Caren Cooke Ryan

Cooke Ryan
Regional Representative
Glendora, CA

A piece of green and black paisley velveteen I found on the sidewalk on the way to the bus stop began my love of fabric. I was in third grade. This was an exciting year as we studied the Indians. Our curriculum included making weavings, Kachina doll heads, blue cornbread, and weaving baskets. In seventh grade, a Singer Featherweight was my birthday gift. In high school, some friends invited me to their beach home in Laguna Beach. Their grandmother had made a Rose of Sharon quilt that completely lit my quilting passion. In college, I majored in textile arts. This study included weaving, fabric printing and dying, basketry, fabric sculpture, and other design classes. In 1977, I made my first original design quilt. 

Over the years, I have been very involved with promoting quilt-making through my guild as a president, quilt show chair, newsletter chair, and most recently, workshop chair etc. This work involved a major project at the Autry Museum of the West in 1997. Barbara Brackman curated a show entitled Patterns of Progress Quilts in the Machine Age. To coincide with this exhibit, I organized workshops at the museum where the public selected fabric and made quilt blocks. 

To fund the quilting habit, I worked as an interior designer, and after my two sons were born, I was a first-grade teacher. As a promoter of quilt shows, I also love to enter shows and encourage others to do so.  During the 1990s, I organized quilting retreats in Lake Arrowhead and Sierra Madre. Family vacations always included quilt shops or shows. 

Seaside Stitches
Seaside Stitches
20" x 28"

Caren Ryan