Heidi Zielinski Fiber and Quilt Artist

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Artist Profile

I currently live in Stevensville, Montana and I grew up in nearby Missoula. I wasn't born in Montana, but I have lived here since I was four so I consider myself pretty much a “native”. I obtained a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from The University of Montana, and a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Administration from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. None of this qualifies me to call myself an “artist”, but nonetheless it is a label I am now comfortable in using at this point in my life. Growing up I never had an inkling that I would ever do anything that could be considered artistic, but I feel I have definitely found my passion in creating fiber art quilts.

I guess I should have known that this might be in me since I have a father, Sid Frissell, who paints beautiful pictures of birds, and a mother, Mickey Frissell, who has created more wonderful quilts in her lifetime than I can count. She has made a wide variety of traditional and art quilts and has been a great inspiration for me. When she bought me my first sewing machine she thought I would do no more than mend a pair of pants once in a while since I never showed much interest in sewing. I started learning to quilt shortly after getting that machine but it was actually many years before I had enough time and the inclination to seriously pursue this activity. In the past year I have been very inspired to create art quilts and I am loving every minute of it.

I am a member of a group known as “TARTS” (Textile Arts) which is sponsored by In Good Company in Hamilton. Through this I have been exposed each month to new techniques, ideas, and inspiration for designing innovative quilted fiber works. Participating in this group and interacting with all those wonderful creative minds has inspired much of the exploring, designing, and creating that I have accomplished with my work.

Most of my work is abstract, but I often incorporate elements of realism. I seem to be particularly enamored with leaves, trees, and the shapes and colors that those things suggest. I like to combine unusual colors and textures and choosing the fabrics from my “stash” (inventory of fabric) to put into a piece is one of my favorite parts of the process.

I love sharing my work with others and hopefully helping people realize that quilts can be art. I am blessed with the opportunity to work at this endeavor as a “full-time” job (along with taking care of my young son and home!). The support and encouragement of my husband and my parents has really helped make it possible for me to create these works. I truly thank them for that.