From Texas Works, we present our Feature on Maura Grace Ambrose of Folk Fibers, together with previously unpublished photos by Caleb Kerr.

Hand-Stitched Americana, via Bastrop, Texas

While producing Texas Works: Products & Portraits of Talent, few people impressed us as much as Maura Grace Ambrose. And fewer products impressed us as much as her extraordinary quilts. 

We wrote a full Feature on Maura, highlighting what we thought was a beautiful yet untold part of the Folk Fibers story: her relationship with her husband Chap, and his supporting role in the founding of Folk Fibers. 

We’ve reprinted that Feature below, interspersed among previously unpublished photos from our visit to their home in Bastrop, just outside of Austin. Maura creates so many beautiful quilts, we had an extraordinarily tough time selecting which photos to exclude from Texas Works. We’re glad to at least share them here. Enjoy.

Maura Grace Ambrose - Folk Fibers - Austin, TX
Maura Grace Ambrose
To get the full value of joy, you must have somebody to divide it with. - Mark Twain

In the middle of every quilt is a supportive layer called the batting. You can’t see it, but it’s there, providing structure and comfort to the artful outer parts. If you remove the batting, you’ll still have something very beautiful, but it will be incomplete. 
Folk Fibers
And so it is with Folk Fibers’ Maura Grace and her husband Chap. They met in Savannah, Georgia, while in art school. It was then, as Maura and Chap became sweet on each other, that Maura began to feel pulled to the art and folklore of quilting. She was delighted by her study of natural dyes and fibers, and began to see an opportunity to make a lifetime profession out of a timeless heritage craft.
Maura Grace Ambrose Folk Fibers
Yet more than seven years would pass before Maura would answer her calling to start Folk Fibers. Arguably, without Chap, it may have taken even longer. The time in between was not wasted, however. Maura is passionate about the natural world, and farming in particular. For a while she worked as a Greenhouse Manager, and awoke each day challenged and happy. But Chap would nudge her, gently, from time to time. He knew that as much as she loved the greenhouse, Maura was too creative to not be creating.
Texas Products Handmade Quilts
A road trip awoke her to his perspective. Maura’s love for Americana, and Chap’s appreciation for air-cooled engines, put them side by side in a red 1970 VW van for a tour across America. They explored the back roads, more scenic and accommodating for their slower speeds, and in their conversations, explored the next 30 or so years of their lives. Chap would ask her, and Maura would consider: what is it that you truly want to do?

Shortly after their trip, Maura founded Folk Fibers.  

Today, her extraordinary hand-stitched, all-natural dyed quilts have earned the attention of thousands of admirers, nationwide. Maura’s talent is rivaled only by her charm; she refers to the colors of her natural dyes of indigo and cochineal as precious, and declares, I want the loveliest soul, pining for a Folk Fibers quilt, to have one. With the supportive, comforting guidance of Chap, her batting, she smiles, creates, and is complete.

Folk Fibers Texas Works

- N4SJ

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