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Archive for the ‘Quilt Shows’ Category

New England World Quilt Show Exhibit!

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

In a rather astonishing development last May, an earlier inquiry about teaching and exhibiting turned into an invitation to have a solo exhibit, The Art of Sarah Ann Smith … so far, at the Mancuso Brothers World Quilt New England Show tin Springfield, Massachusetts (this is the one that used to be in Manchester, NH). I hope you’ll enjoy this preview peek, if you’re in the vicinity can visit, and on Saturday I hope to post a Facebook Live or other video of the exhibit. I should arrive about noon (it’s a long drive from Maine). Click on this link to get info and directions to the show. If you can’t make the show, my book has a lot of what is there plus lots of other good stuff.

Sarah Ann Smith's solo exhibit at 2019 World Quilt New England
Sarah Ann Smith’s solo exhibit at 2019 World Quilt New England
This exhibit begins in 1998, when I made Happy 80th Birthday Mama. At that point I never thought I’d ever be published, exhibit nationally, teach nationally, have a book and all the zillion other wonderful things since I decided to “make a go of it” in art quilting in 2004. That’s why I’m so proud that this quilt was in Karey Bresenhan’s 2003 I Remember Mama exhibit and book: it taught me that I was good enough to indeed try to make it in this industry.

The exhibit has its roots in my 2017 Rising Stars exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I had been invited to submit a proposal for a solo exhibit. Karey liked what I suggested and how I would market it to our mutual benefit, and ended up creating the Rising Stars exhibit (which recurs every year now) to showcase two or more quilters. This exhibit is slightly different, as some of those quilts sold, and this one has new work.

Alms, Kyoto 1996 is on the far left, and started with my photo (taken in 1996 on a trip with my mother) and a workshop with Hollis Chatelain to learn how to dye paint. It was my first quilt ever juried in to Festival/Houston, and it took another six YEARS before I had another quilt juried in to the judged show, though I was lucky to have work in special exhibits in Houston. I think Bijagos Warrior, on the back wall, is one of my best quilts ever. Made in 2004, , it was declined by Houston (Sob, still), but he finally got to hang in Houston in 2017 Rising Stars. It was while working on Bijagos Warrior that I realized my sewing machine wasn’t helping me; I researched and came upon Janome machines. I couldn’t afford a soda fountain cola in those days, so I approached them to see if they had a loaner program. To my utter astonishment Janome America took me on. I have since late 2003 been a part of what is now the Janome Artisan program, and I am forever grateful for their support and sponsorship. Yes, I get free loaners, but I’d say all the wonderful things about their awesome machines if I paid full MSRP!

The exhibit runs in chronological order (though within a given “bay” of quilts they may be slightly out of order so we got a nicer looking display) from 1998 to 2019. Gosh….I just realized this is two DECADES of my work and evolution…and that I can now, with a bit of a gulp, call myself an artist.

The quilt on the left Earth & Turquoise, almost never travels to shows because of the sticks, stones and feathers, but since I drove to deliver and hang the quilts, it was able to go! I’m thrilled! And the back wall, let’s just call that a Mother and Child Reunion. This was the time when I was first invited to be in the Dinner@8 exhibits. See more about them below. During the middle of this century’s first decade, I was learning my craft, refining my voice, improving my technical and design skills.
These quilts range from 2013-2015 or thereabouts. Insalata, the ginormous tomatoes on the back (about the size of a beach ball) is the most recent of this batch, but otherwise these are in order.

The Dinner@8 exhibits were such a phenomenal opportunity and formative experience. For years, I have thought this 10-year run of special exhibits presented one of the best exhibits in Houston, which is saying a lot. To be able to be in them for eight years just amazes me, that I made the cut. But my best work by far was made for these exhibits. The level of excellence rose each year, and like the rising tide that floats all boats, I think ALL of us who were fortunate to be in the exhibits grew immensely in our abilities. Conceived by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison, they were juried invitationals. That means you were invited to participate–it wasn’t an open call to the public. You then made a quilt to the specific theme and size, entered it, and waited to see if it was accepted. I am so grateful for the chance to be a part of this group of strong women, and feel a bit adrift that the series has come to an end with the 2018 exhibit. BUT, that meant I had to look forward and come up with my own ideas, not be dependent on Jamie and Leslie, and I’m excited to move forward with my own plans.

Amaryllis toured extensively in Australia and New Zealand in Brenda Gael Smith’s Living Colour Textiles exhibit. Eli, Cross Country 2013 is my other son and one of my favorite of his sports. Descended From the Stars on the back wall, is another favorite of my quilts because it covers so much of my life, from my high school to imagery related to my children to calligraphy and more. Peony is on the right.
2017 to 2018: I can’t say that I have achieved mastery–there will always be more to learn and explore. But I think I have finally achieved competence, and certain techniques have become integral to my art: dyeing, painting, fused collage, representational imagery. From left to right: Stand Up, Speak Out; Pink Oyster Mushrooms; Lupine. My work now focuses very much on my work–my days traveling the world as a US Foreign Service Officer (diplomat) are ancient history and I have now spent more time as a quilter and artist than I did as a diplomat!
The Art of Sarah Ann Smith...so far, a solo exhibit at the 2019 World Quilt New England show
And the view from the present to the beginning of my art quilt journey…so far! There’s more coming!

Thanks so much for sticking with me! I’ll post a few more shots after I get to see the exhibit with the show open on Saturday!

Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag class at Quilt Festival Houston 2019

Monday, July 22nd, 2019
Like potato chips, you can’t stop at just one! Learn to make these FAST, easy and FUN bags on Thursday afternoon at International Quilt Festival! I’ll show you how to adapt the concept into card cases (fast gifts!), tablet cases, sketchbook covers, you name it!

Come play with me on Thursday at International Quilt Festival…Easy Peasy Inside Out Bags, class 491, is in the afternoon, total play, and you’ll become addicted to making them. So far I’ve had every. single. student. nearly finish or finish a bag in the three hours including the quilting and zipper! Once you grasp the concept in the class, you can go home and make an iPad (or Kindle, nook, etc) case, a notebook cover, you name it. Here’s a link to registration and Thursday classes: http:// http://www.quilts.com/quilt-festival-houston-classes-and-events-thursday.html

Here’s the class listing. The Supply list is on my Classes page, here.
A whole buncha bags and a card case. Make them out of coated fabric for a make up bag (I use mine for cash when teaching…money literally stinks!) Make them any size, proportions, colors, embellish!

AFTER you get home, you can have fun spreading your wings and seeing how to adapt the pattern as I did with my notebook cover:

Opened up. With ribbon trim, zipper, couched perle cotton.
And inside! Love my pen pockets. Love that it zips all the way around and I don’t LOSE my pens!

If you’ve got questions, PLEASE DO WRITE to me…just use the contact button! Full class descriptions for all the classes listed below along with Supply lists are on my Class page. Here’s the list of all the classes I’ll be teaching…hope to see you there:

Solo Exhibit at World Quilt New England, Aug 15-17, 2019

Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Trying to figure out something delightful to do in mid August? I’d like to invite you to see my solo exhibit of twenty-three art quilts at the Mancuso show, World Quilt New England, in Springfield, Mass. The exhibit will feature many of the artworks that were in my Houston Quilt Festival exhibit in 2017, where I was one of two artists in the debut of the Rising Stars exhibit, but includes new works as well. I plan on being there Saturday afternoon giving informal gallery tours–I hope to see you!

Rose Hip by Sarah Ann Smith, features Artist dyed fabric, commercial batiks, hand dyed fabric by Lisa Walton, screen printing, textile painting, and intense quilting; 36 x 36 inches.

All of the 2017 and earlier works are featured in my Blurb book of the same name, along with bits about my past, other works, and hints and tips about my creative process.

Back and front cover of my book, which is available here. It is available in both print or pdf editions.

Springfield is in central Massachusetts, which makes it a day trip for a whole lot of the Northeast (albeit a long day). Directions to the venue are here. I hope to see you!

Solo Exhibit at World Quilt Show New England

Monday, March 18th, 2019

I’m thrilled to share that I will have a solo exhibit of my work, The Art of Sarah Ann Smith … so far, at the Mancuso Quilt show, World Quilt New England, from August 15 to 17, 2019, in Springfield, Massachusetts! Now that it is listed here on their special exhibits page, it is official!

Most of the quilts on display will be those that were in my Rising Stars exhibit in Houston in Fall 2017, except those that are sold or are in a touring exhibit. This exhibit will also have at least one or two new works (to be determined). I’m pleased that I will be able to help hang the exhibit. I may be able to stay over night or come down on the 17th to be at the exhibit and give gallery tours. Stay tuned for more info as we approach August.

If you’d like a sneak peek, you can check it out in my book of the same name, The Art of Sarah Ann Smith … so far on Blurb. The book is available as a hard copy or PDF.

I hope you’ll get to see my quilts and that I might even get to meet some of you at the show!

International Quilt Festival #4: Fine Finishes (to be retitled to Bindings and Piping and Facings, Oh My!)

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

Bindings and Pipings and Facings, Oh My! class in Houston 2018:  Truth in teaching: this is usually what my teacher’s table looks like: a hot mess!

I LOVE teaching this class!  I LOVE that EVERYONE gets how to achieve a perfect mitered corner no matter what width your binding!  I LOVE showing students how to use Susan K. Cleveland’s Piping Hot Binding tool–students come into class thinking “I’ll try it but don’t think I’ll ever use it” and leave with the tool in hand planning how they CAN use it because it rocks!   Then I teach my perfect facings for art quilts which by the way is also how you can do perfect prairie point “bindings” etc.   I LOVE that this class has something for everyone:  traditional, modern, art, contemporary, whatever you do, it works.   I also LOVED that this class more than any I have ever taught immediately embraced the idea of taking notes ON their class samples:  that way the notes don’t get lost, what you need to remember about how YOU sew and what to do to improve is right there on the sample.

YES! They got it! Put the notes ON the sample to remember how to get is JUST right!

One older quilter in the class was BEAMING when she left–she was so delighted as she had never done a corner, let alone a piped corner, this good. I think I will remember her smile forever–THIS is why I teach this class!

Doesn’t the pink bandana fabric look great as piping?

More notes, during the “perfect corners” part of the class in the morning

Midday/right after lunch we get to the piping (do the precise and time-consuming stuff first). LOVE Susan K. Cleveland’s Piping Hot Bindings tool. Available here.  It may be available at larger online sites, but I like buying things direct from the creator–Susan’s website is Pieces be With You (in the link).  I wrote my own instructions for the class handouts (without looking at Susan’s), but her more in depth instructions are worth every penny!   

The best part of Festival is FRIENDS–Linda Cooper

The absolute BEST PART of International Quilt Festival is FRIENDS!   Over the summer I learned that Linda, a BFF from my life on San Juan Island, would have a quilt in a special exhibit and was coming to Festival.  On Tuesday she showed up at my classroom door at lunch break with her friend from SJI.   They decided on the spot to take my Bindings class on Friday, their last full day at Festival (pitter patter, tear in my eye)!   It was like the intervening 14 years since I left the island evaporated.

She and Barbara managed to get the stuff to make the quilt sandwiches (class prep) and amongst the three of us came up with the requisite thread, scissors, rotary cutters, etc. to use.

Class….the lunchtime lull.  Thank you Kathy Spier for being my “Teacher’s Pet”—so much fun, met Suzy Webster when she took one of my classes a couple years ago.  This year her mom took Bindings, and we all had lunch together!   Like I said, the BEST PART of Festival is friends, old ones and making new ones!

Time permitting, we even get into some fun alternative edge treatments…couched yarn is perfect for postcards and small works

And miraculously, I remembered Linda and I needed to get a photo before she packed up for the day!

Old friends reunited!