I am Carol Hancuh.
My career in art began with acrylics, pen and ink, watercolors, and a few years majoring in art in college. I dabbled in computer mask layout design to bring the bacon home for myself and my son.
After retiring and picking up my paint brushes more regularly again, a cousin of mine introduced me to quilting (in 2011). She made fairly non-traditional quilts, without patterns or kits. I was quite impressed. She invited me to a meeting of quilters in my home town of St. Paul, Minnesota. Enchanted by all the beautiful contemporary quilts women were showing and discussing, I was instantly hooked.
I went home, bagged up all my fabric that I used for making clothes, gave almost all of it away, and started shopping for cottons for quilts.
The first quilt I made was King-sized of 3” squares. This would have been boring to a traditional quilter, but I was caught up in the colors of fabric. Having an art background, it was all about the colors.
I was trading paints for fabrics to create my own quilts.
Kits and patterns are a helpful entry into quilting. To me, though, after years of painting and drawing, they felt like paint-by-number. I didn’t want to do that; my only desire was to see how colors worked together to create interest. Through these last 10 years, I’ve found the importance of detail and subject matter in quilts.
In September of 2013, I took a quilting workshop in Tuscany, Italy, taught by Esterita Austin. She introduced me to the art of fusing. It opened up a whole new dimension in quilting for me.
My first fused quilt – a wall hanging – was a face and, from then on, the challenge has been finding those faces hidden within batiks.
Some of my favorite projects have been a quilt called “Feed My People”, aimed at raising awareness of hunger within the United States. Every time I quilt, I look for a new challenge. In “Spilled Vase,” I created an effect of falling water. In “The Galveston Quilt,” a quilt I made for the Galveston, Texas Salvation Army silent auction, I did thread painting for the first time, depicting Galveston in all its glory.
I’m drawn to the topic of social justice and have created “Missing”, a child being pulled away from his parent at the border. A stream of full-sized “people” in “The Voting Line” is really 25 quilts depicting 27 people standing in line waiting to vote. They were meant for the Minnesota Quilt Show of 2020 to be shown to encourage everyone to vote in the National election in November (they will come back in 2024).
I live with my husband, Lowell, two cats, and mounds of fabric in a suburb of Eagan, Minnesota.