Page 20 in Process

I started work on a new piece. It needs to be completed by June, when Art Quilts Maine members reveal their challenge pieces for the year. This year’s challenge is titled Page 20. The premise is to flip to page 20 of any (non-quilting) magazine and find inspiration there. Could be an image, a word, article, anything on that page. I’ll show you my Page 20 and finished piece in June, after the Art Quilters get to see it. Until then, thought you might enjoy a sneak peak of the process–which like many processes, is pretty messy! Who knows what will come out of all that fabric? I hope I do! Palette



At the Library

Art Quilts Maine’s Challenge Tour is at the Portland Public Library until January 3. The quilts look at home above the bookshelves filled with stories for children. The librarians who helped hang the quilts were amazing–The library was actually closed that morning because the heat was not working, so it was cold! We did joke that we could just wrap up in some of the quilts! Hopefully you will get to the library (on a warmer day) to see them in person, but until you do, here is a preview:

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Fiber Art on Exhibit

Hope Endures (2)I managed to finish Village Square, one of two new pieces, tonight– just in time to deliver to Kimball St Studios in Lewiston tomorrow. Art Quilts Maine’s annual travel show opens at Kimball St Studios on Friday, October 26. Pieces by a dozen artists will be on display. Many of the art quilts are in response to one of two challenges last year.

First is “On (or Off) the Beaten Path” which elicited a range of responses, many to do with pathways we have traveled. Mine is “Hope Endures” depicting a refugee child, walking the ‘beaten path’ toward hope–the pathway littered with names and dates of refugee crises throughout history.

Second is the “Batik Challenge.” Participants were required to use a portion of these 10Batik banner detail fabrics in their finished piece. If you have a chance to see the show (in Lewiston or at one of our other venues this year,) see if you can find these fabrics in each quilt!

The challenge pieces move on to the Portland Public Library after Thanksgiving, then to the Yarmouth Historical Society January through March, and end the year at the Farmington Public Library April and May.  At Kimball St Studios and the Yarmouth Historical Society, additional artwork joins the challenge quilts, so try to get to one of those venues for a larger exhibit! Here’s a peak at the front of Village Square. It’s made of log cabin blocks–really!

And don’t forget Maine Fiber Arts in Topsham’s member’s show, Fiber Collective is still up–Open House tomorrow. The work is on exhibit through November 13. Get out and enjoy!

Village Square

Baker’s Dozen Improv

Lisa Friedlander finished table runner

Lisa came to my Baker’s Dozen Improv class, so named because we turn 13 fabrics into a stack of improvisationally pieced blocks, with some structure. The ne

Student bakers dozen

at thing about this technique is no matter how many projects you make, or watch others make, each is unique. They are abstract, and can be as scrappy or planned as desired. Here is one created with a collection of scraps:

Lisa originally laid her blocks out in a square set (see below). When she got it done though, she decided to cut it in half and turn it into a long table runner. Notice how her sashing is obscured in the finished project. Nicely done. Lisa Friedlander layout

Aunti’s Apparel

My niece came to me this summer with clothing she found packed in a suitcase in her grandmother’s closet. She wanted me to remake the clothing so she could wear it. Her grandmother was my aunt, an amazing seamstress. Aunti made all her own clothing, usually without a pattern, based on photos she saw in fashion spreads. As I deconstructed and reconstructed the items, I was entranced to see Aunti’s hand stitching and piecing. It was evident she made do when I found bits of selvage or pieced scraps pressed into service. As there was no spare fabric I bought and integrated new fabrics into the items. As I worked I could feel Aunti looking over my shoulder, approving or disapproving my choices–and I quickly re-did any I felt she disapproved! I added purple inserts to this floral blouse and skirt. Note the floral applique enhancing the back panel!

Aunti red skirt
A sparkly, twirly red skirt!


Susan B. Anthony

A friend visited the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester, NY and told me about the 2020 Quilt Project. She thought, rightly, that I’d enjoy participating (and sharing the information with other quilters!)

The project’s goal is to create a piece of collaborative textile art that honors women’s history, particularly the woman’s suffrage movement and the people, places, events, and issues that are related to it. The “2020 Quilt” celebrates the Centennial Anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution that granted women the right to vote in 1920, and honors Susan B. Anthony’s role.

A little research turned up a quote that felt relevant to me, from Susan B. Anthony’s trial for voting illegally. I also wanted to work with Transparency. There were certain requirements for size and color. Here is my block:


Want to submit a block of your own? Skip over to the 2020 Quilt Project and discover how!

Challenge Reveal

Art Quilts Maine artists revealed their quilts for this year’s challenge, “On or Off the Beaten Path.” Thirteen quilts were created in response to the challenge. Many quilts depicted pathways familiar to the artist. One had paths of ‘flying geese’, one was a whole cloth quilt painted after quilting. I expect photos will be posted at Art Quilts Maine soon, but I wanted to share my completed piece here.

Titled “Hope Endures”, I thought of the beaten path refugees have followed through the years. I included news images of refugees and names and dates of various refugee crises in history. The image of the boy is from Roll Out the Barrel Trust, a remarkable organization helping improve the lives of people who must carry water, often long distances, to survive. Check out their simple solution!

The challenge quilts will be on view at Maine Quilts 2018, July 26 to 28. Beginning in September, they will tour the state along with other pieces by Art Quilts Maine members. Watch this space for venues and dates! Hope Endures original (2)