I was born Baby Boy Kaiser in St. Louis, Missouri, and relinquished at birth. In response to my failure-to-thrive status at one month old, my mother and grandmother resumed custody, and named me Christopher. They shared my care for six months, but due to poverty, lack of social supports, and the impending medical care to repair my congenital cleft lip and palate, I was relinquished a second time. Legally and irrevocably separated from my family of origin, I was assigned a new name and a fictive identity within the family that raised me. My maternal grandmother died two years later in 1970, and my mother, married and living in Montreal, had her second son. After a protracted search, I met both of them for the first time as a young adult in 1989.
A 2016 DNA test revealed my true paternity, correcting twenty-seven years of misinformation. My late father was the colorful Texas singer and songwriter, Jerry Lynn Williams (1948-2005), who penned numerous songs for artists including Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Robert Plant, Clint Black, and many others. This discovery also revealed four living and one deceased paternal siblings, whose existence had also been entirely unknown to me.
I attended a Lutheran day school, a public high school, and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1990 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography, under the direction of Joe Deal (1947-2010), a founding artist of the New Topographics movement.
I made my first quilt as a gift, while living in Yountville, California in 1998. Since then, my work has been featured in numerous publications in the U.S. and Europe. In addition to multiple exhibits in the U.S., my work has been shown throughout China (2012), and in the Alsace region of France (2018).
Based in Iowa City, Iowa, I have a full-time day job, and maintain a studio space for my quiltmaking practice. I credit the generosity of fellow quilters for everything I know about sewing. My quilts are machine-pieced with a simple straight stitch. Facilitated through a broker in northern Indiana, I am deeply committed to all of my quilts being Amish hand-quilted.
Inspired from a broad array of sources, my work celebrates and extends the possibilities of the medium, while remaining true to the geometry and construction techniques of traditional quiltmaking.