Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares a “this makes me LAUGH!!!

Morning Motivation With DJ Khaled – for GEICO Insurance – Makes me laugh!!! If you click on the link below, you will see what I mean.

My favorite part of this Geico commercial is when he says “Tiny circles, do another one, another one! Don’t give up!”

For me this translates to tiny stitches, do another one, another one! 

Catherine – Don’t  give up!!!!

All of my fiber art wall hangings are hand quilted. It is a long, long, long meditative process to complete each piece. I do not mark the quilting lines, but rather use the design lines on the back fabric and hand stitch along those lines.  Sometimes I use the design lines on the quilt top and enhance those lines with tiny stitches. The detail photo above of “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance #8” shows some of those hand stitching lines.

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR – get in that studio – and DON’T GIVE UP!!   But if you are out and about remember this: If you need to ask wear a mask – don’t give up.



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Catherine Whall Smith . . . Happy Independence Day Week-end 2020!

To Celebrate  – the Mystic Museum of Art has put together a virtual show titled – AMERICANA: 64th Annual Themed Regional Exhibition Dates: July 4 – September 26, 2020. My piece “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance #4” (far right) is included in this show of 65 artists. Much of the artwork is available for purchase privately, directly through the artists. Contact information is provided below each image. This exhibition is best viewed at full-size by clicking on the thumbnail images and scrolling down to read the text.  NOTE: Fellow Fiber Artist Rita Daley Hannafin’s piece #24 “American Texture ” includes photos of her grandparents journey from Ireland to America after the Great Famine of the mid 1800’s.


Note: Even the FROGS in Willimantic, Connecticut are social distancing and wearing masks. Hope you are too!  Happy Independence Day Week-end 2020!


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . was successful in finding more “Bird Seed” fabric!

As mentioned in my last post, I save the selvage edge of my fabrics to be able to purchase more fabric at a later date.   I didn’t know at the time I started the “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance” pieces that they would turn into a series. My plan is to do at least 12.  The beautiful “Bird Seed” fabric is key – so I started searching the internet for more.  In my search I came across this color wave of the design.

Love the colors – so after awhile I did put in a bid, it was countered, I accepted.  Here it is;

There was always a nice note in the package. Will put that vendor on the “BUY FROM HERE, AGAIN” list!


STUDIO UP-DATEThe weight of each “Barriers” panel is getting heavy – so the edge of the green shutter has to support that weight.  My thought was to resolve the issue with an iron-on stabilizer fabric. One of my “go to” fabric stores is in Vernon, CT, so I headed over there on Thursday and found out that on Monday it had started a “Going Out of Business” sale.




Battings, etc. were all gone early in the week – still lots of beautiful fabric. So head over before the end of the month. Quilting By the Yard Address: 435 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, CT 06066  Phone: (860) 896-1056. All regular price merchandise is 50% off with a 1/2 yard minimum cut and all 50% off merchandise from the classroom shelves will be 80% off with a one yard minimum cut.    Please wear a mask or facial covering. You will not be allowed in the shop without one.

Note:  Among quilter, there is a saying ” The person who dies with the most fabric wins!” So go buy that fabric and live a long life! Oh, and wear a mask!!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . Catherine Whall Smith . . . is amazed that she has some “Corona Virus” fabric!

One of my favorite sayings is “SIMPLIFY! SIMPLIFY! SIMPLIFY! I even have that sign!

Studio Up-Date: the top of the first panel of my “Barriers” series is almost complete – will post that next Friday.

AND, “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance” #5 (shown below) is ready for my hand quilting.





This piece includes small fabric lines of what I’ve been calling the “Corona Virus “ fabric. I purchased this Black and White fabric many months ago – well before the pandemic. At the time, I didn’t know that the white print resembled the Corona Virus. I saved the selvage edge of the fabric so that I could reorder it at a later date. So far no luck finding more of the fabric.

“Hab.i.tat (a philosophy…a refuge…)” Michele D’Amore for BERNATEX Cotton Screen Print Style 3479) Note: I save the selvage edge of my fabrics to document each quilt.

So SIMPLIFY – the new CDC’s guide lines on staying safe post-lock down – wear masks, maintain your distance if you can, and limit your time with other people.

So SIMPLIFY – “If You Need to Ask . . . Wear a Mask!” the likelyhood of spread with a mask goes down to 3.1%.

Celebrate Connecticut’s “Hang a Quilt” Day – June 20th, 2020.


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . will hang “Pain”.

Getting ready for Connecticut’s “Hang – a – Quilt” Day on Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – time to decide which piece I will hang on our side porch. Right now with all that is happening, I’m thinking “Pain” (59H x 53W).  It was juried into the 1993 Greater Denton Arts Council exhibition; “Materials: Hard and Soft” in Denton Texas ; and was show at the UConn Library/Thomas Dodd Center during my retrospective show “Line Dances” in 1212.



“Pain” (detail)

It’s been stored in our attic for several years, so it will be good to get it out and revisit the fabrics, and skeletal images that seem to be falling off the edge.  OR MAYBE, I should hang: “Ready for Battle” (below) with the hay rounds covered in white plastic – no social distancing there!


The rules for this event are very flexible. Just hang a quilt outside on that day. It can be on your front yard, in a park, at a local business, with a sign or not. You can hang it from a tree, a fence, a gate, a rail, a chair, a clothes line, or any other creative way you can think of. You can post pictures on Instagram and Facebook with the #cthangaquilt and share this wonderful art form.  Time will tell.

And, if you do have some time please check out the Mystic Museum of Art -Virtual Transformative Art Experiences and their MMOA AT HOME page:  I am delighted to be included on their ELECTED ARTIST MEMBERS page;    STAY SAFE – WEAR A MASK!


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . works in a series WHY???

As you may have noticed, I usually work in a series. A SERIES is defined as a group or a number of related or similar things, or events, arranged or occurring in temporal, spatial, or other order of succession.  My latest series is titled: “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance”. Each piece in this series includes many wonderful commercial fabrics, artist hand dyes and one of my photo images of a single hay bale that has been printed on treated fabric.


I use a product called “Treasures” by Dritz.   Right now I am stocked up, as a few weeks ago when I started to purchase on line – it was really hard to find; extraordinarily expensive or “Out of Stock”.  Before the pandemic I never had that problem!  I found a fabric shop in California that had 3 packages left in stock – so I purchased them all.  A nice hand-written note by the shop owner came in the package. I will keep that shop on my “Buy from this Lady” list.


I also work in more than one series at a time. “Barriers” is my new series with lots to learn from it’s execution. Even the title makes me think – “what are my barriers; age, health, heritage, money, time”, the list goes on and on.  A series can be two or 50 and counting, as it all depends on what type of story you’re telling and how long it takes you to tell that story. So what is my story – and what is yours!  Stay Safe . . . Keep Your Distance!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . wonders if our teachers will be wearing masks in the Fall.

My studio up-date on the “Barriers” series will be short this week.  I completed the top to the first shutter panel, looked pretty good – but as I was thinking about where my hand quilting would go, I thought that the piece needed more dimension. So I tried making each “shutter slat” as a separate component that would look something like this:




So, I will cut more fabrics, stitch, and see how this new concept plays out!  As this will be a slow process to come up with enough slats for another panel, I decided to take a short break and work on “teacher” masks.

Below are a few of them that are complete;










So how many schools will be in session this Fall – at this point who knows!  Hats go off, (while the masks stay on) to the parents, teachers, guardians, students, and administrators that are living and working in a new normal of a teaching and learning environment.


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . thinks as Memorial Day weekend approaches – will we still practice “Social Distancing”.

Are we going BACK to this?OR, be safe and continue to practice social distancing this Memorial Day Week-end.

There are always more ideas being generated for my “Barriers” series.  Maybe adding the color yellow, like in my photo below of the plants that I just dug up. Eventually all these hostas will find a new home.

In my studio, I continue to work on “Barriers” – I’ve started to play around with some green fabrics with the addition of little squares.

 “Hay . . . Stay the Distance” #3 is almost completely hand quilted. I ran out of gold Gutterman Cotton thread so I’m waiting for my mail order to arrive soon. I will post the finished piece in a future blog.


If you are making masks , here is a contest just for you! Artists, designers, and creatives of all types and ages have been passionately responding to the current need to cover our faces. The Museum of Craft and Design is launching Let’s Face It, a nationwide craft and design mask competition and community gallery. From the practical to the avant-garde, we are curious to see what you are creating and share it with the world.     Let’s Face It   –  Deadline to enter is May 31, 2020
Enter your design today!



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Catherine Whall Smith . . . is stitching up more masks to get ready to get out of LOCK DOWN!

This Friday, I am sharing something on the lighter side from ~ Bear Creek Quilting Co.

“I hear some people are starting to feel stressed in lockdown! I was just talking about this with my sewing machine, and she seamed to agree. But when I asked the elastic, it just snapped back! I think it was stretched to its limit. So I tried to talk to the cotton, but it shrank away. The linen was in a bunch. The scissors were snippy. Even the stuffing was down. When I came around to ask the buttons, they just gaped.

The snaps suggested I get a grip. Thankfully, the iron gave it to me straight and reminded me this will all be smoothed over soon.”

Design Wall UP-DATE: “Barriers”


If you’re wondering whether to wear or not to wear a mask, consider this. Recently, 21 people died of COVID-19 in Japan. In the United States, 2,129 died. Comparing overall death rates for the two countries offers an even starker point of comparison with total U.S. deaths now at a staggering 76,032 and Japan’s fatalities at 577. Japan’s population is about 38% of the U.S., but even adjusting for population, the Japanese death rate is a mere 2% of America’s.

            “Sew” wear your mask as you plan for the future after lock down.







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Catherine Whall Smith . . . wonders when will I be able to pick up my Art at MMOA and the Hartford Framing Gallery.

So, as many of you have experienced a lot of museums, galleries, and art shows have been either cancelled, gone virtual, or put on hold.  I still have pieces from my “Transfusion” series in two temporarily closed locations in CT.  The “Six by Six” show at the Mystic Museum of Art (shown below), and “Thread Count” at Hartford Gallery Framing .

TOP – “Transfusion #3″ (41H x 71W) – BELOW – Left to Right – all pieces are mounted on 12″x12″x1.5” canvas frames. More of these Small Studies can be seen on my website link:

Artists of all mediums are experiencing this same dilemma.  You can check out some of the New England artists and their websites on line.  The March/April 2020 Artist Directory section of Art New England includes one more piece in my Transfusion series “Blue Bloods” .

Right now the “Transfusion” series is on hold as I start resolving the fabric ideas that now hang on my design wall.

AUDITIONING (below right) some of the fabrics for the “Green Shutters – Barriers” series


       So what is on your design wall?

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