Barbara Heinfelden’s quilts evoke her personality: warm, gentle, and friendly. One is made of blocks with colorful pairs of beach flip flops. Another large quilt is made up of twelve blocks, each containing a similar house decorated for a different holiday. A third is a smaller horizontal wall hanging showing embroidered hedgehogs in foliage, some three-dimensional. They are well-made, generally traditional in style, show a good color sense, and include creative elements that make them stand out among other traditional quilts. Her work demonstrates why Barbara Heinfelden was chosen as the featured traditional quilter for the Baltimore Heritage Quilters’ Guild Quilt Expo 2013. The Expo will take place March 16-17, 2013 at Goucher College Sports and Recreation Center.
Quilting serves as a form of relaxation for Barbara. Holding a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, she has a busy professional life. She has worked at the Kennedy Center, taught graduate students at Johns Hopkins University for 18 years, served as a school psychologist specializing in autism, and is currently consulting in her field. She relaxes with her latest quilting projects in her ground-level studio, in her sunroom, or on her outside deck.
She recalls that her great-grandmother, a “prolific quilter” was a major influence on Barbara’s interest in quilting. Although she introduced Barbara to other needlework as well, her preference rests with quilting. The range of skills demonstrated in her work includes pieced quilts, appliqué, embroidery, hand quilting, and machine quilting, with other techniques being included from time to time.
Barbara’s advice for anyone interested in quilting is to “start easy, take classes, go to quilt shows, form a group and do projects you love”.
She credits a small group of fellow guild members with her current interest in working “outside the box”. Her current efforts focus on working without patterns, trying new fabrics, and working with novelty prints. Barbara joined that group several years ago. They have “challenged and encouraged each other”, traveled together to several national quilt shows, and have evolved to share many things beyond an interest in quilting, while also becoming “dear friends”.
Barbara describes the guild as part of her extended family. An active member and a past-president, her other activities have included chairing charity efforts, helping to design and complete a guild raffle quilt, working actively in many areas of the biennial Quilt Expo and, most recently, creating and leading the well-received docent tours scheduled throughout the Expo weekend. She is looking forward to doing those tours again at the 2013 Expo.