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Diane Lockwood

Versatile California Quilter
Also Does Corvettes

Diane Lockwood, who provided the delightful narrative about her pursuit of the history of the civil war quilt published in TVQ #4, lives in Pollock Pines, in the gold rush country of northern California. She is an active member of Interquilt, a member of two "real" quilt guilds, a prize-winning photographer, and, as if that weren't enough, has rebuilt a Corvette from scratch!

Diane began quilting in 1991 after visiting a quilt store, but the seeds of the passion were planted long before. "I've always enjoyed the creative process, and the experience of watching something transform from an idea to a finished, physical piece is exciting," Diane says.

"My mom always sewed and taught me to when I was about 10. Prior to sewing, she taught me knitting and crocheting. I made all my dolls' clothes and eventually sewed for myself. Mom didn't quilt but remembers playing under a quilt frame as a child so I presume my grandmother quilted. My mother also taught me to love fabrics and that led me to find more ways to express myself using fabrics. . . . Even though there is no provable history of quilting in my family something about the art and craft of quilting just resonates with my own creative energy."

Thus far Diane would characterize herself as a "traditional" quilter, but is inspired by other visual patterns as well. "I like the tessellated and optical illusion patterns very much. I admire those with the 'eye' to break the boundaries of quilting.

"And who knows what effect the psycheledic '60s had on my mind's eye? Can you imagine the quilts that could be made from the flowing lightshow patterns that were common at '60s concerts? I certainly can!!! I don't yet have the skill to translate those images into cloth, though."

Diane has been an participant in online quilting mainly through the Interquilt maillist, where she is actively involved. "I . . . reap the benefits of having a guild at my fingertips 24 hours a day! I have recently been brave enough to participate in my first block swap . . . the Halloween exchange.

"One intimidating dimension of doing swaps on-line is that for the most part none of us have seen the others' work..... It isn't possible to know ahead of time if a block from some other member is going to be so finely crafted as to make my own efforts seem futile. Or it could be the other way around: Maybe my own efforts are intimidating to someone just starting out. So this element of surprise adds to the excitement of on-line quilting.

"Being on-line with a world-wide group of like-minded quilters gives instant access to a *wonderful* support group. I can solicit advice, I can share my experiences when it seems that others will benefit from them, or together we can just 'chat' as quilters are wont to do as they work. I found IQ while living in Georgia and was emotionally bankrupt having been nursing my mother-in-law in her final months. I probably would have gone over the edge had I not found IQ. My DH, as supportive as he is of my hobby, just isn't able to as fully grasp the excitement of quilting as easily as do the on-line quilters I've met."

When asked about her other interests besides quilting, Diane first provides a disclaimer: "My interests are, I think pretty diverse, and I hope that doesn't come across as a boastful statement. It's just the way things have worked out. Plus, I've had a lot of years in which to try many things. Other crafts that I have explored and enjoyed include wood carving, tole painting, knitting, crocheting, counted crossstitch, needlepoint and watercolor painting.

"I inherited an interest in photography from my Dad, who was a professional photographer. My DH and I have an interest in nature photography and one of my images was a finalist in a photo competition sponsored by the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. We have plans to set up our own darkroom in the basement of our house using equipment that my DH has and equipment from my Dad's darkroom."

Then, just about the time you think she's told you about all of her exhausting activities, she springs it on you: "About 15 years ago, I got the urge to have an old Corvette. So I found an old hulk, took it apart by myself (sometimes using a eucalyptus log for leverage), and completed a body-off restoration. [It is] nicknamed "Sassy," and my DH and I often take the top off and go cruising in it on warm summer nights. Sometimes I even let him drive.

"A related interest that has grown out of the restoration of the Corvette is vintage racing. My DH and I frequent the historic auto races at Sears Point and at Laguna Seca where we are the pit crew for a friend who races a '57 Corvette. Once in a great while, we get to strap on a helmet and go for an at-speed, unmuffled, wide-open-throttle ride in the old racer.....what a rush!!!!!"

The next time someone you know stereotypes quilting as an activity of grannies in long gowns with their hair done up in buns, tell them about Diane Lockwood. A quilter, practiced internet surfer, photographer, and rebuilder of vintage racers. Maybe she'll even let them drive.


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