Raised in Minnesota,
Barb inherited a love of the great outdoors from her father
and sewing skills from her mother, a professional seamstress
for over 50 years. Barb started sewing at age 12. She
earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of
Missouri with an emphasis in graphic design and art history.
Being of French descent, she loved the Impressionists. She
dabbled in watercolors and learned to build an interesting
composition from her father, an amateur acrylic painter.
Barb has always
worked in the world of visual arts, with more than 20 years
experience in retail merchandising and display. For more
than 10 years, she sold her original, one-of-a-kind folk
arts dolls at arts and craft shows around the country.
But in 1998, while
working part-time at a local quilt shop, Barb learned the
steps of traditional quilting. She quickly took her new
found medium to the next level when she discovered raw-edge
appliqué, developing her own impressionistic style, using
bits and pieces of fused batiks to create distance, depth
By 2006, she had earned the first of many
blue ribbons at the Arizona Quilters Guild annual
competition. Whether her art quilt is a pictorial or a
collage, pieced or appliquéd: her friends will tell you ,
Barb’s work is all about the story. One of her most recent
works inspired by the lives of the Sinaguan people of
Northern Arizona is “Morning at Wukoki”, on display with
the 100 Years-100 Quilts at the Arizona Historical Museum in
Tucson, as part of Arizona’s year-long centennial
celebration. Although the Art of landscape quilting is still
her passion, you can occasionally find a traditionally
pieced quilt with an African theme on her design wall.
Barb is an active member in a number of local
quilt guilds. Barb is also a member of S.A.Q.A. (Studio Art Quilt Associates). She was an essential part of the design team
for the two-sided Arizona Commemorative Centennial quilt and
dedicated her time and talents to that project for nearly
Barb teaches her
students to “Think like a painter, Create with cloth” in
lively and informative classes and workshops. She explains
the rules of good design and shares her innovative
techniques that inspire participants to create their own
unique art quilts. Some of her students have become
Like many of you, Barb Janson is a wife, a
mother and a grandmother. She is a caregiver for her
mother, who at 90 is still dedicating herself to others
through her needle, quilting and crocheting for charity.
Barb says” I am so proud to carry on a tradition that has
been a part of my family for 5 generations”.