Ann Johnston Textile Artist

Ann Johnston Textile Artist

About The Artist

Ann Johnston • Lake Oswego, OR
Fiber & Textiles

I chose stitching forty-five years ago as a means of expression; the desire to manipulate cloth is still an irresistible force. I create colors and make marks with dye on cloth, then use a wide array of stitching techniques to add textures that become an integral part of my compositions. My quilts may treat the theme of balance vs chaos or the complexities of a landscape, but they are also about how the ideas develop as I make choices, about how ideas take physical form.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

Because I use exclusively my own hand-dyed fabrics, this is a very personal part of the creation of each quilt. My fabrics have evolved: now they more often use larger scale, freehand expressions of color and motion, an exciting process that often combines printing, painting and immersion dyeing. The resulting fabrics are frequently the product of the moment, decisions about the next step made as reactions to what is already on the fabric. The dyed cloth itself is becoming more of an influence on the concept in the quilt; it is truly from myself and part of the body of ideas I want to explore.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I love working with cloth. Dye gives me unlimited choices. As many ways as I have to put an idea in cloth, I now find myself with even more ideas to express and ways to approach both my dyeing process and my design decisions. I am a lifelong learner. My other passion is making connections with people who want to learn fabric dyeing and quilt design. In addition to teaching workshops all over the world and mentoring individual artists, I have written and produced many books and videos that reach many more. My website has a long list of free resources and a link to my online video courses—or you can go directly to

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I have been told many times how people are surprised these are quilts. Many of them have an impact of a painting or a collage. Closer inspection has always interested the people who collect my work.