Barbara Oliver Hartman

Above: Barbara with her quilt, No Direction Home.



It never occurred to me to use a medium other than fiber; its warmth and softness drew me in and its diversity gives me unlimited possibilities and inspiration.  My work is sometimes spontaneous and abstract and other times quite structured and deliberate; at times subdued and at others may scream with color; some representational and some not. Each idea that I wish to pursue further is considered and the best way to proceed with the theme is decided through thoughtful reflection.  The process may take many paths, reach different conclusions and vary in style. Hopefully the end result will make a connection with the viewer so we may stand on common ground.

About Barbara

Raised in Yuma, Arizona, the influence of Barbara’s Southwest Heritage is apparent in her work.  Since beginning quilt making about 1980, her original design quilts have displayed a Contemporary Southwestern flavor along with Amish, Art Deco styles and greatly influenced by the simplicity and calm of the desert.


Barbara’s Grandmother quilted out of necessity using scraps and discarded clothing and made special quilts for each family member.  Her mother was a dressmaker and entrepreneur and began a small dressmaking company in the 1950”s that specialized in southwestern style clothing.  Barbara’s father was a talented artist and craftsman as a gunsmith and knife maker.  Quilt making has given her the needed outlet to express herself and the work she is doing today reflects her attitudes about herself, life in general, and some social commentary.


Award winning quilts by Barbara have been exhibited in many quilt shows around the country.  She has also been juried into Visions: San Diego, Quilt National numerous times, and has participated through invitation or jurying into many group and solo exhibitions at museums and art centers throughout the country.


In addition to making quilts, Barbara also has judged many quilt shows, curated exhibitions and began self-publishing a pattern line 1989.  She retired from teaching a few years back.


Barbara lives in Flower Mound, Texas where she spends as much time as possible making quilts when not traveling and enjoying life.


“I began quilt making about 30+ years ago because I needed a “hobby”.  It has become the thing that I spend the most time doing.  I work on quilts just about every day.  A perfect day for me is going into my studio and spending the day.  I take breaks for household duties, meals, etc..  In the past when my husband, Bob, would come home in the afternoon we had dinner then back to the studio where I stay until about 10pm.  A perfect week is doing this seven days in a row.  That does not happen all the time….and unfortunately Bob passed away in early 2015 and that has rocked my world and I am still getting used to the new schedule in my life.  After several tough life experiences and losses, I have said many times that this work I do has saved my life and so it has happened again with losing Bob.  We had a great life together and my life will go on… it is just a little emptier now.”