Brenda Esslinger has lived most of her life in central Oklahoma. Even though she did not grow up around quilters she did grow up in a house full of quilts and has loved them from an early age. At the age of four she begged her mother for needle and thread. She hasn’t stopped stitching since. During her formative years she taught herself many forms of needlework. This insatiable love of stitching is coupled with nearly as strong a love of mathematics, especially geometry. Quilting provided her with a way to marry the loves of stitching and math which led her to begin designing and making quilts while still in high school.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in physics education Brenda spent several years teaching high school math and science. She then spent time working on a master’s degree in meteorology and teaching in a science museum.
Brenda has been professionally quilting and teaching since 2002 when, along with her sister, she opened a quilt shop in Edmond, Oklahoma. The shop closed in 2007 at which time she opened her own long arm quilting business, Toadally Awesome Quilting. She has won numerous awards for her work including five Best of Shows at the Oklahoma State Fair and two Best Quilt at Fiber Artists of Oklahoma Fiberworks. In 2009 her first book Fabulous Fractures was published. This has been followed up with the 2014 publishing of Fracture Frenzy.
In recent years Brenda has turned her focus to the use of color and value. This is proving to be a never ending source of inspiration that should keep her busy for years to come.