May 27, 2018
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Learn fabric art, quilting techniques from Maine experts

By Ardeana Hamlin, BDN Staff

Learning opportunities are on the immediate horizon for area quilters and fabric artists. This information came to me in the form of press releases:

The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland will present a quilt-making class, Making Quilts Together, led by instructor Richard Caro. The class will meet 12:30-4:20 p.m. Sundays, April 3, 10 and 17, at the museum’s Gamble Education Center, Grace and Union streets. It will enable students to become quilt makers as they learn simple, effective techniques to make a quilt top with provided fabric and sewing tools.

Each student will be asked to read a different text, exploring topics such as quilt history, quilting subcultures and textiles in material culture, which the group will then discuss while sewing. The quilt making will be a communal project and will use elements of assemblage and collage to create patterns.

Richard Caro is a self-taught quilter and educator who enjoys assisting students in discovering new meanings in quilts and quilting. He has spoken on such topics as male quilters, online identity in social media, “cross-training” with materials, tools and techniques, and quilts as an archetypal art form.

The fee for the class is $136 for museum members, $160 for others, and includes a $40 materials fee. Registration is limited to 12 students. For more information or to register, call 596-0949 or visit

Carol Boyer, a well known artisan, quilt maker, soft sculpture and doll designer and creator, and popular figure on the lecture circuit will offer a Fabric Arts Journal Cover workshop 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, April 8, at the Lions’ Club, Lions Lane, Camden. Participants will learn how to construct a fabric arts cover for a simple notebook. The workshop will be sponsored by the Coastal Quilters group.

A “marble” composition book will be used with the cover serving as a surface to explore different ways to use buttons, fabric, yarn and embroidery floss to shape decorative images on the removable notebook cover. The techniques can be applied easily to any book or notebook of any size, including loose-leaf notebooks.

Boyer, known as an explorer in the field of fabric arts, is well known for quilting and her doll creations. “I get a great deal of joy and delight out of manipulating fabric. I like to look at one thing and consider the possibilities of changing and adding to it so that I come up with a new work. I also like playing with ideas and searching for more than one solution to a problem,” she said.

Her projects usually begin with ideas coming from nature, magazines, fabric, textures, colors and even words. “I just play with the idea or technique to make it my own to produce a work that has my imprint on it and often end up at a point I did not see when I started. I choose to keep growing as an artist and want to expand my world and vision,” she said.

A firm believer in using materials on hand, including scraps and embellishments from previous projects, Boyer also looks at objects and materials that others consider to be trash as design elements.

Boyer finds that she works best when she has several projects in progress at one time. That means she can allow her subconscious to work on a problem when she gets stuck, but can still use her time creatively.

The workshop is open to the public, but class size is limited and preregistration is required. A materials list will be sent  upon receipt of the $25 registration fee. Bring a brown bag lunch. Beverages and snacks will be provided. For registration information, call Barb Melchiskey at 236-9665 or e-mail


The Abbe Museum will hold a birch-bark etching workshop for children ages 6 through 12 from 1 to 2:20 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the museum. The event is free. David Moses Bridges, a Passamaquoddy Tribe member and birch-bark artist and educator, will conduct the workshop. Children will make a medallion to take home, using Moses’ stencils, or with designs from their own creative minds. Moses also will teach participants about the Passamaquoddy people and language through stories and legends.  For more information or to make a reservation, call the Abbe Museum at 288-3519 or visit

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