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: https://www.onlinequiltfestival.com/specialexhibits

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: www.mainefiberarts.org.

Hope Endures

Baker’s Dozen

It’s great to spend a day in the classroom playing with fabric and color! A recent class had students using 13 fabrics (a baker’s dozen) to create a quilt top. This piece is improvised with a bit of structure–and it was fun to see people break out of their comfort zone and work through design decisions. We put up a design wall towards the end of class and experimented with various layouts. This easy to piece quilt encourages makers to come up with something uniquely their own. Here are two finished pieces, sent by students Barbara, with the green and purple theme, and Peggy, whose fabrics are printed with mathematical symbols. Can you count the 13 fabrics each used? Future classes are posted at The Sewing Machine Exchange. PS. that could be a trick question–I count 11 fabrics in one of these!

‘Visionary’ debuts at the Vermont Quilt Festival

How and what does an artist see? ‘Visionary’ is a Studio Art Quilts Association (SAQA) juried regional exhibit showing what quilt artists from New England and New York are seeing today—in all the varied meanings of the word. All pieces in this exhibit are 20″ square, and most are available for purchase. The show’s debut was put on hold more than once and now opens virtually, at the Vermont Quilt Festival in June.

The Vermont Quilt Festival runs from June 17 to 27, 2021. $5 buys a ticket to the run of the festival including a special video presentation of the SAQA quilts, and a Gallery Talk at 2:00 pm on June 19th (available as a recording for the remainder of the show). Make time to view this special exhibit and wander through the entire festival this month!

SAQA is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the art quilt and the artists who create them. Founded in 1989 by an initial group of 50 artists, SAQA members now number more than 3,600 artists, teachers, collectors, gallery owners, museum curators and corporate sponsors.  

Living in a Material World Rana O’Connor 2020

Reflections on an Exhibit

Probably the most unusual venue for this year’s Art Quilts Maine tour is coming to a close this weekend. If you haven’t driven down Elm St in Portland yet, be sure to do so before Tuesday! The show is at the Portland Public Library. Most year’s the quilts brighten the children’s area, often for a couple of winter months. This year, pandemic, everything has been different. With the library closed to foot traffic, Rachel and Mary came up with the idea of hanging the show in the Elm St windows, visible from the street. The artists were game–and with a little ingenuity, the show went up in early May. As the images below show, the window gallery made for a unique take on the artwork, in combination with reflections of the parking garage and buildings across the street. Definitely worth a drive by! If you can’t get to Portland this weekend, the final venue for this collection is the Topsham Public Library. The show goes on view there June 7, coming down at the end of the month. Don’t miss it!

Not a Virtual Exhibit

It’s spring in Maine which can only mean mud, melting ice and more mud. Maybe you need something colorful to carry you past mud season? Are you ready to see some art In Person? The Stonewall Gallery at Yarmouth History Center is hosting this year’s Art Quilts Maine touring show in their lovely exhibit space at 118 East Elm St in Yarmouth. The Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 to 4:00. The show comes down April 30 by which time hopefully Maine will be in bloom!

Rosapaloosa — Anne Walker

Class Project Smash Up

One of my students, Joann, took a collage quilting class from Emily Taylor–you can too, if you like. Click over to her website at collagequilter.com. The class project was this sweet owl. Isn’t he cute!

When it came time to choose a background, Joann remembered the class she took from me, Tree Bits and Thread Paint. She had created her tree on a great batik background, and it was just waiting to be completed. She added a piece of hand dyed fabric from yet another workshop and Voila!

Brilliant use of class projects to create a really fun wall hanging. I also love the creative tabs and twig hanging method. Well done, Joann and thanks for sharing your finished piece!

We’re slowly moving past the pandemic, and I am scheduling new classes at The Sewing Machine Exchange starting in May, so keep an eye out! Want to get on my mailing list for classes? Click the Contact button above and let me know.

Sold!

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