New Gustafson exhibit: CSU professor turns from food prep to Buddhist ‘guerrilla quilting’

Story by Diane Sparks

A quilt featuring a CSU square in the center.Jeff Miller, who coordinates the hospitality management program in Colorado State University’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, is trained as a professional chef and is a highly respected, seasoned academic. A new exhibition in CSU’s Gustafson Gallery, Jeff Miller’s Buddhist Approach to Guerrilla Quilting, highlights another one of his talents – his needlework.

Scraps of fabric with meaning

One summer about 10 years ago, Miller broke his foot, and doctors predicted that the bones would require six weeks to heal. Overcome with boredom, Miller decided to create his first quilt. Since then, he’s created many quilts from scraps of fabric that have special meaning to him, such as fabric from shirts that Miller and his wife Nora wore while working at Colorado State University, fabric from a family tent that was used many summers ago when they camped throughout Europe, and embroidered patches from Jeff’s various chef’s coats.

‘Guerrilla quilter’

A colorful quilt project.

Miller comes from several generations of women who were master quilters and followed the designs and meticulous traditions of the uniquely American art form of quilting. Miller, on the other hand, follows a Buddhist approach in which he allows the fabrics to tell him what they wish to become. And while he admires the traditional American quilting methods and patterns, he considers himself a “guerrilla quilter” in that he invents pattern combinations and technique as he quilts.

Miller’s work will be showcased this fall in the Gustafson Gallery in the Gifford Building. Viewers will find colors and shapes used in spontaneous combinations, resulting in a joyous expression of creativity. The exhibition is a tribute to Miller, who has given generously of his time and expertise to projects and activities in the Department of Design and Merchandising and has been a valuable friend to the department.

Colorful boxes of quilted fabric.

Opening reception

The exhibit opens with a catered reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, and runs until Nov. 2. The Gustafson Gallery is located in room 318 of the Gifford Building at 502 West Lake Street. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Admission is free.

The Gustafson Gallery is under the umbrella of the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising in the Department of Design and Merchandising, part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

CSU University Communications Staff