With a life-long interest in fiber, Lea McComas began sewing at age 6 and quilting at 16.  She earned an M.A. in Education, and has been a public school educator for almost 40 years,

Wandering near the Iranian border.

including 9 years spent serving military families stationed overseas. While living abroad, Lea immersed herself in the local cultures, learning the arts and traditions of the people with whom she lived. This included studying carpet weaving in Turkey, and fabric dying in Japan. 

Upon her return to the states in 2001, Lea discovered art quilting.  Simultaneously, she began a study of classic European art, and developed a keen interest in portrait and figurative works.  Her current techniques and compositions are a synthesis of these passions as she uses thread and fabric to create realistic pictorial works.  Her award-winning portrait and genre quilts have been exhibited around the world, including Geneva, Viena, New York, Johannesburg, and San Diego.  She has been featured in numerous publications and online platforms such as Quilting Arts TV & Magazine, and

My new book, on sale now. Lea shares the extensive knowledge and the techniques behind her award-winning quilts in lectures, workshops, magazine articles,  online courses at, and her book Thread Painted Portraits.  




Lea is also the founder and curator of the Border Wall Quilt Project, a collaborative art installation that present diverse ideas and opinions regarding US immigration policy in an inclusive and non-threatening format.