Catherine-Marie Longtin is a Montreal-born French Canadian quilt-maker and textile artist living and working in South East London. She learned how to sew from her mother and started experimenting with fabrics by sewing bed linens and kitchen textiles as a teenager. After a PhD in cognitive sciences and a career in academia that took her from Montreal to Paris, Lyon and Cambridge, she went back to her love of textiles. Since 2016 she has had a studio in South East London, near her home where she lives with her husband and two children. She does commission work for private clients and sells quilts and artworks online, via open studio events and textile fairs.
Her designs are inspired by minimalist abstract art and display a quietly confident sense of colour. She works mostly with linen but also with wool and cotton, along with a collection of carefully curated prints, plaids and striped fabrics. She designs quilts directly on her studio wall, in full size, and through a process of back-and-forth between concept and construction her quilts take shape. More recently, she has taken on the possibilities offered by hand stitching, in particular by using the traditional English paper piecing technique that she combines with freehand drawings. Her compositions sit at the junction of arts and crafts while challenging the viewers’ preconceptions of what a quilt can be.
For Catherine-Marie, creating a quilt is the meeting of colour, texture and form: a tactile, visual and emotional undertaking stemming from the sheer pleasure of putting two fabrics side by side and seeing where it goes. What follows is a conversation between material and technique, concept and form, reference and creation.