Some of you may have seen the mermaid quilt, “Enchanted Oro Bay”, when it was on display a few years ago or as the flyer image for my class, Free Motion Quilting. If you frequent The Sewing Machine Exchange, you have probably seen her hanging near the front of the store. I found the fabric and embellished her as a reminder of a magical vacation on Anderson Island, in Puget Sound–Oro Bay is near where we stayed. I was pleasantly surprised last week to receive an email from a gentleman saying he saw the mermaid quilt when he was dropping off his wife’s sewing machine for service and wondered if I was willing to sell it. A few emails later we arranged to meet at the store. He was waiting when I arrived, and pulled up a chair to tell me the story of how he and his granddaughter have a bond over mermaids. They had tipped over in the lake when she was little, and after her near drowning experience she exclaimed, “guess I’m not a mermaid!” It’s always wonderful to sell a piece of art and even more special to hear the story of why someone felt a connection to it. So the mermaid has completed her journey from Bali, where the fabric originated, to Washington state, to Maine.

Oro Bay

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Classes Resume

While the pandemic continues, we have begun finding ways to resume a somewhat ‘normal’ life. Many classes moved online. I did not go that route, but in the past month have begun, slowly and with precautions, to teach in person at The Sewing Machine Exchange again. Classes are limited to 5 students, with distancing and masks throughout. Even with the restrictions it has been fun to return to teaching, enjoying the give and take of working with students, meeting them where they are in their quilting journey and helping each take a step forward. A recent class on transforming a photograph to an art quilt ended up with one student, Christina. There’s a lesson in flexibility–5 signed up, but the virus news was not good that week. I was lucky to have Christina as my student though! An artist in several other media, she is beginning to explore fabric art. We worked through the class exercise, learning how to manipulate fabric to create the images you want. She went home and created the piece below–a self portrait! She calls herself a “wicked beginner” but she brings an artist’s sensibility to the work and I suspect will quickly master the techniques! There is one spot remaining in this Saturday’s class, Tree Bits and Threadpaint. After a holiday break, I’ll post a class schedule for the new year–looking forward with hope!

Self Portrait: Christina Keilt

Maine Fiberarts Guide to Teaching Resources

A new guide to learning everything fiber related will be out in print soon. This beautiful book with color saturated images of wool, yarn, needlework–even paper, includes contact information for artist/teachers, farms, retreats and residencies across the state from Eastport to Biddeford. Christine Macchi, tireless promoter of fiber, craft and the making tradition brought this book to fruition on the strength of her vision, dedication and drive. I was pleasantly surprised to find “Mom and Aunti Jean Play Gin” on pg. 35. Preorder your copy–or download the digital version and dream about learning a new skill, or just dream about color, pattern and tactile pleasures.

Art Quilts Maine travelling exhibit

Great news! The traveling show is hung and on display at the lovely Skowhegan Free Public Library which is open Monday to Thursday 10 am to 6 pm and Fridays 10 am to 3 pm. The quilts are on display at the library until the week between Christmas and New Year! There was a moment when Covid closed the library as well as local schools, shortly after the quilts were hung. Skowhegan made the right decisions and they are now open to the public–don’t forget your mask! Go visit, send your friends, and enjoy these photos taken by an enthusiastic librarian, Breanna!

Our virtual life

Someday life will go back to being lived in person, attending shows and museums, enjoying the company of friends. In the meanwhile, we are discovering new ways to be online. The Art Quilts Maine travelling exhibit is up at Kimball St Studios for another week, and while it is possible to go see it in person, you might prefer to click this link and view the slideshow! The tour will be at the Skowhegan Free Public Library during October and November–and they are open, so you can walk in and enjoy. The schedule beyond that is tentative–will try to update you when confirmed.

THE BLUES 48″ x 35″ 2020

Experimenting with making a slide show for Kimball St, I put together a short piece on the process of making my entry for the Art Quilts Maine challenge, Inspired by the Classics. My artist inspiration was Caravaggio. I’ve posted the video on Facebook–here’s a link to the making of ‘The Blues’.

Virtual Quilt Show

Maine Quilts is cancelled this summer but we can still enjoy three days of viewing quilts! Click the link for the virtual quilt show–a different set of quilts on display for each day of the show: today, tomorrow and Saturday. Don’t miss it! Here’s the LINK

I entered two pieces–you’ll have to check out the show to see when they get posted.

Time Travel

I was featured in the Artist’s Profile for the March 2020 Maine/New Hampshire/Vermont Studio Art Quilt Associates newsletter but what with everything shutting down and Covid 19 all around I clean forgot about it! It was a pleasant surprise to stumble upon the email Sarah sent so long ago inviting me to fill out the interview questions and submit my profile. Here’s a link to the March Newsletter–wouldn’t it be nice if we could really turn back time?

clock face

Visionary: How do Artists See?

The show catalog, Visionary: How do Artists See?  is now available on Amazon! The show opens June 24 to 27 at the Vermont Quilt Festival and tours New England through 2021. My piece, titled “Living in a Material World,” depicts a child, born to a stark black and white reality, engulfed in material–literally and figuratively.  Sneak a glance, below.




Tree Bits and Thread Paint

I spent Saturday with a great group from Pine Point Quilters. This group is always ready to try out a new technique or experiment with a new idea. I taught the ever popular Tree Bits and Thread Paint class. It’s stress free, fun and easy to do. I’ve taught the class many times to different groups. Every now and then a student will “branch out” and take the project in a different direction. Patty began this tree in class, knowing it was too ambitious to finish that day, but she had a vision! She just sent me the image below. Doesn’t it take your breath away? I love her background fabric choice with the suggestion of falling leaves and rays of sunlight. Her limited color palette works well for her realistic, detailed tree. She is pondering how to finish this piece–I have no doubt she will hit on something that completes it masterfully. Thanks for sharing Patty! It’s stunning.

Patty Tree

Exciting News

My quilt, “Living in a Material World” has been juried into the Studio Art Quilt Associates ME/NH/VT region show, “Visionary”. The exhibit consists of 26 pieces, each 20″ x 20″ and will tour New England venues from June 2020 through 2021.

An artist statement that included the phrase, “I see . . .” accompanied each submission. Here is my statement: Our world insists on the acquisition of material things as a measure of success even though our adherence to this path has created a colorless world for many. I see this child, living a black and white reality, engulfed in a material world that clamors for attention. 

The juror, Carol Larson, had lovely words for this piece: Living in a Material World struck me as the most powerful piece in this exhibit. The artist clearly conveyed the pensive child overwhelmed by the acquisition of stuff in a black and white world. It is both beautiful and haunting.

Can’t wait for the show to start. Opening venue is the Vermont Quilt Festival June 24 to 27, 2020. The show moves to Maine Fiberarts in Topsham July and August of 2020 and will likely wrap up with Mancuso World Quilt Show, Springfield MA in August 2021. Make an effort to see this one!

Material World_Full