I started sewing at the age of eight.  Shortly after, I joined 4H and began a lifelong journey with fabric. From tea towels and shirts to wedding dresses and then landing at quilting at the age of 24.

I have always loved the feel of fabric.  I have made clothes, curtains, tablecloths, and lots of other things.  My first thought, (when changing up things at home) is "I'll just make that".  But I have to admit that my favorite fabric work is quilting.  I have made many quilts over the years.  Then, 20 years ago I opened up a custom framing and handcraft gallery and I found that while I love what I do at the gallery, I had little time to quilt.  Then one day in 2005 a jewelry artist that sold her work in the gallery asked me to travel with her to a bead show, (who could say no to that?) and I came back with a pile of beads. I was trying to figure out what to do with the beads and the idea hit me - why not make mini quilts and embellish them with beads, ribbons, etc. and then frame them!!!  I thought they would not take as much time as a full quilt, so I could probably do that.  That was the beginning of mjsmith fabric collage.

I started with full size collages and now have minis and petites and journals and cards.  The mix of fabrics, beads, buttons, silk ribbons, etc. continues to inspire me. And then to add another dimension with the framing is awesome.   Who knows what else I will think of.....    Joan