Growing up, Matteson observed her mother as she worked on her sewing machine making clothes. Matteson tried to help, but was shooed away by her mother. Instead, she would play with the scraps of fabric thrown to the floor. She later found a chest full of different fabrics with many textures, patterns, and colors. Because of her childhood, Matteson aspired to become a fashion designer. However, she lacked the motivation of factory sewing and the pressure for an exact procedure.
One of her professors suggested quilt art as a way to work with textiles since it was becoming popular. Jane Sassaman, a quilting artist, inspired Matteson to search for her style. Matteson decided to incorporate ASL into her quilts. This idea was daunting, and Matteson did not try to create this piece until several years later after studying her friend’s quilting works, and creating drawings with sewing patterns. The outcome was surprisingly successful, and at that point, Matteson found her style.