Foto: Lisa Karlsson & Torgny Santesson

Foto: Lisa Karlsson & Torgny Santesson

Foto: Lisa Karlsson & Torgny Santesson

How long does it take?

The patchwork quilts shown in the Museum were created over a period of twenty years.

Most of the quilts take a long time to make. They are always large, 2 x 3 metres or so. It takes as long as it takes. Or rather, I allow my quilts to occupy my time, even though I am really a restless person. It’s like with kids; they should get the time they need, or else things go wrong. I no longer grow impatient.

It’s like turning on a tap. I think in colours and patterns, because I can’t stop myself. Sometimes I just have to turn it off. I will never have time to make all the quilts that exist in my head and in my sketchbooks. The technique is so simple, you stitch patches together, but there is an infinite number of ways in which this can be done. This infinite variety is a fantastic freedom, but also a challenge. Those choices can lead to considerable anxiety. Some quilts have a life of their own and seem to evolve and take shape automatically. Then I don’t need to hesitate. Others take longer before they allow themselves to be completed.

How long does it take? People often ask me about time. I think it is first and foremost a matter of fascination. There is nothing strange about that, since time is manifested in the tiny, combined patches. But my quilts don’t take time, they give me time.

Lisa Karlsson