29 July 2012

Colorful Inspirations are the Quilt of Life

Quilts may have originated for the sole purpose of keeping the bed warm, but quilters have turned the utilitarian quilt into a work of art. Quilting bees were popular at churches, social gatherings and other places where women could sit and visit and create a quilt for a member of their group or community. Quilting was a social event and the presentation of a quilt was an event. The presentation of a quilt marked significant milestones in people’s lives. Even the designs on quilts were planned and there was a lot of pride in developing new patterns and each pattern has a name.

Aviva Sieber, of Sieber Designs, knows full well what goes into the creation and planning of a quilt; she has been quilting for over 15 years and selling her designs for four.

Even though she has an ability to knit, crochet and cross stitch, her real passion is quilting and sewing. “I create all of my designs on my own. I am inspired by color and placement, and then just let it flow,” Aviva said about her design creation process.

Halloween Quilt with Dancing Witches

She says she always has a plan of what she is going to make, but does not have a final vision until she begins to sew. “Sometimes I have a definite idea, but not always,” she says. That is why she really enjoys her scrappy purses since they are bits and pieces of her left over quilt fabrics that seem to fall together for her once she lays them out. “Even after I lay them out together, the focus is not truly determined until I pick the thread color!”

Aviva is inspired by color and more color with a pattern or two thrown in for good measure. Her eye goes to the Cotton batiks in particular. “I love the colors, and the prints that are used in these fabrics,” she said. “I especially love that they are hand dyed and somewhat inconsistent in that way.”

Green Batik Hip Purse in Upcycled Fabrics


“I love the creation process and seeing what can become of just a bunch of fabric,” Aviva said. “I like that every piece that I make is an original work, and that when someone purchases it, they know they have something that is one-of-a-kind.”

She believes that hand-stitching everything in her work is part of an important step in keeping with the handmade tradition, even though, she finds stitching the bindings the least favorite part of her craft.

Quilt for Baby in Bright Circles

Aviva has been selling her work online for several years on both Etsy and Artfire. She does try and do 15 shows a year in her local western Massachusetts area where she is on the Board of Directors for a local artisan group. Her group encompasses artists, artisans and crafters from the Western Massachusetts area. She sticks to handmade shows and does not sell at festivals that allow buy-it-sell-it type items. “I live in Northampton, Massachusetts. This is a very artistic community and there are a lot of galleries here,” she said. “It is a great place to be an artist!”

Aviva is a full-time studio owner and spends a good 12 hours or more in her studio daily whenever possible. She also has a 12-hour a week job for 38 weeks a year at the local college, which helps her to pay off her graduate student loans. Even on the days where she is working at the college, she still spends four hours in her studio, which is her favorite place to be.

Every day is spent creating. She puts in 3-10 hours daily in her creation mode and then marketing where needed.

Aviva advises new quilters and those who are interested in working in fabric to take chances with their fabric selections.

Asian Inspired Kindle Cover

Aviva’s perfect day is to sew all day long and she is most relaxed when she is sewing. “If I don’t get to sew on a particular day, I am definitely not as pleasant to be around,” she warns.

Aviva is a Certified Handmade Artisan and a Guild Artisan of the Artfire Community.
You can visit Sieber Designs on Artfire.

Follow the trail of color by connection with Aviva on Twitter, Facebook and her websites.



  1. Wonderful article about Aviva and her beautiful quilting craft. What an exhibition of great dedication to your artwork. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Aviva,
    Lovely quilts! I enjoy the diversity in your designs and the craftsmanship of your work. I will stop by your shop to view more.

  3. Love your work and found some gifts that will be perfect. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  4. Very beautiful quilts. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Her sewing looks so very neat and the colours are beautiful too.

  6. Aviva, you make me envious. What beautiful work you create. Congratulations

  7. Aviva is so talented! I love her work. I own several purses and she even custom made me a laptop bag. The quality of her work is like none other. Great article!

  8. Lovely work! Thank you for sharing with us!


  9. Wonderful article. I would love to someday make a quilt for my bed but have not been brave enough for the undertaking. I too share your love of batik fabrics, they are so special.
    Best wishes for much success in your shop!

  10. Beautiful shop! I like this bag:


  11. Lovely quilts .. beautiful work.. Love your color combinations Wish you the Best always Aviva..

  12. Fascinating interview of a truly inspiring artist. Thank you for sharing her vision.

  13. A beautiful artist. Everything is to perfection. Beautiful and precise work.

  14. What wonderful feedback! thank you all so much and especially to Julie and Blu for the amazing writing!

  15. A wonderful feature of a wonderful artisan! It's so nice to get to know Aviva and her work in this way!

  16. Great feature. What an awesome artist! I fell in love with that Halloween quilt!


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