Karen Linduska


Ever since I was a little girl I was always making something. At seven my great Grandmother taught me to knit. She would tear out my work even if there was the smallest mistake and make me redo it. This taught me discipline, but it also instilled the desire not to be perfect in my work. At ten I was introduced to my first sewing machine and I have been sitting at one ever since. At twelve I started to do hand embroidery and beading on fabric. In high school I was lucky to have an art teacher that was also a fiber artist. The long hours I spent working on my high school art projects helped to increase my discipline. When I started college I knew I wanted to be a fibers major. I attended Southern Illinois University, where I studied under M. Joan Lintault. It was there that I discovered using a sewing machine to create surface design. This was a new art form back in the late 1970s. I was using a Sears Kenmore with ten utility stitches. This is the foundation of my work today. Over the years my fiber art went in several directions always moving forward, looking for my voice, always asking myself “what if.” In 1998 I bought my first decorative stitch sewing machine it was the magic tool for me. This machine opened up a whole new world and spent the next 5 years learning the machine, exploring different ideas and pushing myself.

In 2001 I started working on a series called “Rebuilding the Wall on my Terms” It is a series of ten art quilts about creative spiritual recovery. The fifth quilt was an intense subject matter and very technical. I was looking for something fun to do after I finished this piece. I started to play with painting fabric and then dying. I liked the results and started to stitch on the painted fabric with the built-in decorative stitches.

In 2004, using the layered fabric painting technique (I discovered) and my decorative stitch thread painting technique, my “Fantasy Garden” series was born. I gave myself plenty of time to explore, play with the machine and to allow for mistakes. Some were dismal failures, but I learned from them anyway. This is a whole cloth process with everything is layered on the foundation fabric and built up from there. I call this style of work abstract realism. The abstract part will free you up to just go with the shapes. The realism will bring in a element of reality. There is also a funky element and when you put this together it creates a very fun style with a layering process from start to finish.

Currently I am a full time fiber artist, author and teacher. I sell my art quilts in many gallery’s throughout the U.S.. I have been published in several magazines. I have appeared on several quilt related T.V. shows. I teach my technique at quilting stores and quilting guilds throughout the United States. I have also authored three books on my decorative stitch thread painting techniques and I am still learning everyday in my studio.