Catherine Whall Smith . . . so what is she up to NOW!!

WOW it’s April 2017 and believe it or not I just finished mailing out my 2017 pocket calendar to my clientele.  In order to visually interpret the size of each mini image on the calendar, I decided to add sizes and prices to each monthly image. So that took a little more time to produce.  I also decided to share on my blog what is in that letter. Here is a shortened version of that letter.





So I am a little late with this year’s Fiber Art calendar but there are still lots of days left to enjoy using it.  I continue to be in the moment as shown in my photo above taken on Rte. 66 in Hebron, Connecticut. My camera captured this fleeting moment when a sudden gust of wind extended out a loose piece of the white plastic – like a hand informing you that there is “Hay for Sale” just call.  During 2016-2017 my work was juried into shows at the following locations:  Art League of New Britain – Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA – The Slater Memorial Museum – Mattatuck Museum – The West Hartford Art League – Artist Cooperative Gallery of Westerly – Norwich Art Center Galleries – Connecticut Women Artists – Windham Textile & History Museum – “The ART Party of the Year: New Britain Museum of American Art – Arts of Tolland – Monson House of Art – Mystic Museum of Art – Guilford Art Center – and “Local Color: Connecticut Stories Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) a traveling show. My art received several awards including the Alice Clark Hubbard Award; a Third Place prize; an Honorable Mention, and a Katherine Forest Crafts Foundation Award.

For current shows that include my work please check out my Shows and Publication link for details and up-dates at . Or, if you are not a subscriber to my blog (I do limit the number of posts that I send out) there is a link on my webpage where you can do just that – subscribe to receive my up-dates.

The exciting news is my work will be seen in Wall Art the newly-titled Artistry in Fiber, Volume 1: Wall Art by Anne Lee, and E. Ashley Rooney. It is in Schiffer Publishing’s Spring/Summer catalog and is scheduled for release late summer of 2017. The book will be available at Barnes & Noble stores, it’s website and through Amazon. “Connecting us to the wide variety of contemporary fiber art in wall-mounted format, this resource combines more than 600 photos with personal comments from 100 of today’s established and emerging artists. In conjunction with the other two books in this acclaimed series, it invites readers to re-examine fiber art through a multifaceted contemporary lens.

Presently, I am working with another Fiber Artist, Joan Blade Johnson to curate a month long Fiber/Quilt show titled “Locally Inspired” which will take place at the Windham Textile & History Museum during the month of June. I am excited about the 20 fiber artists and their pieces that will be included in this invitational show. Find more information on the June 10th Textile Duo events at . If you are in the area please stop by the museum during their Friday through Sunday weekend hours.

So, as soon as I post this I will head outside to enjoy this beautiful Spring Day and do a little “plein air” stitching.  Which means hand stitching thousands of tiny stitches in repetitive lines across the quilt as three layers become one and my art transforms from a flat surface to one with texture, drape, and dimension.  HAPPY SPRING!!



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Catherine Whall Smith . . invites you to the Opening of the 2017 CWA Show

 If you are in the New Britain, CT area please check out the 2017 CWA Connecticut Women Artists, Inc. show at the Art League of New Britain, @ 30 Cedar Street.  Hours: Saturday & Sunday 1-4 pm and by appointment – The all media show runs during the month of April with the Opening Reception on Saturday, April 1st – 2:00 – 4:00p.m.  If you cannot make the opening there will also be a Closing Reception on Friday, April 28th 6:00 – 8:00 pm.  One of the pieces from my “Tying Up the Hay” series has been included in this show.



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Catherine Whall Smith . . . is looking forward to attending TWO up-coming museum openings

A new year and it is starting off busy as usual.  My studio time for the past few months has focused on my “Here’s Hillary” piece (almost complete) and  working with a palette of solid colors in my “Tying Up the Hay” series.  Presently “Tying Up the Hay #9” is still on my studio wall and #7 and #8 will be in the following shows; – #7 – The 73rd Annual Connecticut Artists Exhibition at The Slater Memorial Museum, Norwich, CT – all media show. January 22 – March 17, 2017. OPENING: Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 from 1-3pm.

AND – #8 @– “MIXMASTER” – at the Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT. January 29 – March 19, 2017.  OPENING : Sunday, January 29th, 1-3 p.m.  Related Programming – Salon Talks with the Artists – Sunday, February 12, 2:00 p.m.; Tuesday, February 28, 5:00 p.m.; Thursday, March 9, 1:00 p.m. Their show postcard incorporates a section of my piece (lower left) along with the art of Paul Kulikowski – Birch Vista Revisited; and Will Holub – Untitled (2) .  For more information visit ! So I think 2017 is off to a good start how about you?


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . thinks it’s time to start the 2017 calendar

Like me, do you feel like you are a little behind this year with the Holidays already upon us. – Usually the task of creating my next years calendar is long on it’s way to completion by now.  I use Vistaprint, ( which I find to be user friendly because you can log in and start and stop a project as your time permits.  I just started thinking about what images I want to include for each month and I have decided to include only my RED quilt images.  Here is one of the pieces;



“Transfusion” (27Hx28W) is it’s title.  My signature curved line was used as one of the  design elements in this abstract piece.  I plan to post more information on this piece in the future. For now it puts me in the holiday spirit and motivates me to pick out 11 more of my RED quilts for my 2017 calendar.

Peace, Love, and a Happy New Year!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . reflects on the past six Thanksgiving posts

So it’s time to reflect on the past six years of Thanksgiving posts;

  • Posted on November 23, 2010 – I asked the question “IS IT BIG ENOUGH!!” Is it big ENOUGH . . . the turkey . . . my ART – the dilemma – does size matter?
  • Posted on November 23, 2011 – I wondered again does size matter!
  • Posted on November 21, 2012 – I wished you a “Happy Thanksgiving” and wondered (again) does size matter!
  • Posted on November 22, 2013 – I wished you a “Happy Thanksgiving” and wondered does size matter!
  • Posted on November 25, 2014 – I wished you a “Happy Thanksgiving” and wondered again (Fresh or Frozen) will it be enough!
  • Posted on November 21, 2015 – I asked when does your art (or that Thanksgiving Turkey) become “larger than life”
  • And now, on November 17th, 2016 I wonder does the SIZE of the popular vote matter in a Presidential election .  I will let you answer that one. 
  • I have much to do in the next few days, buying the correct size of a  free-range turkey,   checking out the West Hartford (CT) Art Leagues  – Members Juried Exhibition 2016 – on view from November 23 – December 22nd 2016 in the Club House and Salt Box Galleries. My piece “Tying Up the Hay #7” was juried into this show. Opening: Sunday, November 20th 2:00-4:00 p.m. I will be gallery sitting on, Thursday, December 15th from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.
  • And I also have “Here’s Hillary”  to finish hand quilting.  This section shows the hand quilting that is being used to outline those wonderful lips.  As soon as I am done I will post the full view.img_4388-1HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY, AND FRIENDS! 





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Catherine Whall Smith . . . is getting ready for the final PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 2016

Last week I finished the top of “Here’s Hillary” and started to work out  the selection of the fabrics for the back side of this piece.  Since I hand quilt all of my art from the back of the piece, I needed to select fabrics that would give me the lines I would follow for the overall pattern of the quilting stitches.  Here is a photo of the fabrics I finally decided upon;

Back of "Here's Hillary"

Back of “Here’s Hillary”

I will follow the lines of the checkered fabrics – maybe stitching on every other line to create horizontal and vertical lines. When I get to the Coca-Cola fabric I will switch my wooden hoop to the top and continue stitching on that side.

So far I have been able to quilt almost half of this quilt.  My eyes do need to rest once in awhile from viewing that checkered pattern.

The other thing that I always do when I finish machine stitching the many pieces of fabric together is to photograph the inside of the top before stacking the three layers; (1st – quilt top) (2nd – cotton batting) (3rd – quilt back) and basting them together.  You will never see this side again once the piece is quilted.  Here are two photos of the inside;








So I will be sitting there hand stitching row and rows of lines while watching the debate tonight.  At the end of the evening I will have accomplished something – I wonder what I will learn about the candidates!



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Catherine Whall Smith thinks . . . RED is my new favorite color

Artists will tell you how sensitive they are to color.  So when former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walked onto the debate stage wearing a bright RED suit Monday night I murmured “wow” – what a statement color.  No need to go into the debate details here – you probably have had ENOUGH!  So instead I am sharing some progress on my piece “Here’s Hillary”.  I imagined it as a true RED, WHITE, and BLUE patriotic piece.  The color RED has taken center stage.  Here are a few pictures – the first (left) has some great images of elephants, and the second (right) shows a detail of the many lines of the piece;







And then there are those RED lips –heres-hillary3 talking, talking, talking like the debates – what are they saying. To continue with the RED theme, I will probably hand stitch the surface with RED thread. –

Now where did I hang my red dress – need to get ready for the next debate – STAY TUNED!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . is sharing her work in progress

My last post shared the piece “Here’s Hillary” that is presently on my design wall.  I usually work on two or more styrofoam panels that are roughly 7 feet high by 4 feet wide.  Placing two side by side gives me 8 feet of continuous space to arrange my fabrics.  It was my lucky day when I found some of my original pattern pieces from “Where’s Hillary” made in 2008. I will use them for this new piece.  As you can see the cardboard pattern is actually cut from a pizza box.



Below left are some of the fabrics that are making the “final cut”.  The photo on the right shows the selvage edge indicating the names of a few of those fabrics. “Tea for Two” has spoon images; “Because of the Brave” has many shades of blue in a camouflage pattern;  and “Blue bird” is a fabric made in Japan.img_4267img_4271





Here is a view of how that “red lip” fabric might look surrounded with a blue arch. img_4260Lots to consider and what message will this quilt deliver. I will keep you posted.

If you have been following the news, Hillary Clinton was recently diagnosed with a small right middle lobe pneumonia. I think the recommended treatment is antibiotics, liquids, and bed rest. Maybe she needs a quilt for that bed rest – I better get busy! Remember I hand quilt all of my art – this could take some time.


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . thinks it is time to start “Here’s Hillary”

So, summer 2016 has been hot, and busy.  I was able to enter two local juried shows.  “Artistic Wanderings 2016” all mediums – Norwich Art Center Galleries, Norwich CT. August 3 – August 27th. At this show “In the Hay Field/Night” was awarded the Alice Clark Hubbard Prize.  And the Connecticut Women Artists 86th Annual National Open Juried Show at the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, CT,  “Final Resting Place” received a Third Place prizeEXHIBITION DATES: Saturday, August 20 – Friday, September 23, 2016.  So there is still time to check out that all media show at the Slater.    And, I actually finished the last of three pieces that I just entered into the Biennial show “Quilt National 2017”.  The tips of my left hand have been needle pricked thousands of times from my hand quilting, so a nice dark callous is starting to form. The thimble finger nail on my right hand always looks a little weird – not sure if it is from the use of the sterling silver thimble or something else.  Time to move on – the studio is somewhat tidy and it is now time to work on a much anticipated piece “Here’s Hillary”.  Check out a section of my design panel with some fabric being “auditioned”.

%22Here's Hillary%22_detail

Of course they have to have that patriotic look of RED, WHITE, and BLUE! I especially like the lip fabric on the left hand side – so I will definitely use that – the rest is still up in the air. The shapes and lines will be determined by the first piece I did in 2008 titled “Where’s Hillary”.  This piece (below) has been exhibited many times. Started early in 2008 – it has images of many of our presidents – my plan was to insert Hillary’s picture when she became our next president – but fate step in and president Barack Obama was nominated by the Democratic Party.  WHERE'S HILLARY copyFrom time to time before the election in November, I plan to post this “work in progress”.  Oh, and don’t forget to VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8TH.  I guess you know who I will be voting for – who will you?

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . is getting ready to hang her Fiber Art at the WTHM – Duggan Mill in Willimantic, CT

It’s Thursday and time to double check that everything is ready for the Textile Trio event at the Windham Textile & History Museum in Willimantic, CT on Saturday, June 11th, 2016.  The quilts are almost ready to be transported to the museum.



Seeing a body of work by any artist is always inspiring, and since my art draws on my local surroundings I’m hoping that attendees in Saturday’s event will also be inspired by all that there will be to see and purchase.  Barbara Barber will be displaying her Hand painted “Mill Girls” quilts.  The Studio Art Quilt Associates of CT spool quilt will be hung. It was donated to the museum for their 25th Anniversary show in 2014. The vendors will include: Allison Wilbur with vintage Quilting & Fiber Art; Stitch Chicks Quilting Fabric & Notions;  Carol Eaton Personalized Fabrics; MJFiber Art with unique hand-dyed and painted fabrics; Schiller Sewing Circle with demonstrations, and Michele Palmer an expert on Toile fabrics will be there with her most recent book. She has donated vintage fabrics that will be for sale to benefit the WTHM.   The afternoon will include talks by Lois PalmerHope Barton, and Rita Hannifin as well as some of the vendors. For all the details check out or just show up SATURDAY, JUNE 11th 10:00 am – 4:00 pm!!!

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