Barbara Gamble’s 17 Summers

Sandra ClarkBlount

Barbara Gamble was shocked into action. Her pastor once estimated he had about 17 more summers to get things done. “Yikes,” thought Barbara. “He’s younger than I am!” She had been quilting for some 35 years. “I needed something for myself, a creative outlet as I juggled three small children and a husband who traveled.”

Barbara Gamble

First, she learned traditional hand quilting. “I was amazed by the beauty and the utility of these quilts. I was literally wrapping the bodies of those I loved in the warmth of my creations.”

But after the pastor’s statement, Barbara realized if she wanted to do more, now is the time. “I felt the urgency to quit talking about doing things and begin to do them!”

A portrait quilt by a workshop participant

Barbara Gamble lives in Maryville. She is one of 105 fine arts vendors who will display and sell their work at this year’s Dogwood Arts Festival, April 26-28 on the performance lawn at World’s Fair Park.

“My curiosity always left me wondering what else might be possible,” she says. “My work moved toward more modern designs, vibrant colors and intricacies that might be invisible to most but provided the texture and nuance I knew this medium could bring forward.

“I experimented mixing imagery with the fabric and composition I loved, and the results are the pictorial collage quilts that I create today. Each piece is one of a kind, capturing a special moment and that brings warmth to my spirit and to the spirit of those it touches.”

Barbara established a Facebook presence and created a website. She named her business 17 Summers and started a network called The Creative Sisterhood – women who say “Yes. Now is the time!”

She wants to encourage others to join her in the doing. “Come,” she says. “We’ll have such fun!”

Info: Facebook page and website. Or just drop by World’s Fair Park and meet her in person. Like her quilts, Barbara Gamble is one-of-a-kind.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.


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