Always passionate about fabrics, threads, beads and buttons, Carroll Lee has sewn all her life.
At the age of six, her grandmother taught her how to sew on her Singer treadle machine. She began by designing and sewing baby doll clothes and blankets, then Barbie doll couture. These skills led to designing and sewing her clothes, costumes, and home décor items.
Wanting to travel to New York and study couture design at a tender age, Carroll Lee’s parents indicated it was neither practical nor affordable for her to travel there alone. Instead, she was urged to study and perfect secretarial skills in order to provide a living. She did that, but Carroll Lee always wanted to be sitting in front of a sewing machine rather than a typewriter.
While living on the island of Kauai, a quilting class was offered, so Carroll Lee signed up. It turned out to be a life changing experience. The teacher was her now hero, Katie Pasquini Masopust. What Carroll Lee learned in Katie’s class freed the bonds of her creative soul and released it to flight.
The realization struck that making clothes and quilts, are very different arts and require very different notions, supplies and equipment. Being a wife, mother and career woman, there was not enough time for artful expression as well as practical sewing. A choice was made, and Carroll Lee’s final hurrah at couture sewing was designing, drafting and sewing her daughter’s wedding dress. She hung up the dress sheers and happily turned the corner into the world of quilting.
Since that time, Carroll Lee’s quilting education, though not formal, is likely equivalent to a Masters’ Degree. There were many fortunate opportunities to take classes from top national, masterful quilting and art quilt teachers. Much was learned and skills were honed one class at a time. Her realization was that knowledge gained in each class does eventually come in handy for practical application at some point.
This Master Quilter’s joy is making art quilts — it is an ever buoyant evolution of the soul. Her work has won many ribbons and recognition in the quilt world as well as the art community. She teaches domestic machine skills and does commission work.