Catherine Whall Smith . . . gets MESSY!

Right now I’m reading “Messy” The power of Disorder to Transform our Lives by Tim Harford, which celebrates messiness in our lives: why it’s important, why we resist it, and why we should embrace it. It is important to note that . . . “the tendency to work on multiple projects is so common among the most creative people that it should be regarded as standard practice. Multiple projects cross-fertilize. While paying close attention to one project, we may be unconsciously processing another. ”

I have to say I totally agree – as shown below – this is what ONE of my design wall’s can look like on many occasions! Messy – maybe not! – I’ve been using improvisational techniques for so many years that I am very comfortable with “the mess”. It’s spontaneous without a specific or scripted preparation.

Eventually the “Mess” will be resolved until it may look like the neat & tidy section shown below:

Once satisfied with the finished product I will then take the quilt top off my design wall to start the process of hand-quilting the three layers together. Can it get any better! OR MESSIER!

Stay Safe . . . as you celebrate Memorial Day Week-end 2023 – Smith Stitch Studio

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares Red (Magenta) is the color for 2023!

How did I know!! A Bold shade of red – Magenta is the color for the year 2023. I’ve been using a lot of RED in my new Bones series. “Body Bones” (50H x 39W) is a complex work created with thread and batting improvisational piecing and slashing, and is machine pieced and hand quilted. My photo images of skeleton bones have been digitally applied to treated cotton.

CHECK IT OUT at the Gallery 53 in Meriden, CT. – FABRICATED VISIONS: 2023 Fiber Art Exhibit. Opening Reception: Saturday, May 6th 12 Noon. On Exhibit: May 6 – June 1, 2023. “Body Bones” Can be viewed in this exhibit. Prize Juror: Gina Frank. SEE below for early stages of this piece.

Artist Cooperative Gallery of Westerly Rhode IslandMay Exhibition, “28th Annual Juried Art Exhibit” – May, 4 – 28  Opening Reception: Friday, May 5, 5–8 pm, Awards Presentation, 7 pm. Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11AM-7PM; Sunday, 1-5PM; My piece “Back Pain” has been juried into this all-media show. JUROR: Megan Horn, Curatorial Assistant, Newport Art Museum.

Both of these pieces have lots of hand quilting – taking many weeks to complete. So good to NOTE: Five Fantastic Benefits of Quilting – A study conducted by the University of Glasgow concluded that there’s much more to the craft than the mere pleasure it brings.

1. Stress-Reliever. The repetitive motions of quilting can have a calming effect on the mind, reducing stress and anxiety levels. When you quilt, you enter a meditative state that allows you to focus on the task at hand, block out any distractions, and reduce your stress levels.

2. Increased Confidence – Quilters understand the feeling of pride that comes with a completed piece. That completion can boost your sense of confidence and self-esteem over the long term. Studies show that people who quilt on a regular basis have an increased boost in their confidence.

3. Cognitive Ability – The more intricate your quilt design, the more likely you are to use complex math skills like geometry. As we grow older, our cognitive functions naturally decline. The more we use our brains, the healthier they remain. Cutting materials and piecing together a quilt helps to maintain cognitive ability.

4. Socialization Instead of quilting alone, researchers suggest quilting with friends. Coming together for an activity can help people maintain old friendships and make new ones. Interestingly, the more people socialize, the healthier they are.

5. Physical Health Any hobby that helps to relax the body can also lower blood pressure, keep cholesterol levels down and promotes heart health. While quilting isn’t a cure for everything that ails you, it can keep you in better overall physical condition.

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares the 2022 Bicentennial House and Quilt of the Month blog posts.

January 2022 – Catherine Whall Smith . . . welcomes in 2022! Posted on January
11, 2022

 ** February 2022Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares the February 2022 “Quilt/Home of the Month”  Posted on February 2, 2022

** March 2022 Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares the March Chaplin Bicentennial “Quilt/Home of the Month” Posted on March 2, 2022

** April 2022 – Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares AQE –
What fun!
Posted on April 4, 2022

** May 2022Catherine Whall Smith . . Join Me-May 21st 2022 @1pm  Posted on May 15, 2022

** June 2022Catherine Whall Smith . . . knows it’s happening!Posted on June 9, 2022

** July 2022Catherine Whall Smith . . . just hung it!  Posted on July 2, 2022

** August 2022Catherine Whall Smith . . . August “Grab and Go” Posted on August 1, 2022 by Catherine Whall Smith

** September 2022Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares her “PAIN” Posted on September 2, 2022

** October 2022Catherine Whall Smith . . . installed “Day and Knight” and became a SAQA Benefit Auction winner! Posted on October 6, 2022

** November 2022 – Catherine Whall Smith . . . is looking forward to the Bicentennial Talk – “Chaplin Homes in Fiber Art and Photos”  

** November 2022Catherine Whall Smith . . . wonders “Did YOU do it!”  Posted on November 6, 2022

** December 2022Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares the December 2022 Bicentennial Quilt of the Month.  Posted on December 13, 2022

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Home – CLICK on Blog in the menu bar to read the most recent post – Catherine Whall Smith . . . TIME to GET OUT of the Studio!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . TIME to GET OUT of the Studio!

TIME to get out of the studio and see a show!

2023 – Connecticut Women Artists, Inc. – CWA annual Members show. Location Art League of New Britain, 30 Cedar St. New Britain, CT – Exhibition Dates: Saturday, April 1 – Saturday April  22nd. Opening Reception & Award Ceremony: Saturday April 1 2-4pm. Closing Reception Saturday April 22 1:30 – 3:30 PM. My piece – “Body Bones” shown below is included in this show.

The collection of works was juried by Dr. Anna Swinbourne, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO of the Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, Connecticut. Note: “Body Bones” is a complex work created with fabric, thread, batting, improvisational piecing and slashing, and is machine pieced and hand quilted. My photo images of skeleton bones have been applied to treated cotton.

2023 – MONSON Arts Council “What Was . . . What Will Be” – Show and Sale – Show Dates – April 15, 16 – 22, 23 – 29, 30 open 12:00-5:00  Reception – April 15 1:00-4:00  Award presentation – 2:00. On View “Cows Got Milk and Plasma”(39H x 22W) by CWSmith – Catherine Whall Smith . . . just read “Cows Help with COVI-19 Treatment – No Bull !”

202312th Annual ACE Artist Members Exhibit Dates: March 11–April 1, 2023. Gallery Hours: Thursday–Saturday, 1:00–5:00pm. Free and open to the public. “Love Letters as the Numbers GROW”; “Sunny Day in the Hay Field” ;and “Back Pain”, can be viewed here; . Each year we dedicate one exhibit to our active Artist Members. Our Artist Members are a vital part of the community at Arts Center East. This exhibit showcases their varied talents and artistic achievements. NOTE: Visitors are welcome to vote for their favorite pieces! The winners will be awarded prizes at the close of the exhibit.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!! – Hope you are wearing something GREEN!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . KNOWS it’s BORING, but found more Treasures!

As I work on the hand quilting of this piece, I realize how much I enjoy seeing it’s top

(shown below)

Rather than the Back – which is pretty BORING!

Though a lot of my Art is only quilted from the back of the piece – for this piece I decided to do a lot of hand quilting by following the design lines on the quilt top. The “Back Pain” series incorporates skeleton images. My plastic skeletons were pinned to a black design panel, photographed and printed on Treasures; which I order from – Homespun Hearth 15954 Jackson Creek Parkway Suite B # 564 Monument CO 80132 htto:// . Depending on the size I need, I can usually print 3 – 8 of these images on a single sheet of printable fabric.

Time for a studio break to see some Fiber Art

1 – Join me for the Art Center East 2nd Annual Fiber Arts Exhibit – 709 Hartford Turnpike Vernon, CT. Opening reception, Saturday, February 4, 2023, 2:00–4:00pm. Awards will be announced at 3:00pm. Exhibit Dates: February 4–February 25, 2023 Gallery Hours: Thursday–Saturday, 1:00-5:00pm. (860) 871-8222. “Cut, Stitch, Sew” and “Transfusion . . . in TWO PARTS were juried to this show. Juror: Kate Themel

2 – Mystic Museum of Art, Mystic, CT- 2023 – Annual Members and Elected Artists Exhibition – February 3rd – March 12th, 2023. My piece “Binding with Books” will be shown at this venue.

3 – CAFA + MEMBERS SHOW is now ready to view! – January 28 – March 4, 2023   SEE THE SHOW –     Catherine Whall Smith   – Elected Member Back Pain Fiber/Artist Photo 43 x 44 in  

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . NOT SURE how it happened – the skeleton images!

My “Transfusion” series, which started many years ago – has now become my “BONES” series. The first of this series is “PAIN in my BONES” (70H x 66W) (shown below) – it is a a revisit of my piece “Pain” which was shown at – Materials: Hard & Soft Exhibition, at the Greater Denton Arts Council in 1993.

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The skeleton image that I photographed for the newer version continues to be an interesting image. I have many of these plastic skeletons that we use to decorate our home each year for Halloween. My photos of these images (see below) are digitally printed on a product by Dritz called “Treasures”.

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Shown below “BACK PAIN” was the next piece in that series.

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I have one more quilt top that is almost done, and one in the the hand quilting stage. – So What’s next??? Maybe time to relax in a warm bath!

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Stay Safe – don’t slip in the tub. Smith Stitch Studio –

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . Studio Up-Date #3 – ALMOST done!

Yes, almost DONE! – But something is off. Creating in the visual moment means I can adjust my art on my design wall. It goes something like this; I’m almost done and I see an area that “needs something”. Maybe, if I were a painter I assume I would get out my palette to make my piece visually “right”. BUT, with fabric a different process. Once I cut into the 95% finished top – I have to live with the results. SO, moving forward – below is a picture of the slashing line I completed with my scissor, in order to insert a piece of red and white fabric. It looks like this;

Which makes me think I have created the “Right amount of Wrong” as I mentioned in an old blog post. – Catherine Whall Smith . . . wonders what is the “Right amount of Wrong” Posted on August 7, 2018 . Below is the line sewn into the top – so I am just about ready to start putting together the back, middle batting layer, and this top to start the hand-quilting process with the green “Soft Comfort Thimbles” that arrived in the mail today – Happy New Year to me!

Happy New Year’s 2023! Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio.

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Catherine Whall Smith – studio UPDATE #2 – Hand Quilting in a 14 inch hoop.

Below is a detail image of my latest “Transfusion” series piece. I have learned a lot since executing #1. As I hand quilt sections of this piece, in my 14 inch hoop, I am struck by the smaller “PARTS” of this piece. Here are a few examples.

To me, each PART is an interesting design on it’s own merit. Though my design process is always about the whole piece, I am pleased that each PART can stand on it’s own and make a pleasing visual statement. So WHAT do you see??

Getting OUT of the STUDIO – Not to be missed! I do a lot of hand quilting – which I can do anywhere and it gets me out of my third floor studio – SO on Monday afternoon (December 19th, 2022) at 2:30 p.m. I will be hand quilting as I watch the UConn Football team in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. GO HUSKIES!!! Stay Safe – Smith Stitch Studio

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares the December 2022 Bicentennial Quilt of the Month.

The December 2022 Quilt of the month is titled “Marriage is Seldom Black and White . . . but Many SHADES of Grey” Original design – by Catherine Whall Smith (Hand Quilted)

Since many marriages occur in a church I decided that this quilt would be perfect to pair with the Chaplin Congregational Church c. 1814.  The church sits across the street from our home and we have seen many, many weddings throughout the years at this church.  This quilt includes photos of the many weddings that I was a participant. As a flower girl at my aunt’s wedding; a bridesmaid for a college sorority sister, the Maid of Honor at my sister’s wedding, and as a bride at my own wedding.  My parents wedding photo is also included.

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As the church congregation grew and more room was needed the church was moved 50 feet forward on large rollers to it’s present location.  The two story addition on the right was added in 1987.  

The Lincoln House (shown below) has had only a few owners since being built around 1825.  The most notable owner was Jared Lincoln, a former Chaplin town clerk and postmaster.

May You Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday!

Smith Stitch Studio!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . considers the fabric dots – Studio Update #1.

Even though I purchased the red with white dot fabric to be used as a background design, the more I looked at it the more I realized that the evenly spaced dots would form a perfect vertical line on my new studio piece shown below. Here is what it looks like so far;

At this point there is alot of hand applique to be done to properly attach the curvy dotted fabric (shown above) that I’ve started to use in my pieces related to our bones.

A fabric with lots of big black dots will be cut into squares with a single dot in it – like this shown on the left;

I usually let the fabric inform it’s placement in my art. Rather than me coming up with a design and them finding the correct fabric. I’m always interested in creating eye movement across the surface of the quilt – moving from left to right, etc.

Please look for future up-dates as this piece continues to GROW! at

Catherine Whall Smith . . . Smith Stitch Studio

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