Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares her process START to FINISH!


Today, I thought I would share my “improvisational” piecing process using five images;

#1 – The fabric piece with red dots on a white background has been laid on top of the background fabric.

#2 – Next I use the edge of the fabric piece as my guide to cut through the back ground fabric.

#3 – Once  that line is stitched in place I can move onto making decisions regarding the placement of more lines as shown below on my design wall;

#4 –  Another section (shown below) already has some lines so is now ready for another green line. My see through ruler allows me to position it so that I can create the proper placement of the top green line. Once the line is slashed I can then complete this section.

#5  – Pressing is an important part of the process – press each line after it is stitched in place.

Don’t be hesitant to try this “Slash and Stitch” method of creating your Fiber Art.

NOTE: “So do what you think you can’t”- not sure what that means – but it struck  a cord with me. It goes beyond “just do it”.  As an artist start with what you know you can do or master and then move on to create that “do what you can’t ” master piece!


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . is Staying Home Stitching in her Studio and sending the CWA show up-date.

Considering the Chaos (BEFORE)Two of the Results – (AFTER)

These two tops are now being hand quilted. I usually photograph the back of the quilt tops (see below)

This is the last time I will be able to view the machine stitching lines of each top, before I assemble the three layers (see below): back, batting, and top.

Note: UP-DATE :  A Note from the CWA President, Linda Boisvert DeStefanisOur exhibits are invariably a testament to the degree of excellence that our members continue to work towards, and it is always a pleasure to behold the show hung with pride for all to enjoy. Unfortunately, due to the risk of the Corona Virus, the art world, and most of our gatherings has come to a halt. Safety must be the main concern for now, so, in keeping with the call to restrict our social gatherings, we are sending you all a link so that you can view and admire our fabulous, virtual exhibit with 100 pieces of fine art… online. Here is the link for our show: 

When things begin to improve, the Art League of New Britain will stay in touch with us and decisions will be made. A Statement by our Juror… “To be asked to be the juror for the 2020 CWA Annual Members’ Juried Show is both an honor and a challenge. Art in this exhibit reflects and communicates consciousness, feelings, poetry, beauty and diversity. Even though Salvador Dali told artists: “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it”, the brilliance of art isn’t just what we make but what it makes of us. Humbly we will carry on. You have created an exhibit here that should make every artist proud. Congratulations and applause to all.”  Jean Dalton

“Stay Safe . . . Stay in your Studio” . . .  Smith Stitch Studio

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . was thinking of celebrating “National Quilting Day”

So guess what, along with the many Art shows, Art centers, and Art galleries the National Quilting Day celebration scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2020 has been cancelled due to concerns about the risk of social gatherings during the corona virus pandemic. But, save the date for next year’s celebration of National Quilting Day on March 20th, 2021. .

Here are some more cancellations of shows that include my art;

2020 – Connecticut Women Artists, Inc. (CWA) Annual Members’ Juried Show April 4 – May 1, 2020 at the Art League of New Britain 30 Cedar Street New Britain, CT. Closed until further notice.

2020 – LOCAL COLOR: RAILS, ROADS & RIVERS – Studio Art Quilt Associates CT Regional Exhibition First venue Windsor Art Center, Windsor, CT – March 21 – April 25​​.  The Art Center will be closed from March 16 through March 23, at which time a new update will be issued.

2020 – Mystic Museum of Art (MMoA), Mystic, Connecticut “Six by Six” Six Elected Artists Invitational Show and Sale of Art. February 2nd – April 4th, Schuster Gallery (MM0A).  MMoA has been closed until future notice.

2020 – “Thread Count” – January 11th – March 31st, 2020. The Hartford Art and Framing Gallery Closed through the end of March at which time they will reassess the situation. 

2020 – Art Party of the Year @ The New Britain Museum of Art- UPDATE: After much consideration, the Art Party of the Year and art auction on April 25, 2020 has been postponed. This even will be rescheduled following the conclusion of the COVID-19 virus concerns. “Gold Hay #5” and “How did this Happen” will be included in this postponed auction.

Finally a NOTE TO SELF! “When did quilts /fiber art become a “Do Not Touch Item?”. Because all my fiber art is Hand quilted – I do a lot of touching! In fact that is one of the things I like best about my creative process. My Artist Statement includes that idea; “My final connection with each piece is hand stitching repetitive lines across the quilts surface.   Thousands of tiny stitches allow me to once again be in the moment as three layers merge into one and my art transforms from a flat surface to one with texture, drape, and dimension”.  So for future shows, I will try to include a piece or sample of work that you can touch and examine. Go ahead – touch it, examine the back, check out the seams, and the hand stitching.  How does it feel to you?

Finally, “Stay Safe . . . Stay in your Studio”  from Smith Stitch Studio

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Catherine Whall Smith now has time to purge and organize her computer . . . guess what she found!

  Advice from a Singer Sewing Machine Manual  From 1949

“Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do . . . Never approach sewing with a sign or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates.

Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping shores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing. When you sew make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on. If you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home, and you will not look nearly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing.”

Seventy plus years later things have changed for sure.  I no longer dust my fingers with french chalk!  So what are you up to?

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . suggests two “Save the Dates”

#1 – Up Date on “Thread Count”* Gallery talk by Clara Nartey.  Thursday, March 12th, 5:30 – 6:30 Clara Nartey will be giving a lecture titled, “A Brand New You”: How to Effectively Create Your Personal Artist Brand Online.

*From January 11th – March 31st, 2020 Hartford Fine Art and Framing, has filled their gallery with color, warmth and life! “Thread Count” includes  beautiful fiber, quilting and felting artwork of five extremely talented artists: Judy Ross, Kate Themel, Diane Cadrain, Clara Nartey, and Catherine Whall Smith. All of the pieces hanging on display would make a wonderful addition to any art collection, so stop in between now and March 31st to see what’s hanging!  Featuring:  Clara Nartey  :Diane Cadrain :Catherine Whall Smith   :Judy Ross :Kate Themel

#2 – Since NATIONAL QUILTING DAY is Saturday, March 21st, why not see some quilts at the OPENING RECEPTION of “Local Color: Rails, Roads & Rivers” celebrating the range of metaphors evoked by human-built and nature-carved modes of movement and transportation and the people who build and/or use them. The Studio Art Quilt Associates CT Regional Exhibition will be on view at Windsor Art Center, Windsor, CT – March 21 – April 25​​. Opening Reception: March 21​st 5pm – 7pm.

“Sanctuary in the City” (30H x 40W) by Rita Hannafin.AllRightsReserved

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . thinks it’s time to move and don’t forget Saturday’s demo by Kate Themel

Time to move to another color palette.  Red, red, and more RED, that color in a variety of prints has dominated my work in my “Transfusion” series for quite awhile.  But as you can see below, there are some new colors emerging.  Beautiful Pat Pauly ( and Carol Eaton  ( hand dyes as well as commercial prints in golds and greens.  My design wall is now full of fabric ideas.  I’ve added some of my photo images of hay bales, some covered in white plastic and interesting images of a corn crib door and farm equipment.  Time to let that “perk” until I am ready to start creating and stitching the next piece.

  Reminder:  The next “Thread Count” lecture at the Hartford Fine Art and Framing Gallery will be Saturday, February 29th, 11 am – 1 pm.  Kate Themel will be demonstrating her sewing machine techniques, using a camera and projector for all to watch as she works.  A not to be missed event.

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares “Thread Count” demo and lectures for February and March 2020

There is a lot going on at the Hartford Fine Art and Framing Gallery. “Thread Count” Winter 2020 Lecture Series and Demonstrations are free to all artists and art lovers. Check out Facebook for up-dates.
Sat.  Feb. 15th, 11AM – 1PM: Diane Cadrain – will be performing a demo using her unique felting and sewing techniques to create an image.
Saturday, February 29th, 11AM – 1PM:- Kate Themel
Thursday, March 12th, 5:30 – 6:30PM: Clara Nartey
Saturday, March 28th, 11AM – 1PM: Judy Ross

So if you haven’t had a chance to stop by the Hartford Fine Art and Framing Gallery in East Hartford to view all the Fiber Art in “Thread Count”, this Saturday might be the day!


Reminder: The Mystic Museum of Art in Mystic, Connecticut is hosting their 2020 Members and Elected Artists Exhibition through March 29th; as well as the “Six by Six” Elected Artist show which is up and will continue through April 4th – 2020. My pieces in this show are shown below.  Each one is part of my “Transfusion” series. 

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares her trip to the Mystic Museum of Art today

So, if you remember, during July 2019 I shared my post  “Catherine Whall Smith . . enjoys-driving-the-back-roads-of-connecticut.  At that time the plastic covered hay bales were dressed up with bunny ears and sunglasses. Today I drove that same road and guess what – Mr. Bunny is now Mr. Snowman .

So perfect since this Winter we have been pretty much “snow-less” in Connecticut.  The purpose for my trip today was to hang my pieces in the MMoA “Six by Six” invitational Show and Sale of Art.  On view form February 2nd – April 4th, in the Schuster Gallery (MM0A). All of the art is for sale, you will need to contact the artist to purchase a piece in the show. Artists contact information is available at the museum.

Here are some images from the installation of that show.

The artists hanging their art

Steve pounding the hanging hooks

The “Transfusion” pieces hung on my 6 foot section of the Schuster Gallery.

The top piece is “Transfusion #3” (41H x 71W) which has been hand-quilted. Each one of the “PARTS” (below “Transfusion #3) have been mounted on 12 x 12 x 1.5 inch canvas.  The 1.5 depth adds some interest to each “PART” and gives me a chance to extend the viewers eye to the canvas sides with the addition of some wonderful fabrics.

 Hope you will be able to get down to visit the “6X6” show as well as the Annual Members/ Elected Artists Exhibition which is on view from January 30th – March 29th, 2020.


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares “Thread Count” – Opening Day!

Opening day  – – post from the Hartford Fine Art & Framing Gallery;  “What a great turnout!!! “Thread Count” had it’s opening reception on Saturday and it was a massive success!! Thank you so much Clara Nartey, Kate Themel, Catherine Whall Smith, Judy Ross and Diane Cadrain for letting us hang your amazing artwork in our gallery space. It’s been an honor working with you all!! Stay tuned for demo schedules and our “Piece of the Week” series, where we feature some of the beautiful fiber art that is showing in our gallery right now! ” Note: Demo Days – so far Kate Themel is scheduled for Saturday, February 29th: and Judy Ross for Saturday, March 28th, 2020.

See the whole show via Clara Nartey’s post;


Next week I will be hanging more of my “Transfusion” series pieces at the Mystic Museum of Art, Mystic, CT.  New for 2020 will be a museum store and a series of shows by Elected Artist members. The first “Six by Six” Invitational Show and Sale of Art in the Shuster Gallery will include; Ralph Acosta, Catherine Whall Smith, Joan(J.R.) Dill, Mary Gazda, Catherine Weiss, and, R. Douglass Rice. Dates: February 2nd – April 4th.

Beautiful sunny day, go see some art!









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Catherine Whall Smith’s New Year’s Resolutions include . . . working at a slower pace???

Happy New Year 2020! A year that I resolved to work at a slower pace, but maybe that is not what will happen.  Starting January 11th thru March 31st, 2020 my Fiber Art will be included in “Thread Count” an Invitational Show and Sale of art by Five Connecticut Fiber Artists at The Gallery at Hartford Fine Art, 80 Pitkin Street East Hartford, CT 06108  (860) 528-1409.  OPEN:  Monday thru Friday 9:30AM – 5:30PM Saturday 9:30AM – 3:00PM. On view will be works from the following artists;

Diane Cadrain

Judy Ross

Clara Nartey

Catherine Whall Smith

Kate Themel

Please join us for the OPENING RECEPTION on Saturday, January 25th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.  So, what’s your new year’s resolution?


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