Therese May

Therese May has been a leader in the creation and development of art quilting, recognized worldwide as a guiding light in the movement and one of its most inspiring advocates. Honored as both artist and teacher, she has been chosen to exhibit her works at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and at the Louvre in Paris, France.

Among Therese’s many awards are the Most Innovative Use of Medium award in Quilt National ’85 and the Quilts Japan Prize in Quilt National ’95. Her work is published in numerous books and magazines, including The Art Quilt and America’s Glorious Quilts. Her 1969 quilt Therese was selected by The Alliance for American Quilts, the American Quilt Study Group, the International Quilt Association, and the National Quilting Association as one of the 100 best American quilts of the 20th century.

Therese began making quilts in 1965 and has exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. With a focus on transformational healing, her work is centered on wholeness, integration and creativity through art and the quilt-making process. To realize and continue this focus, she makes herself available as a teacher, leading workshops for groups as well as providing individualized one-on-one sessions. She has appeared on the television show Simply Quilts and has taught at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts; the Cleveland Institute of Art; Cabrillo College; the University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Art and Design; and the University of Minnesota Split Rock Arts Program, as well as in many quilt guilds.

In addition to Therese May’s other awards and recognitions, she was commissioned twice, in 1991 and 1992, to create quilts for the City of San Jose, California, and her two 196-square-foot works hang in the San Jose Convention Center. Therese has been part of the San Jose art community for the past 43 years and has participated in all of the Silicon Valley Open Studios. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in painting and a Master of Arts degree in design, with emphasis on the art quilt.


Convergence Quilts

This series is about bringing it all back home and wrapping it up. It’s about calling back, bringing back and claiming my power. It’s about allowing the creative process to flow through me and to express what it wants to express rather than worrying about what other people think. I have enjoyed this process because it is my own and not based on fear. I am committed to the authentic expression of me. I have enjoyed doing this because I have finished some loose ends, and discovered a new beginning. I like the bubbles representing ideas floating away into nothingness symbolizing letting go of anything that no longer serves me.

Convergence I: Fin “Convergence I: Fin”

Painted Art Quilt, 49x49
Fabric, acrylic paint, thread, machine applique, machine quilted

Finishing is so important. You get to say, I did it! And you’re no longer thinking about that half done project in the closet. You can relax in completion and feel good about yourself and your accomplishment. When you finish one project at a time, you are constantly getting closure and more of the sense of wholeness about your life. Go for it!

Convergence II: Slow Up “Convergence II: Slow Up”

Painted Art Quilt, 42x56
Fabric, acrylic paint, thread, machine applique, machine quilted

Take the time to get in touch with yourself by Slowing Up today! When you do this, you can remember what the next step on your path is which makes life so much easier for yourself and others. Slowing Up gives you a new perspective because you can smell the roses and when you do this you KNOW what’s important and what your priority is.

Convergence III: Let Go “Convergence III: Let Go”

Painted Art Quilt, 54x 49
Fabric, acrylic paint, thread, machine appliqué, machine quilted, buttons, beads, embroidery

Letting go gives you the opportunity to have something new come into your life. New ideas, new friends and a whole new story can make a beautiful world for you. Or it could mean rearranging the old into a fresh pattern, a way of seeing what you already have in a different way. To let go and allow yourself to grow opens you to infinite possibilities.

Convergence IV: Approve of You “Convergence IV: Approve of You”

Painted Art Quilt, 48x48
Fabric, acrylic paint, thread, machine applique, machine quilted

Approve of you--no matter what! That way you can keep your good mood with or without the approval of others. Keep on doing what’s right for you without comparing yourself to others. If you approve of yourself, then you can let go of any guilt or self-rejection. It’s a great way to practice self-reliance.
With this quilt I am trying something new. Power Patches and big bubbles with willy nilly quilting. I'm sure not sure how it will be received, but I love it! And I approve of it!

Convergence V: Love Life “Convergence V: Love Life”

Embellished Art Quilt, 48x48
Fabric, acrylic paint, thread, machine appliqué, machine quilted, buttons, beads, embroidery

You’re always experiencing changes and transitions in life and this sometimes makes it difficult to enjoy the good things that the present moment provides. Making a conscious decision to see the good in everything and everyone and practicing this gives you a tool for enjoyment of the time you have.

This quilt is about crossing a bridge and is meant to comfort one on their journey

Convergence VI: Hope “Convergence VI: Hope”

Painted Art Quilt, 62x67
Fabric, acrylic paint, thread, machine applique, machine quilted

If you ever feel down in the dumps and you don’t have any idea to get yourself out of it, you might try a little hope. You might not know exactly what your next step on your journey is, but if there is hope for something better, perhaps that is enough and can lead you forward.

Convergence VII: Receive “Convergence VII: Receive”

44x28 Embellished Art Quilt
Fabric, acrylic paint, thread, machine applique, machine quilted, buttons

Remnants of Life; leftovers used up; the hole is filled with Love. When it’s all done, the Black Hole is the most important space. It’s the shape of a heart ready to receive. Once the old parts are cleared away, there is room for the important stuff which is what really matters the most.