Working with frayed fabrics and loose, unfinished stitches, Maxine Hess creates scenes that address labor, gender, and race. Her art is rooted in the quilt-making of marginalized female populations such as 18th-century Eastern European women and the African American Freedom Quilters of the 20th century. More broadly, Hess uses quilting as an expression of empowerment and considers herself a visual sociologist. Her images of corseted women address societal ideals of beauty and femininity, while the work Boston, February 18, 1969 (2012) seeks to make sense of an inexplicable event—the murder of Hess’s father. The hands-on, tactile construction of quilting is therapeutic for the artist, and it imbues her scenes with a raw truth and beauty.