Where shall I Begin?
My name is Linda Syverson Guild. People frequently confuse me with a ‘quilt guild’. The man I married is a Guild and it became my name when we married. I grew up in Nebraska, complete with Midwestern ethics. Needles of all sorts have been part of my life since receiving cardboard sewing cards for my 5th birthday. Then, I decided that I would be an architect when I was 7 years old.
Everything in my life has been steered by these early influences.
As my architectural studies progressed, I worked as an alteration lady, adjusting everything wearable and as a museum attendant at a large trailer placed along Interstate 80 exposing travelers heading west to Nebraska history.
In my role as an architect; I designed and detailed buildings and interior spaces in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Maryland, where I met my future husband. During this time, I made clothes, upholstered and refinished furniture, learned to crochet, knit, needlepoint and embroider. Then I found my first quilt shop and the world of traditional quilts opened up. Alas, I couldn’t seem to want to make the pattern in the book, which lead me to design my own patterns.
When I began to seriously create art quilts, they were geometric with the flavor of my architecturally influenced sketches and they always had a story. A professor instructed us to, “Let the project be the story, don’t make the story fit the work.” This statement stuck, and continues to influence how my projects are created.
I now live in Maryland outside Washington D.C. My architectural career took second place when my daughters were born. Through many changes over the years, my architectural education continues to influence every decision I make.
As the girls grew, I designed kneelers, altar hangings and banners for our church, in addition to auction quilts for various school activities.
In the last 10 years, I have created 9 quilts themed on the architecture of my hometown, Grand Island, Nebraska—a typical Midwestern town that had a dying downtown. The first quilts were my way to turn the community’s focus back to buildings that were potentially threatened. The ensuing years have filled out the project and I now have three more quilts that need to be made. These quilts plus two Nebraska themed quilts are going to become a book that will share stories about Grand Island. To date all of the Grand Island quilts have been sold to establish a perpetuating scholarship from my high school class for future graduates of our alma mater.
About 10 years ago, my husband (also an architect) and I designed a studio that sits on the roof of our house. It is dedicated to my work. I am thrilled to spend time up among the trees creating fiber art.
I love to work on quilts with a challenge; either from an outside source or of my own design.
My favorite pieces are made from scraps left from other projects and filled with color.
I like to think that permission to play, to create the art, is granted with every new piece of uncut fabric.
Ultimately I feel compelled to create art that will make people smile.
In recent years I have spoken to a number of quilt, fiber art and historic groups on a variety of themes:
- How the basic design terms that are taught in architectural design classes adapt to fiber art.
- My Grand Island quilt project and how the architecture of place influences my art.
I am pleased to share my art with anyone and have pieces for sale on request.
If you have an idea and would like to see it rendered in fabric—I could be the person you are seeking.
Fiber related memberships:
Studio Art Quilt Associates—moderate the private Facebook Group
Surface Design Association
Potomac Fiber Arts Guild