Lea McComas has had a lifelong passion for textiles and fiber arts. She sewed her first garment at age 6, and became a quilter at age 16, learning skills from her great aunt. Her first quilt was hand-pieced and hand quilted. Her first original design in 1986 was chosen as the Missouri state winner of the Great American Quilt Festival. It traveled the world as part of a 3-year traveling exhibit of the Museum of American Folk Art and can be viewed in the book All Flags Flying: American Patriotic Quilts as Expressions of Liberty. In her twenties, she was introduced to the world of spinning and weaving, and involved herself in everything from helping to sheer the sheep, to collecting plants for dying, to developing patterns for knitting. Lea designed and knitted sweaters from her own hand-dyed, hand-spun yarn. She traveled overseas in her thirties as a teacher for the Department of Defense. Five years in Turkey provided new opportunities to explore textiles. There, her first summer vacation was spent living in a remote Turkish village learning to weave kilims. This assignment was followed by 4 years in Okinawa, were she acquired a love for Japanese textiles and an extensive collection of kimono fabrics. Lea returned to the states in 2001, and resided in Boulder, CO. There she rekindled her interest in quilting and was exposed to the amazing world of art quilts. Her fiber art has been featured in numerous national and international exhibitions in Geneva, Vienna, Johannesburg, New York, Houston, Kansas City, and Denver. Most recently, her work won a Best of Show award at the Road to California Quilt Show, and the Masters Award for Thread Artistry at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. She has written articles and her work has appeared in publications including American Quilter, Quilter's Newsletter, SAQA Journal, Quilting Arts, Surface Design Journal, Machine Quilting Unlimited, The Quilt Life, and Quilter’s Connection Magazines. She was a featured artist in the books Cutting Edge Art Quilts, and t Art Quilt Portfolio: People & Portraits. Learn more about Lea’s work and her techniques for thread painting in her new book Thread Painted Portraits. Visit her website: www.LeaMcComas.com
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