Catherine Whall Smith . . . is thinking she needs a HAT to do her stitching.

When you have some “idle” time how about checking out Pinterest–Ladies stitching thru history –


Of note is Madame Defarge shown below as she records in her knitted registry the names of people. She is a fictional character in the 1859 novel “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens.



A  ringleader of the tricoteuses, tireless worker for the French Revolution, and the wife of Ernest Defarge.  Defarge knits, and her knitted stitches secretly encodes the names of people.   All day Madame Defarge sits and listens to conversations in the wine shop. Wearing a lace hat she stitches a “Hit List” of the people she wants eliminated during the Revolution.

Hmmm, so how important is a hat. The term “THROW YOUR HAT IN THE RING” comes from boxing. Today, throwing a hat in the ring indicates a challenge to political candidacy.  I wonder as the ballots are still being counted, will we hear a “Time to Throw in the Towel” by one of the candidates of the 2020 election.

STUDIO NOTE:  In 2010 as part of my “Hay” series, “Straw Vote” shown below was juried into the international The ArT-QuILT ExPERIENCE show at Cazenovia College Art Gallery, Cazenovia, New York. (It must have been timely, as it sold at the opening.)

Well, I guess it’s time to get out of my studio and do some on-line shopping! Hats, Masks, Knitting Needles, Towels, hmmm, what else!         STAY SAFE . . . Smith Stitch Studio!




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Catherine Whall Smith . . . so what are those COWS up to NOW!

Happy Halloween Week-end and FIRST snow in CT!  Here’s the UP-DATE on those cows! –  – So I decided, even though I couldn’t find the original j.peg image to just go ahead and take a photo of the photo that was printed on fabric.  Using a former image and making it new again! I ran the image through my printer twice to max up the color. Pretty good and it did motivate me to start a new piece. The image was flipped to have a larger herd of cows.  Title? –  You guessed it  “Herd Immunity”, or “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.  It will be 18H x 36W as I plan to mount it on a canvas.  It’s still in the hand quilting stage. (see below)

CWA 2020 Online National Open Juried Exhibition – Oct.28th – Nov. 30th. – A piece by Diane Cadrain and my “The Joy of the Ride” was juried into this show. A Juror’s Award went to “Cellular Orangelles” by another SAQACT member Mary Lachman. View the exclusively online show hosted by Arts Center East at . THANK YOU Executive Director: Jennifer Kowal.

OUR STORY – The CWA 2020 National Juried Exhibition showcases the art of women from across the United States, working in media as diverse as painting, mixed media, drawing, collage, printmaking, fiber art, photography, and sculpture. The juror, Carol Padberg, is an artist and directs the University of Hartford’s Interdisciplinary MFA at the Hartford Art School. Connecticut Women Artists, Inc. has promoted women artists for over 90 years. Beginning in 1929 with a small group of some of the most outstanding American women artists of that era from Connecticut, CWA has grown to what it is today.

NOTE:  On television this week I viewed citizens standing in line while social distancing to vote early.  Many had to stand for hours; some old, some young, some with children in hand. No matter the outcome of the 2020 election we at least should be proud that so many listened to the message “Go Vote”! There is still time!  And Set Your Clocks BACK .   Stay Safe! . . . Smith Stitch Studio

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . found “THIS”, while looking for “THAT”

Since the 12 pieces of the “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance” series are finished, I decided to work on the cows image that I’ve had on my design wall for quite a while!

I like the way they are all huddled together – this picture shows them printed on fabric – but I needed to find the original image, so that I could play around with it on my computer, before printing it on fabric. Taken at the nearby Knowlton Road Farm, my first guess was that it was somewhere on my computer – NOT THERE! So maybe on a CD disc – NOT THERE! 

But then, in my search, I came across a lone disk in a Kodak envelope – NO COW PHOTOS there – but instead several images of “Orange Peels” (47H x 50W) in the design phase. The “Orange Peels” piece (shown right) was completed  in  2008.  At that time I was in love with the Art of Vuillard, a post Impressionist Master. The pictures below shows sections of “Orange Peels” in the early design phase. Completing sections gave me the ability to arrange and rearrange them on my design wall – before the final stitching.



The picture below shows “Large Interior with Six Figures” (pg. 60-61) of my pocket Vuillard book propped against my piece in the final stages on my design wall.

Immediately my thoughts contemplated “divine intervention” – maybe I’m suppose to revisit “Orange Peels” as a series ???? – OR Keep looking for that original cow image.

Sew what are you looking for? . . .. Weigh your options – 1. Keep going down the present “looking for the cow” path to nowhere, or, – 2. REVISIT the PAST!   Go Vote!               Stay Safe! Smith Stitch Studio

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . being in Control of WHAT!

Recently, I read that Artists really like to be in control, and I totally agree.  Whether we use, paint, clay,  fabric, or some other medium we get to decide what happens and what the out come will be.  Right now with the Pandemic looming – the outside world is not in my control – but in my studio, I feel safe, secure, and in control.  There is always “one more de-cluttering task to start or complete”.

For many of us, de-cluttering serves as a sort of mental palette cleanser. It turns out there’s plenty of science behind this sentiment. “Our brains can process information more clearly and efficiently in an organized space,”  “Human beings like to feel in control of themselves and of their surroundings.  We prefer predictable environments that provide a sense of stability and calm.”

When I completed “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance #9  “Joined by the Hand Cuffs”, and #10 “Burning Embers” (Size 41Hx51W). – I decided to be in control of how these two pieces would be hung. The birds are out of control and not using “social distancing” as in previous pieces, but instead are lined up side by side. The two pieces are hung with a sleeve on a flat stick with one of my masks in the void that connects the two pieces. The Black and White prints all came from my present studio stash. Limiting the number of different prints – kept me in control.

Sew what are you trying to be in control of –  Health? Time? Money? Corona Virus? or the Every Day Life’s Events.

Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . Going, Going, GONE!!

Last Friday, I found time to bid on and purchase one of the SAQA 2020 Auction pieces!  I did a quick review and then I noticed #518 “Dementia” by Heidi Drahota of Nürnberg, Germany: http://www.heidi-drahota.deShown right – it’s description reads as follows; “The background is a tablecloth that I sewed for my mother. Now she no longer decorates her house. She doesn’t know the time anymore, she doesn’t know the seasons. How long will she recognize me yet? I’m losing my mother – slowly creeping.”  It will arrive via Fed Ex – can’t wait.  My piece “Please . . . Join us” also sold on that same day.  So far, $109,650 has been raised to benefit Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. mission. (

Presently our swirling tree leaves in Connecticut are also  going, going almost gone.  My piece “Autumn Swirls” completed years ago echos that sentiment. Interesting to me that the tablecloth fabrics in”Dementia” seem to be from the same color palette as my 2009 piece. So my question now is “Were we purchasing fabrics in different countries at the same time?”.


STUDIO NOTE:  The theme of leaves is highlighted  in “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance #5”, titled “Mighty Oak Leaves”  as it incorporates printed oak leaf fabric into the design (detail shown right).

STAY SAFE . . . Smith Stitch Studio and don’t forget to rake those leaves!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . is getting the “SHE SHED” ready for AOS.

Our over 100 ft. tall pine lives on ( ) . . . attached to the “She Shed”.  We’ve repurposed some of the tree limbs into fences on either side of the shed that was just cleaned out to get ready for the VIRTUAL “2020 – Artists Open Studio of Northeast CT”.Even though most artist studios will be virtual this year, I decided to re-purpose the shed to hang a few of my pieces during this event. I will be updating my website in November. So stay tuned – Artist Open Studios of Northeast CTNovember 27, 28, 29, and December 5 and 6, 2020

FASHION UP-DATE:  Wear a mask, even if it doesn’t work – which it does – why not treat your mask wearing as a fashion statement like; In the 60’s – The hippie subculture promoted ponchos, moccasins, love beads, peace signs,  chain belts, polka dot-printed fabrics, and long, puffed “bubble” sleeve;

  • In the 70’s – The Parisan peasant look included capes, turbans, puffy skirts and shirts with billowing sleeves;
  • In the 80’s – Severely tailored military-style suits/padded shoulders were worn side-by-side with printed t-shirts, velvet tracksuits, and baggy harem pants or leggings.
  •   In the 90’s – While not quite as loud as the eighties, the nineties took that attitude and tried to be a little smarter and a little classier.
  •    In the 2000’s – Casual clothing and leisurewear were the trends. Think crop tops, hoodies, low-rise flared jeans, jean skirts, platform sandals or Ugg boots.
  •  During the 2010 decade – Black boots, leather jackets, denim vests, sports jerseys, tapered sweatpants, drop-crotch trousers, land ayering shorts over leggings.
  • So what are you wearing into the 2020 decade? . . Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . just read “Cows Help with COVI-19 Treatment – No Bull !”

Because the fabric around the hay bale image has printed bottles of milk, I decided to

name “Hay . . . KYD#11” – “Cows . . . Got Milk and Plasma!” to remind us that Cows Help With COVID-19 Treatment, No Bull – You can    read the entire article here;

Briefly, it turns out, cows may play an important role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. These aren’t just any cows. They are cows that have been given genes from the human immune system that make antibodies. SAB Biotherapeutics is in the business of making what are known as polyclonal antibodies. These are a collection of different antibodies that a body makes to ward off a specific invading organism.

Why a cow? The antibodies circulate in the animals’ plasma, and you can get a lot of plasma from a cow – between 30 and 45 liters of plasma every month from each animal”.

But, while we are waiting for the cow stuff – wear a mask! Could it get any simpler – “Just Wear a Mask” – For now, it’s better than a vaccine that we don’t know when it will be ready to use. It’s so easy!

BEING REMEMBERED:  On September 18, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at the age of 87 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. And although the Notorious RBG is no longer here, her inspiring work and words remain. “I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.”

UPDATE:  2020 SAQA AUCTION is still happening. Today (at 2:00 p.m.) is $150 day for Section #2 – check it out Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . admits she has a lot of BIAS!

“Hay . . . Keep Your Distance #6” – needed a lot of BIAS binding and a REAL name – so because of the scissor images in one of the fabrics – (see detail below) it has been named “Cutting Hay”.






The hand quilting is done, so now it is time to audition the binding. Picture below left shows cutting the 2 inch binding. I always cut my own BIAS bindings so that I can get the correct size for the edge. I also decided to include a small piece of my “corona virus” fabric in the bias binding.



Eventually the bias strips are stitched together and pinned to the edge of “Cutting Hay” and machine stitched in place.  The bias strip is folded back, basted to form a finished edge, and hand stitched to the back of the piece. One more task done!

SAQA Benefit Auction UP-DATE: Total raised so far including Diamond Day is $36,150. You can learn more about the SAQA Auction at .  I’ve been eyeing #109 – “Imagining Escape” by Candance Hackett Shively – I think it speaks to how many of us are feeling.    “Stay Safe . . . Wear A Mask!”

                                   Smith Stitch Studio


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . “Where’s Hillary and “Here’s Hillary”- where are they now!

Before the 2008 Election, I started working on a piece that I thought would celebrate the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democrats Presidential candidate. History changed my focus when Barack Obama became the nominee. Thus the completed piece shown below was appropriately titled “Where’s Hillary”*, all of our former presidents were pictured on this piece – but where was Hillary?

“Where’s Hillary” DETAILS





At that time I also tried to document my stitching by approximating the number of hand stitches in each piece.  Basically I do about 13 hand stitches per inch – so measuring the piece (48H x 54W) and counting the rows side to side which for this piece is 71 rows – each row is 48 inches long – I multiply 71 x 48 = 3,408 inches. Then multiplying by 13 giving me an approximate total vertical stitch count of 44,304. PLUS, a vertical section on the bottom of 7 rows across the 54 inch width. (54 in. x 7 rows x 13 = 4,914)

So, 44,304+4,914=49,218 hand-stitches in “Where’s Hillary”!

Another thing I am Counting: – the number of days till the November 3rd ELECTION.

So what are you counting?

* “Where’s Hillary”– PREVIOUS blog posts on this piece: Catherine Whall Smith thinks . . . RED is my new favorite color, Posted on September 28, 2016  and, Catherine Whall Smith . . . is getting ready for the final PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 2016 Posted on October 19, 2016

UPDATE:   SAQA Benefit Auction DIAMOND DAY is today!       1 – OVERVIEW –   2 – BROWSE ITEMS –   3 – LINK TO REGISTER  –

Stay Safe – Smith Stitch Studio!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . is counting the Days – how about YOU!

Yes, I’m counting the days till the 2020 Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. on-line auction. This annual Benefit Auction is SAQA’s premiere fundraising event! All proceeds support SAQA’s exhibition programs, publications, and education outreach. Plus, your purchase helps increase the recognition for art quilts and the artists who make them.

With almost 500 beautiful (12H x 12W) artworks available for bidding, there is something for everyone to enjoy! The 2020 reverse-price auction is divided into three sections with a new section open each Monday. Section 1 (Sept 14 – 20th – 166 pieces) – Section 2 (Sept 21 – 27th – 165 pieces) – Section 3 (Sept 28 – Oct 4th – 165 pieces)    Bid prices start at $750 per quilt and drop each day at 2pm EDT until they reach $100 on Saturday.  CHECK OUT:

Below are a few examples: See more at (My piece is #79 “Please Join Us”)


#198 – “VOTE ” – by Maria Shell



#346 -“Thread Painting En Plen Air “- by Jenny Perry


#274 – “Mirth” – by Diane Melms



So what are you counting?  Maybe the 60 days until the November 3rd  election.  . . .  Stay Safe . . . Wear A Mask!      Smith Stitch Studio !


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