Work by pioneering quilters on exhibit in Topsham

By Ardeana Hamlin, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 05, 2011, at 3:58 p.m.

Maine is a good place to be a fiber artist and nowhere is that better demonstrated than at Maine Fiberarts in Topsham. Executive Director Christine Macchi emailed this information to let fabric lovers know about a coming event and exhibit:

Maine Fiberarts will host a reception and gallery talk 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, for its show “Pioneers: Quilt Art,” an exhibition of innovative quilts by Maine artists Elizabeth Busch, Susan Carlson, Stephanie Green Levy and Mary Allen Chaisson, all of whom will be present for the talk. The exhibition will remain on view at 13 Main St. in Topsham through Saturday, Oct. 1.

The quilts included in the show display a mastery of technique, experimentation and design achieved over many years in the studio. The artists use variations in stitching, dyeing, piecing, color work and themes to express their ideas.

Busch, of Glenburn, uses airbrushed paints and meticulous stitching to create ethereal, dramatic pieces that speak of earth, time and space. Busch has been involved with Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Maine Arts Commission, interior design and architectural firms in Bangor, and numerous art organizations. She creates large-scale fabric quilts and kinetic sculpture installed in major destinations throughout the U.S.

Chaisson, of Harpswell, creates work about the passing of time. She uses scissors, fabric, thread, paint, dye, bleach, stamps and resist pastes to create fabric pieces from which to draw. She then designs by cutting and placing fabrics until a cohesive piece comes together. At that point, the sewing begins and a quilt comes into form.

Art quilter, teacher and author Susan Carlson of Harpswell specializes in creating large fabric mosaics of beetles, fish, butterflies and portraits by gluing and then sewing thousands of small pieces of colorful fabric into a whole. She teaches her quilting techniques to students in many parts of the world.

Stephanie Green Levy of Brunswick is an experienced teacher and quilter who experiments with dyes, silk screening, printing, hand-stitching and other techniques. Her daily walks influence her work and are reflected in the linear, repetitive and smooth stitching or in free-form and meandering stitches. She writes, “The stitches, color and line are meant to record a connection between observation and interpretation.”

A group quilt, created by seven women including two showing work in the exhibit, is also on view in the Studio Annex, the small red building located next to Maine Fiberarts Center and Gallery. For the group quilt, artists worked on 12-inch-by-12-inch squares and then passed them to another artist in the group for further working. The resulting quilt is a vibrant piece displaying a wide array of surface design techniques. The Studio Annex was converted into a sewing studio through Sept. 5.

Maine Fiberarts is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. To learn more, visit mainefiberarts.org or call 721-0678.

Snippets

The second annual KnitMaine-ia will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at Fiber College, Searsport Shores Campground in Searsport. The event is organized by the Women of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Belfast and Fiber College as a fundraiser for New Hope for Women.

KnitMaine-ia tickets are $10 and include a wine and cheese reception after the show. Tickets are available at Heavenly Socks, Fiddlehead Artisans Supply and Searsport Shores Campground. Only 80 tickets will be sold.

Singer Sewing Company announced recently the launch of mysingerstories.com, an interactive website that invites sewing fans across the country to share their personal stories and memories of Singer sewing machines in honor of the brand’s 160th anniversary. The website also includes a historical look-up feature that allows visitors to learn where and when their antique machines were manufactured just by entering a serial number. The website also will provide interesting historical facts about sewing from all eras. Anyone who uses the website will be registered to win one of the limited edition commemorative machines available in January. This technologically advanced machine will boast innovative features, but its antique design and appearance harkens back to the iconic Singer machines of years past.

The patent of the first Singer sewing machine by Isaac Merritt Singer was issued Aug. 12, 1851. The 160th celebration will continue through August 2012.

Bernat will contribute $30,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for breast cancer research through the purchase of pink yarn in the Knit and Crochet for Breast Cancer collection promotion taking place through Nov. 30. At least $5,625 of the Bernat contribution will be directed to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Visit bernat/com for free patterns for a cap, bag, prayer shawl, scarves and other items to knit or crochet.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/05/living/by-hand/work-by-pioneering-quilters-on-exhibit-in-topsham/ printed on July 23, 2014