. The very first quilt that made me stop in my tracks was the piece that Denyse Schmidt created for the American Folk Art Museum called “One Big Dog/Homage to Bill Traylor”. It was at that moment that I realized how limitless the possibilities were for working with fabric and quilting.
How do you feel your work relates to the traditional methods and history of quilt making?
While my designs may be more modern, the basic process is the same as it always was - make a top, make a back and sandwich something warm in between. The use of solid fabrics has long been a hallmark of quilts from the Amish community. My favorite part of what I make is that quilts can be used as art and/or bed coverings and blankets.
How does the New England region influence your products, designs or business?
Living and creating in New England stays fresh and interesting because of the changing seasons. Turns out, whatever the weather - there’s a quilt for that!
You can learn more about Barbara Perrino's Quilts at
Shop her product line at her Etsy Shop.