I live in British Columbia, Canada, where the rural surroundings, the sea and the forests have made an indelible impression on my work, inspiring many nature-themed quilts. I also make medallion quilts, abstract quilts, and quilts with swirling spiral designs.
I moved from Seattle to British Columbia in the mid-seventies. I was an occupational therapist, but became a weekend hippie, making quilts and selling them at craft fairs. When I started quilting, there were few quilting books available, and so I figured out my own methods, techniques, and design aesthetic.
For many years, I lived on the north coast of British Columbia, on a small island near Prince Rupert, and was very involved in making quilts with my friends there. I still participate in group-made friendship quilts with these women. I have written a memoir about my life up north that will be published by Caitlin Press in the autumn of 2023.
Kristin Miller with her environmental activism quilt, 'Shielding the Coast'.
After I moved to Gabriola Island in 2000, I became part of the vibrant arts community there. Having a larger workspace meant I could more easily create large and complex quilts.
I founded the Positive Energy Quilters, an activist group on Gabriola that made several dozen quilts to address environmental issues. Pictured here are some of the quilts from the UnspOILed Coast Quilt Project, which were made to raise funds and raise awareness about the Kinder Morgan TransMountain Pipeline and the need to protect the B.C. coast from oil spills.
I now live in Powell River, a small coastal city on BC’s Salish Sea with miles of hiking trails, lovely lakes, and lots of bears. We had a mom and two cubs up in our hazelnut tree for three days, a few years ago! I am writing, learning to garden, rowing my small skiff, and exploring nearby paths and trails through the forest. And of course, I am still making quilts.
I just started reading The Careless Quilter. I cried. Thank you for putting my mind at ease concerning my inability to follow quilt patterns and still have the potential to make a beautiful quilt.
I hope you have a wonderful life.
I’m sorry it’s taken me more than a year to reply to the note you left on my website, http://www.kristinmillerquilts.com. I’m not very swift at checking for messages! I’m glad that you found The Careless Quilter reassuring, and hopefully inspiring. The reason I wrote it is because I can’t (won’t) (don’t want to) follow patterns. Too confusing, and it often dampens creativity. I hope you have forged ahead with your quiltlmaking, following your own heart and eye. Best wishes, Kristin