Barb Forrister

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My Bio

Barb Forrister is an award winning quilt and fiber artist whose work has been exhibited both at a national and international level. She is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, International Quilt Association and Austin Area Quilt Guild. Currently residing in Austin, she serves as Vice President of Austin Fiber Artists and maintains a studio in her home where she can often be found working on her latest creation. Barb’s roots as an artist stem from traditional quilting and though she works in abstract form, her true love is creating nature and pictorial scenes in a 3 dimensional manner. As an avid environmentalist and recycler, Barb gets her inspiration from observing nature and employing unusual and “upcycled” materials to convey textural surfaces. Many of these materials include heat distressed plastics, hand dyed, inked or painted antique, linens, lace and fibers, beads and trinkets. Barb also supports and contributes to many causes by donating her time and work to organizations such as The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, American Cancer Society and National Wildlife Federation. At present, Barb Forrister has offered to donate 10% of the proceeds from any of her artwork sold to NWF to help wildlife impacted by the BP oil spill. Come join the cause. Barb’s work can be seen at  The Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, Texas, and the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, Long Beach, California and Cincinnati, Ohio. Barb’s work has also been published in SAQA Portfolio 16, Portfolio 17 and Lone Stars III: Texas Quilts Today  to be released in 2011.


  • 15 Jan 2011
  • Shadow Dancer: Part IV of Naturescape Gray Scale Series

    Shadow Dancer is Part IV of Naturescape Gray Scale Series and measures 41" X 36." This is my first piece to be completed in the New 2011 Year. In 2010, some of my resolutions included working in larger format, increasing scale, delving into texture and bringing things off the surface in order to create a more 3 dimensional effect. I had hoped that this piece would address all of those resolutions. Additionally, I have always found it more difficult to work solely in black and white and so this piece represented quite a challenge for me. I like to construct alot of my own surfaces by building layer upon layer of fibers. Finding myself short of only black, white and gray, I opted to throw in some of nature's rich truffle like colors for the trees. The trees in the background are made from dyed batting and are machine appliqued. Their canopies are thread painted. The larger two trees in the foreground are composed of upholstery fabrics and have been machine needlefelted with bits of wool roving to add texture. The tree to the left in the foreground is created by adding layers of dyed fabrics and fibers including cotton and cheesecloth to assemble a new cloth reminiscent of tree bark. It is also built up with several layers of batting to provide further dimension. Machine wrapped cording was used to represent ridges in the tree bark. The machine quilting reflects the crevices. The wolf is derived from a sketch and is composed of several layers of various fibers including cotton, velvet, silk and upholstery fibers. His eyes are painted with shiny 3 dimensional acrylic paint. The bush on the right is created in the same manner as mentioned in an earlier post on 3 dimensional foliage. Only this time, they were created in black and white. Machine wrapped cording was constructed and set in place as the stems. Leaves were tacked down in a 3D manner as to allow for the canopy to come off the surface. Machine appliqued and quilted with Aurifil thread.This piece is very tactile and serene. It is dedicated to the wolves that are being threatened today. Please visit Defenders of National Wildlife to read more on the subject. In the end, I am happy with my start to the New Year and have resolved myself to continuing more in this vein by delving into texture and creating more 3dimensional pieces in large scale.