Diane Sheehan earned her undergraduate degree in art and education from Montclair State College in New Jersey in 1968, and taught art in the New Jersey public school system after graduation. She later earned her MFA in textiles from Indiana University. Sheehan and fellow weaver Ann Sutton coauthored a book, Ideas in Weaving (1989), which has since become the go-to textbook among college textile programs. In 1990, Sheehan joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she teaches courses in textile design. As an artist, she has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Today, Sheehan creates narrative, sculptural pieces using computer software to design the complicated patterns and to reinforce the relationship between textiles and technology.