The Brush Gallery

Lowell, Massachusetts, seems to be a very art-friendly town and, given it’s history as a mill-town (lots of textile mills in upper New England in the late 1800s), quite open to the idea of art quilts.  The Brush is an artists’ co-operative and gallery.  Each year when the Lowell Quilt Festival happens, various venues around town have art quilt exhibits or related shows.  The Brush, along with the Whistler Museum of Art (as in James McNeil Whistler, most famous for his painting of his mother….), are two of the venues art quilters want to be in!  (Note:  photos in this post are clickable … you can right click to view larger in a window/tab.)  This quilt is Sod Wall I, by Elfa Jonsdottir of Worcester, Mass.  I’m not usually partial to this abstracted style of quilting, but I thought the use of the hand-dyed fabrics and color was particularly effective.


I got to meet Debbie Bein, Elaine and Mary from Toronto, all from the QuiltArt list, and to my great surprise and pleasure, my near-neighbor Carrie Hedstrom.  Carrie is a young mom of FIVE (ages 7 to two months…youngest was in a baby sling for the opening reception!)…how she finds time for art is beyond me, let alone time to get the entries done and sent in on time!  Somehow, I managed to miss taking a photo of them (I had just gotten out of class and RACED from Chelmsford, where the classes were held, to Lowell, where the show and galleries are, to be there before the reception ended!) or of Carrie.  But I did get this shot of the wall where Carrie’s quilt was hung, on the far left, and one that I think is Frieda Anderson’s on the far right:

Update:  Rosemary’s piece is titled “Sheer Floral.”  And, it is indeed Frieda’s work on the right, titled “SunSet Pines.”

Wall shot

I’ve only met Rosemary Claus-Gray online, but I love her work.  Sometimes it is abstract, but this representational piece in sheer fabrics is just glorious:

Rosemary Claus-Gray’s

If you look closely at the photo, you can see the stretcher bars shadowing through the sheer fabrics!

I neglected to take a photo of the label on these two pieces… if anyone knows who made them, please let me know!   I love the use of thread in the satin stitching:

Entry set

(Update:  the piece above, thanks to Cyndee who spotted an article in the Lowell newspaper, is Sun Moon Stars by Therese Bliss….thanks Cyndee!)

I’m giving a lecture on beading and embellishments on quilts, so I’m on the hunt for examples to use in my lectures.  I’ve photo’s the labels on all these pieces so I can contact the makers and ask permission to include the photos in my slide show…..  alas, this overall photo of Rachel B. Cochran‘s Imperial Palace didn’t turn out sharp:Overall of Rachel Cochran

but the detail photo did–I’m in love with her hand-dyes:

Cochran, detail

Margarete Steinhauer of Scituate, MA, created The Cork Oaks; she is a plant and environmental scientist, and was inspired by a piece of commercial dye-painted fabric.


In several days, I’ll share the quilts at the Whistler!  Cheers, Sarah

6 Responses to “The Brush Gallery”

  1. Rosemary Claus-Gray Says:

    Sarah! You truly honor me! Thanks so much for the photos of “Sheer Floral” in the Brush Gallery, and for your comments. It’s good to see the piece in the environment. I know you were very busy while you were there, and that you made a special effort to get these photos. And then to put it on your blog! I do appreciate you! Rosemary

  2. Frieda Anderson Says:

    Yes that is my quilt on the far right in the long view photo. It is titled “SunSet Pines”. Thanks for the photos and comments on the show. I enjoyed seeing other quilts in the venue.

  3. Linda Teddlie Minton Says:

    Wow, Sarah, thanks so much for posting these pictures! I’d love to have seen this show in person.

  4. Robin Parton Says:

    Thanks so much for posting these pictures, I would have loved to see the whole show. You get to go to the best places.
    Robin in NC

  5. Rayna Says:

    Sarah, the pictures make me wish more than ever that I had been there to see them in person – thanks!

    BTW – the glorious hand-dyes used in Rachel Cochran’s Imperial Palace are Helene Davis’hand-dyes. Nobody dyes fabric like Helene.

  6. Rachel Cochran Says:

    I was away on vacation when you first posted, and am only now getting everything “organized.” You know how that goes. Thanks for posting a picture of Imperial Palace. Too bad the image wasn’t clearer, but I would be happy to send you images (either slide or jpeg)of the overall piece and a detail for you to use in your presentation. And I have to continue to give credit to Helene Davis for her incredible hand-dyes.
    I couldn’t make it to the Brush opening this year, so was happy to see my piece in situ.