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Theresa Matteson (Coughlan) quilts

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITDSA-0014

Scope and Contents

The Theresa M. Coughlin quilt titled Dragonfly, was designed and created by deaf artist Thersesa Matteson Coughlin. The quilt, measuring approximately 45 x 41 inches, depicts a person signing the American Sign Language symbol for bug. Also pictured is a dragonfly. The quilt is made of brightly colored fabrics with multiple patterns.

The second quilt Hope, 2015 is 36 inches in diameter and is made of cotton fabrics and was also created by artist now known as Theresa Matteson. On this particular quilt there are fifteen hands with eyes in the center of each hand. The hands radiate from the center in a swirling pattern and the quilt edge is scalloped. The quilt was exhibited in August 2015 in the Let There Be Light De'ARTivism show at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery in Washington D.C.

The artist's statement about the Hope quilt is as follows, "Eye of the storm. Rainbow represents something good coming out from any situation. Thorn-like triangles at edges are the stronghold of Deaf Culture."-Theresa "Triza" Matteson.


  • Creation: 2009, 2015


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Theresa Matteson (formerly Theresa M. Coughlin) is a case manager at the Southwest Washington Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She is also an art quilt designer. She creates American Sign Language (ASL) Deaf wall art quilts for sale by commission or via gallery showings. She attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and graduated in 1994 with a BFA from the weaving and textile program.


5 Linear Feet (Quilts have both been framed.)




The Theresa Matteson quilts collection includes the quilts Dragonfly and Hope, 2015. The Dragonfly quilt was created in 2009 by deaf quilt designer, Theresa Matteson in her own unique style by incorporating American Sign language (ASL) into the design. This bright and colorful quilt features a beautiful dragonfly and a hand signing the word "bug" in ASL.

The quilt, Hope, 2015 and depicts American Sign Lanuage (ASL) iconagraphic imagery such as the triangle, hand, fingers and eye.


Collection consists of two items.

Physical Location

"Hope," framed, is displayed on the first floor of the Wallace Library. "Dragonfly," also framed, is displayed in Rosica Hall.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These quilts were purchased by Joan Naturale in 2011 and 2015 to be added to the RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive art collection.

Accession number(s): 2011:082, 2015:091


The Dragonfly quilt measures 45 1/4 x 41 inches (unframed) and the quilt Hope, 2015 measures 36 inches in diameter.


Artist is no longer using the Coughlan name and is using Theresa Matteson. (per JN infoguide

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in September 2011.

Theresa Matteson Coughlan quilts
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Jody Sidlauskas
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA