With a year’s worth of allowance I bought my first sewing machine when I was 11 years old. By the time I was thirteen I was creating my own fashions and wearing them a bit self consciously to Jr. High. One day the principal pulled me out of math class and explained that the black sun dress which I had trimmed with white lace was indecent. It broke the dress code because it was sleeveless. I argued that because the dress had wide straps I could still wear a bra with it and thus I wasn’t breaking the spirit of the code. Nevertheless my mom was called to bring me an alternative outfit. While waiting outside the school for my mom to arrive the principal followed me out and began again about the dress code. I told him to “go to hell.”

When I got home that night my parents made me call all of my girlfriends and tell them through a flood of tears that the big slumber party I had planned for the weekend was canceled. I was being punished for mouthing off. Sewing has been nothing but attitude ever since!


Sherri Lynn Wood combines her knowledge of craft, social practice, and systems-centered theory to reacquaint people with personal agency, community, love and the basic skills of living. She has been making quilts since 1989 and is the developer of Passage Quilting, an effective, hands-on, bereavement process utilizing improvisational quilt making and the clothing of the beloved.

An artist, quilt maker and improvisor based in San Francisco with Masters degrees in Fine Arts (sculpture) from The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and Theological Studies from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She was awarded the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors in 2012. Her work and quilts have shown at the NC Museum of Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (NC), San Francisco Museum of Craft & Folk Art, Asheville Art Museum (NC), Quilt National (OH) and numerous other exhibitions spaces across the country. Twice awarded a NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship and the MacDowell Colony Fellowship (NH), other residencies include the Headlands Center for the Arts (CA), ThreeWalls Gallery (Chicago), Blue Mountain Center (NY) and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.

Blogging about craft as a life practice since May 2010.