When she was 90, Virginia "Gini" Corrick had her first one-woman show of the art form that earned her national and international honors.
Her work was a later-in-life pursuit, a metamorphosis from quilting with friends in Crosslake, Minn., to making her own fabric dyes, to designing clothes best described as wearable art.
"Draping the human form is so vital," she proclaimed in a 2013 Star Tribune story about her work, "Since the time of Eve, we have done this."
Corrick, 94, died Nov. 23 at her home in Minneapolis.
Corrick's love of textiles was rooted in the skills of her mother, Anna Barsalou, a homemaker from Dubuque, Iowa, whose quilt won second prize at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Corrick initially was less interested in needles and thread and pursued a more outdoorsy life.
She married William Corrick and they raised five children. Her sewing skills went to make clothes for herself and the kids.
When her husband retired as a longtime city attorney for New Hope, they bought land near Crosslake, where she met a vivacious group of quilters in Brainerd who were, she recalled, "nuts like I was." Her interest in textiles deepened.
Upon her husband's death in 1999, she returned to the Twin Cities, where her love of working with fabrics became more art-oriented. She was active with the Textile Center and helped found Wearable Art MidWest.
Fellow textile artist Betsy Robinson of Edina recalled their 1986 trip to Japan to study an elaborate tie-dye-like technique called shibori.
"She really became a mother surrogate to the younger women in our group," Robinson said. "She brought us back to those wonderful days of sewing with our moms."
Corrick also was "a fashionista. Everyone would just wait and wonder, 'What's Gini going to wear today?' She had a philosophy: If you're having a bad day, just put on a great dress."
Daughter Rose Corrick grew up to become a textile artist herself, with an online business in Ohio. Together, they'd attend textile workshops around the U.S. and Europe. Only in this past year did congestive heart failure cause her mother to enter in-home hospice care.
"She had this pretty remarkable experience this past year," Rose Corrick said. "She was home and able to have her needs taken care of, and was able to live her life really beautifully in that context. She'd say, 'Oh, I know I'm supposed to be dying, but I'm having so much fun.' "
One of Corrick's creations, "Taking the Dragon," has toured in textile art shows around the world. The coat features an appliquéd dragon with scales and claws, tongues of fire from knitted copper wire, and thousands of tiny beads. It was among her creations displayed at her memorial service.
Bob Corrick remembers his mother worrying that arthritis would keep her from sewing and quilting. Then she discovered the artistic possibilities in fabric dyes and delved into the world of ancient techniques.
"Through that work, she met a new range of people and developed her art to a whole new level," he said. In 2005, the Textile Center in Minneapolis gave her the Spun Gold Award for her lifetime commitment to wearable art.
Robinson said Corrick's work stands out for her sense of color and proportion, while she stood out for her spirit.
"She was our idol because that who we want to be when we're her age," she said. "She just knew how to carry on."
Corrick is survived by her children Bob of Minneapolis; Molly Corrick, Minneapolis; Rose Corrick, Cleveland, Ohio; Patrick, Zimmerman, Minn., and Kim Corrick, Los Angeles; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; brother Frank Barsalou and sister Mary Lee Balko.