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Fabric Art at the Portland Public Library

The Art Quilts Maine annual traveling exhibit was installed this morning at the Portland Public Library children’s section, where it will remain on view until January 26. A mix of abstract quilts and several crated in response to food-related words like refreshing, peppery, and sharp, the show brings warmth and color to the space, just in time for cold weather. The sixteen artists represented hail from across the state. Stop in next time you are in the downtown Portland area–which one is your favorite?


Round Robin

One way I stay in touch with my quilting community is the annual Round Robin. Participants are members of Pine Tree Quilters, all residing in southern Maine. Lorna gets us organized, then we each create a center, roughly 12″ square, and send it off to another person. Squares are passed and borders added throughout the winter, with the finished pieces returning to the owners in April. It’s a fun way to try my hand at something new, or experiment with colors and patterns I don’t normally play with.

Here’s my center for this year’s Round Robin. I’ll also post last year’s finished piece (before quilting). I went with a very traditional pieced center last year, so this year I’m going out on a limb with broderie perse, thread paint and trapunto!

for reference, the floral block is the same size as the peach center in the larger quilt.

Art Quilts Maine Travel Tour

The annual Art Quilts Maine travelling show opened at Kimball Street Studios in Lewiston this week, and it looks great! Featuring 25 colorful, quirky, fun and abstract quilts–this one is a must see! Two prompts kept members busy over the winter months. In ‘Food Word’ a food-related word was sent out monthly for 9 months. Words such as salty, sweet, acidic or bitter resulted in several whimsical pieces.

Kimball St Studios
Ukraine Rising – Alison Olds

The second prompt, ‘Quilts in the Abstract’, produced work ranging from the watercolor-like ‘Ukraine Rising’ to the boldly colored ‘Silky Triangles’. The show is at Kimball Street Studios through September 28, then travels to Skowhegan Free Public Library for the month of October. They will be on display in the children’s room at Portland Public Library for December and January. Falmouth Memorial Library hosts the exhibit for the first time January 27 to February 28. Last but not least, they will be on display at the charming gallery in the Yarmouth History Center for March and April. Hope you can find you way to one of the stops this year!

Silky Triangles – Amy Nichols


It’s been a while–not that there hasn’t been quilting–not a lot to report. Shows scheduled then cancelled or postponed, classes considered and reconsidered, quilts started from materials on hand. As we begin to look outside ourselves there’s hope afoot that this summer will be different. Here are a few images from a year of quilting:

Three Views

You know the old saying, great minds think alike. My niece, a young artist, is setting up her website. She sent along a preview–I’d link it but she hasn’t gone live yet. Looking through her gallery I was surprised to see a familiar image. I worked on a fabric collage about two years ago using the same model as a starting place! It was so interesting to see how we each interpreted the original photograph, which she had seen at my house. Credit for the photo goes to my dear friends, who filmed a documentary many years ago of the Shahsavan tribe in Iran. They gifted me several stills as a wedding gift.


In 2020, I used that image for my quilt, ‘Living in a Material World’. My intent was to work on a portrait using black and white fabrics. I did the face in black and white but when it came time to collage the robes, I couldn’t resist using rich, bright colors that evoke the clothing of tribal women.

Living in a Material World by Rana

My niece took the image and recreated it in pastels. She’s applying to art school and is putting together her portfolio. I thought it would be fun to see all three pieces here–same subject, different mediums. Pretty cool, huh

Quiet Patience by Alexis

Art Quilts Maine at the Library

The Art Quilts Maine travel show is installed at the Portland Public Library for an extended stay through February 25! Downtown and want to get out of the cold? Pop in for a colorful, varied art break. There are 26 pieces on view ranging from the surprising “Portrait of a Gargoyle” by Argenta Jeffrey to the serene “The Keeper’s View” by Anne Walker.

Themes carrying through the exhibit include “Architexture” “Mystery Progression” and “Abstraction.” Sneak a peek below, but trust me, they are much more enchanting in person!

AQM Annual Tour Opens

Pandemic City

Art Quilts Maine’s annual tour opens tomorrow night at the LA Arts Friday Art Walk. We are on exhibit at Kimball St Studios (Lisbon St, Lewiston) through October. The main theme this year was “Architexture.” Such a great variety of pieces came from that prompt!

Other stops on the tour include Portland Public Library, Skowhegan Public Library and Maine Quilts 2022! Will try to post dates as they become available–we’re keeping everything very flexible, as one does these days.

Here are a few more images–hope you get the chance to see these in person!

Maine Fiberarts Show Opens

I’m honored to be among the artists chosen to exhibit at Maine Fiberarts’ show of three-dimensional fiber work by 25 Maine artists . . . and excited to see the show this weekend! My piece ‘Hope Endures’ depicts refugee crises throughout history. Guess we can add Afghanistan 2021 to the wording on the quilt, which includes Afghanistan 2001–pictured below, along with other images from the exhibit. “Fiber in Form” remains on view September 1-October 30, 2021.

Artists exhibiting include: Elizabeth Berkana, Barbara Burns, Mary Chaisson, Katharine Cobey, Janet Conner, Stephanie Crossman, Judith Daniels, Susan Ferraro, Kathleen Goddu, Cheri Goguen, Emi Ito, Kathleen Angel Lee, Richard Lee, Stephanie Levy, Susan Mills, Charlotte Moore, Arlene Morris, Ann Nemrow, Rana O’Connor, Kirsti Sandoy, Pam Slaughter, Elizabeth Stoyko, Michael Stevenson, Jill Snyder Wallace, and Melanie West.

On view are felted pods, an indigo book, a Covid statement, photos transferred to muslin, paper towers, shibori scarves, a hooked dreamscape, a fishermen’s landscape, sewn florals, netted tuna, and other surprises. Quilting, felting, knitting, collage, weaving, coiling, bookmaking, hooking, tapestry and knotting are all involved.

Come see! Gallery hours are: Wednesday-Friday, 11-3; Saturdays, 11-2. Maine Fiberarts is located at 13 Main Street, Topsham in Midcoast Maine.

Habitat for Humanity

I love Serendipity, defined as the development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Last year a member of our guild chapter, Calico Quilters, suggested making ‘house blocks’ then doing a drawing so one (or two) people would have enough blocks to make a quilt. Sounded like fun, and ultimately over 20 blocks were created, each depicting a house–no two alike. I turned my two blocks in with the rest and was surprised to be one of the lucky winners! I put my stack of blocks aside thinking I’d get back to them ‘sometime’.

Enter ‘sometime’. . . in the person of Tara Hill, new executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland. Wanting to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for families coming to their offices, she sent a request to Maine quilters to ask if anyone might donate two or three quilts with ‘a house or log cabin or other related pattern’ to hang on the office walls.

Seizing the moment, I reached out to our group members and let them know I would turn my blocks into quilts–and got several offers to help. End result? FOUR quilts with a house theme, and one in process using traditional log cabin blocks.

Got to love when a plan comes together!

Quilt time

The SAQA exhibit, Visionary, is at the final virtual venue: Mancuso’s World Quilts New England! It’s featured as a special exhibit. Here’s the link:

Last year’s Art Quilt Maine pieces return to the makers this Saturday–the tour picked up a new venue, at Topsham Public Library, and had a most creative showing at the Portland Public Library. That’s me reflected in front of Pam’s work: You Are What You Eat. We will also reveal new pieces made to the prompt: Architecture. The 2021-22 show is shaping up, with a debut at Kimball St Studios in Lewiston in September!

Finally, I have been invited to join Maine Fiberarts’ fall exhibit, Fiber in Form. The show runs September 1 to October 30, at the gallery in Topsham. My piece is Hope Endures, detail below. Gallery open Weds to Sat. Check their site:

Hope Endures