Mary Fons Talks Quilts, Creating with Tribune

With a popular blog, a TV hosting gig, and on the brink of wrapping up an MFA in the School's Writing department, Mary Fons (MFA 2018) has a lot on her plate. But sitting down with Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune to discuss her diverse interests, the conversation never veers into venting about the workload. Rather, it focuses on the exuberance of making.

“Writing is how I order reality. Quilting is how I fade from it,” says Fons, who in addition to her blog PaperGirl, already has a book on quilting published. (Make + Love Quilts: Scrap Quilts for the 21st Century.) "It’s our most democratic art and people have and always will be drawn to it...You can't wrap your baby in an iPad."

Aside from writing and quilting, Fons also has a hand in performance; she earned a BFA in theater arts from the University of Iowa, and helped found The Gift Theatre. She's also worked with the Neo-Futurist ensemble. 

Her television show, Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting, is on PBS, and was founded by the quilters Liz Porter and Marianne Fons, the artist's mother and a fellow "sewlebrity," in Fons words. She'll be returning to the show as a co-host in the fall after a brief hiatus.

Other projects include Small Wonders, her line of quilting fabrics, and exploring her practice's deep roots as "an ardent amateur quilt historian."