Catherine Whall Smith . . . use to MAKE CLOTHING, not anymore!

I grew up in a home where my mother Rose, was usually making something like curtains, clothes, etc. I too did the same when I had my own home. curtains, clothes, etc. But in the mid 1970’s when quilts were put on walls and the art of Nancy Crow had a huge impact on what was happening in the quilt world;  I started to think about quilts in a new way.

A previous blog post suggested that my next “Transfusion” piece. would have lots of reds, oranges, and a touch of green.   The idea of using my own sized pattern that I created in an Advanced Pattern Making class in the 1970’s came to mind as the shapes – the bodice and skirt – that I would use in this piece.  My present “Transfusion” series relates to my father and his sudden heart attack, then why not have this piece relate to the sewing skills “transfused” in me by my mother.  I choose three “dresses” to be the focus of this 60×90 piece (see in progress section on right). Title  “I use to make CLOTHING!”.  My goal was to complete the top and have it ready for hand-quilting by February 11th the date of my 2nd vaccine shot. – BUT, actually this quilt grew – became more complicated and I just took it off my design wall on February 23rd.   So my question; “If I used these pattern pieces to make a dress for me now – would it fit? Hmmmm – do I want to find out – maybe not!  

For a look at more quilts with a clothing theme check out Bisa Butler  – Her large scale works are textile portraits of people of color fabricated from layers of brightly colored fabrics with a multiplicity of meanings. “I quilt because this was the technique that was taught to me at home. I could sew before I ever painted on a canvas.  My grandmother and mother while not quilters, sewed garments almost every day.”  Check her out: OR

Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio

 NOTE:  If you haven’t had time to check out the 2021 – Art Center East – 2nd Annual Wearable Art Exhibit – February 19th – March 13th. Fridays & Saturdays 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Here is your chance:  Arts Center East is having a fashion show watchable online! (My piece – “Marriage is Seldom Black & White but many Shades of Gray” has been juried into this exhibit.)




About Catherine Whall Smith

Fiber Artist working with contemporary textiles.
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1 Response to Catherine Whall Smith . . . use to MAKE CLOTHING, not anymore!

  1. Kim Bova says:

    This is fascinating, Catherine. I always wanted to sew, I did as a teen but when I bought my own sewing machine I was really too busy in school to learn how to use the thing- so complex so I gave it away!

    I’ll try to watch the fashion show online.

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