By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
Artist JoAnne Biros has been creating “Fabric Art” and quilting for 50-years. Some of her work is now being displayed through August at the Texas County Museum of Art & History following a reception held Sunday.
“I began displaying my quilts during the 30-years I was a lab technician. There was a wall that needed décor and I started using my handcrafted wall hangings to fill the space. I would display a hanging and someone would offer to purchase it, to which I was agreeable,” shared Biros. She keeps a “mostly” complete documentation of her very likely hundreds of quilts and works of art. Biros’ work has also been displayed with the Spring Creek Artisans in Salem and with the Spring Creek Artisans/Current River Artists at Arts Rolla.
When asked how she learned this timeless art, Biros replied, “By trial and error. My mother was a quilter and I’m sure I watched, but she didn’t really teach me how to make quilts. I made my first quilt long after I left home. I really learned by looking at patterns and reading books. I would see something that I liked and I would make it, usually picking the quilt pattern and then the fabric.”
The Kansas City Star quilt in the exhibit was made from fabric Biros had for years; this sampler quilt was a perfect way to use it. It was made using the original newspaper clippings from the Kansas City Star paper, which she had purchased from someone at an art show she and her husband Russ had attended.
When Biros started quilt making, all her creations were hand-pieced and hand-quilted; she then discovered that she had more quilts she wanted to make and less time to do them. That led to machine piecing, and after moving to Texas County, machine quilting. “I still hand-quilt, but also machine-quilt on a Gammill long arm machine,” she shared.
She is currently a member of the Piney River Quilt Guild in Houston and the Little Pieceful Quilters of Mansfield, which is a hand-quilting group.
Biros was born in Northwestern Minnesota and moved to Wisconsin in 1973-1974. The Silver Lake Trees wall hanging was made when the Biros’ lived on Silver Lake, reminiscent of the pine trees in that area. They had come to Missouri to turkey hunt and liked the area, deciding upon retirement to relocate here and leave behind the snow and high taxes.
Visit the museum to see her beautiful “Fabric Art,” some of which is for sale.
Photos by Christy Porter