You’ll be transported to a tiny island — just 13 acres — in the central Philippines as you enjoy images and stories of the colorful quilts and the more than 100 quilt makers of Caohagan Island. You’ll see photos of more than 50 of these handmade, one-of-a-kind quilts plus be introduced to the unique techniques developed by these quilt makers whose tools are simply fabric and scissors, needle and thread. I spent more than a month on the island, quilted with the residents, went fabric shopping with them on nearby Cebu Island, and snorkeled the reef that surrounds Caohagan. Those who view the quilts come away smiling, inspired by the creativity of these women and men.
After too many years of dreaming about making quilts, Dana decided it was time to live into that dream. When she was able to step away from full-time employment in 2007, she finally had time to quilt and soon began teaching at Quilter’s Crossing in West Nyack, New York.
In 2009, she moved to Colorado where she landed a job as an editor with Quilters Newsletter magazine and less than a year later was running the magazine. She also had the opportunity to do a two-year stint as editor of the SAQA Journal (Studio Art Quilt Associates) before stepping down from that position to research and write the book, Pagtinabangay: The Quilts and Quiltmakers of Caohagan Island. She spent several years on the road, telling the amazing story of the more than 100 women and men on this tiny, 13-acre Philippine island who have created a form of art quilting that supports themselves and their families. That effort pulled together her fascination with fiber and art, commitment to justice for all people, and work as a journalist devoted to telling stories that don’t make it into the mainstream, for-profit media.
Dana was honored to assist in mounting exhibitions of the island quilts at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky; the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in San Jose, California; and Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado.
She now lives in Colorado in the Rocky Mountains and enjoys designing and making quilts, teaching others to do so, as well as speaking and writing about quilt making and quilt makers.
She has a special passion for foundation piecing, so many of her quilts and classes incorporate that technique. Dana is a regular teacher at multiple quilt shops in Colorado and has taught at Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.
Dana is a graduate of the University of Illinois’ journalism school with a minor in home economics; studied business administration at Webster University in St. Louis and theology at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. She completed 30 hours of fine-art instruction at Belleville Area College, now Southwestern Illinois College, where she was named one of the college’s top 50 students during its first 50 years.
Dana owes her love of all things quilting to her paternal grandmother, Gertrude Jones, who made sure all her grandchildren slept under covers of love, pieced from remnants of her house dresses.