Diane L. Murtha

Photo of Diane Murtha posing in front of one of her quilts, which features a pattern of blue diamonds over a white background


My Grandmother helped me with my first hand sewn and tied quilt as a young girl, but I didn’t take my first quilting class until the late 90’s. From that moment on, I was hooked. I snatched any quilting time I could get, but a demanding career left minimal time for my quilting hobby, although I was very active in both my Heidelberg, Germany and Northern Virginia quilt guilds over the years.

Like many of you, I started with mostly traditional quilting. Gradually I modified patterns more and more, making my quilts unique, as well as creating my own original designs. Over the last 8 years I gravitated to art quilts, specifically participating in art quilt challenges. An early retirement allowed me time to open my creative aperture to explore quilting on even more new levels!

Challenges are an excellent opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. I embrace it fully and encourage you to do the same and experience the joy and personal satisfaction of challenges!

So why do you want to listen to me? Because I am you! My point is – if I can do challenge quilts – so can you! I’m not fancy. I only recently started entering juried competitions.  However, I’m super excited to share what I have learned with you. I regularly spoke at international conferences across the country in my professional life so speaking about my quilting passion is an easy and natural transition

Awards and Publications

2020 The Last Page feature, Art Quilting Studio, Winter 2020 issue https://stampington.com/art-quilting-studio/

2019 The Last Word essay, Quilting Arts, Dec 2019 / Jan 2020 issue https://www.quiltingcompany.com/store/magazines-books/quilting-arts-december-2019-january-2020-digital-issue

2019 Plus 60 Quad Cities Art Show, Special Award, 3D Category. Quilt: Van Goghji

2019 Diane’s quilt When I Look at You has been published in: Eye Contact: creating a connection, by sacredthreadsquilts.com and Barbara Hollinger

2019 Diane’s quilt Cheetah has been published in:  Inspired by Endangered Species: Animals and Plants in Fabric Perspectives, by Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto, Release Nov 2019

2018 Plus 60 Quad Cities Art Show, 2nd place 3D Category. Quilt: Metamorphosis

2017 Iowa State Fair, Best of Scott County category. Quilt: Roosters in the Garden

Diane’s quilt Gone Cow has been published in: Inspired by Elvis- Art Quilts Celebrating The King, by Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto