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Raymond K. Houston,
Nacho Grandma's Quilts
Interviewed by Elizabeth Townsend Gard
Date February 2018
Seth Hackler suggested we interview Raymond, and he was so right! We talk about symmetry quilting. Here is his bio:
"I am largely self-taught . . . I took up sewing on a dare in high school. My first project was a hand-stitched velvet buccaneer shirt that fell apart the first (and only) time I put it in a washing machine. I began my first quilt in 1976 (America's Bicentennial), not because I thought quilting was Patriotic but because I felt it was Americana.
In 1994, I learned about Symmetry, the underlying structure of all patterns. I developed a method to generate patchwork designs which I taught online at Quilt University (now defunct). (At Quilt University, I held the distinction of being the first Black instructor and the first Male instructor.) I designed a patch that I use exclusively in all my patchwork.
About eight years ago, I started working with large scale Celtic knot appliques. Initially, I cut individual shapes placed next to each other. Now, I cut the paths of the knots separately and weave them together. I am completing a book of templates for simple knots.
Last Christmas, I bought a game that inspired me in several new directions of knotwork (even hexagonal)."
Nacho Grandma's Quilting
Beginning of quilting in 1973
1976 got into quilting b/c Americana
Symmetry as underlying structure of patterns