Hope everyone had a “Happy Thanksgiving” and is enjoying the “left-overs”. Which reminds me of my fabric scrap “left-overs” – from all of the pieces that I created for my “Transfusion” series. Here are a few photos of what’s happening on my design wall.
A MESSY process, but it works for me as I work through the visual of each section of each piece. My plan (at this point) is to create 3 individual sections that will be joined by small sections of the Karen Lewis “kite tails” fabric that I have used in all the pieces in this series. Size TBD – this first section will probably be 36H x 36W.
I’ve printed lots of images in various sizes of my skeleton photo – but I just auditioned a few of them and realize I need to print more – just slightly smaller to fit the dotted strips that I will be using in the second section. So Stay Safe! Enjoy the “Leftovers” food or fabric related!!! Smith Stitch Studio!
NOTE: This week, I will be hanging the final “Chaplin 2022 Bicentennial Quilt” and two small fiber Art pieces; one of a home on Chaplin Street, and one of the Chaplin Congregational Church and will up-date my blog soon https://catherinewhallsmith.com/blog-2/ .
So did you get that extra hour of sleep after setting back your clocks??? Getting one extra hour for me usually means an extra hour in my studio. Though I should probably use the extra hour to finish up the last of my Chaplin House series. But, I felt the urge to start another piece in my “Transfusion” series. The fabrics have been waiting in a plastic container for a few weeks now – so it is time to start throwing fabrics on my design wall – and create the “unknown”. I will keep you posted on how that goes.
UP-DATE: Chaplin Public Library: “Where’s Hillary” shown below is on display along with a (12×12) of the Merchant Shop, a composite structure with a back wing that was originally a merchant shop.
Before the 2008 Election, I started working on this 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 above was appropriately titled “Where’s Hillary”*, all of our former presidents were pictured on this piece – but where was Hillary?
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 – I came up with approximate total stitch count of 49,218 hand-stitches in “Where’s Hillary”! After making “Where’s Hillary” – years later for the next presidential election I decided to create “Here’s Hillary”. I imagined it as a true RED, WHITE, and BLUE patriotic piece. The color RED has taken center stage. And then there are those RED lips talking, talking, talking like the debates – what are they saying. “Here’s Hillary” (shown below) hangs in the Library along with a (12 x12) of the Old Store @ 46 Chaplin Street.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Another thing I am Counting: – the number of days till the November ELECTION.
So what are you counting?
Finally this quote by the editor of Art New England hits home ” I will close with a reminder to vote in November. Vote as if the democracy of the United States depended on it . Oh wait it does. And after voting wear that “I Voted” sticker proudly.” Tim Montgomery publisher pg. 15 Art New England Sept/Oct 2022.
Saturday, November 5th – 1:00 pm at the Senior Center
Presented by Catherine Whall Smith and Bruce Raymond
In celebration of Chaplin’s bicentennial, join Chaplin residents Catherine Whall Smith and Bruce Raymond to view Bruce’s photos of Chaplin homes, doors, and nature, and learn how Catherine renders photos into her fiber arts.
Catherine Whall Smith is a quilter living in Chaplin, CT. She designs her quilts through the process of discovery — discovery of the relationships of fabric, pattern, color, and a limited variety of shapes. All of her art quilts are traditionally hand quilted. To learn more, visit her website at https://catherinewhallsmith.com/.
Bruce Raymond is a photographer living in Chaplin, CT. He can often be seen walking or biking through Chaplin with his camera around his neck.
Join us as we explain our process and techniques used to transfer photos to fabric and paper. As well as a “TEST” – WHERE is this DOOR?
Lots going on to share, but first my auction piece “Coffee With Friends” by SAQA Member Glen Parks arrived! It makes me happy and I am looking forward to visits with friends to celebrate this piece.
This week-end I plan to head over to the Windsor Art Center for the Opening Weekend of:“Sewn Stories, Shared Lives” by two SAQACT artists Carol Vinick and Linda Martin. Saturday/Sunday, October 15, 10am – 4pm & Sunday, October 16 11am – 4pm Meet the Artists from 11am-1pm on Saturday & 1-3pm on Sunday.
Artist Talk – Stories Behind the Quilt: Saturday, October 22, 10:30am – 12pm
Movie Night: Friday, October 28 at 7pm How to Make an American Quilt
Fabric Collage Workshop: Fish or FaceSaturday, November 19, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Participants will be instructed on creating a fabric collage inspired by their image or an aquatic creature. Limit 10. Fee $35 plus $10 materials fee payable to the artists.
Gallery hours – WAC – Thursday, 6 to 8pm; Saturday, 10am to 4pm; and Sunday, 11am to 4pm.
* * * * * * *
AND on SATURDAY, October 15th, I will be sharing my insights on “Working in a Series” at The GHQG 2022 Annual Gathering “Oh the Places We Will Go” sponsored by the Vernon Nutmeg Quilters – 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at Illing Middle School 227 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester, CT. I’ve packed up a variety of my Fiber Art from my “Transfusion” series to display and will enjoy sharing what I’ve learned over 40 years of working on this art form.
This week on a trip to our local Chaplin Public Library, we installed the “Day and Knight” display.
October 2022 Bicentennial Quilt of the MonthKnight and Day Corner c. 1825
87 and 93 Chaplin Street, Chaplin, Connecticut
During the early years of Chaplin, the family of Deacon Darius Knight lived at 93 Chaplin Street. When we moved to Chaplin in the 1970’s this home was the McCullough family home. The house across was the E. W. Day house at 87 Chaplin St., where E. W. Day lived in the early 1800’s. Thus, this intersection was known as the Knight and Day Corner.
If you would like to see the entire installation of the 11 Fiber Art homes that have been on display each month, then please attend the FREE presentation “Chaplin Street Homes” Fiber Art by Catherine Smith & Photos by Bruce Raymond on Saturday, November 5th, 2022@ 1pm at the Chaplin Public Library, Chaplin Street.
SAQA Benefit Auction UPDATE: Last Friday, I decided to take one more look at the SAQA Benefit Auction and was able to bid on and purchase one of the pieces. “Coffee with Friends” by Glen Parks of Baton Rouge, Louisiana spoke to me – and when it arrives I will share on my blog. A huge and heartfelt thank you to the generous artists and bidders! With your help, SAQA raised $72,000 to support their exhibitions, education, and outreach programs.
Eighty pieces are now available for $100 on Handbid. These pieces are perfect for collecting and displaying. Act fast – pieces will be packed up soon so they can travel to Quilt Festival Houston where they will be available at the SAQA booth. Over the past 30 years, SAQA has grown into a dynamic and active community of over 4,000 artists, curators, collectors, and art professionals located around the world.
The SAQA Benefit Auction opens on Friday, September 9 with Diamond Day! Any quilt is available for $1,000; the first bidder wins. The rest of this reverse-price auction is divided into three sections, with a new section open each Monday. Bid prices start at $750 per quilt and drop each day at 2 PM EDT (GMT/UTC -4) until they reach $100 on Saturday. The following Monday, the bidding pattern repeats until the auction closes on October 2.
The annual Benefit Auction is SAQA’s largest 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.
For the month of September, I decided to hang “PAIN” or “On the EDGE . . . Ready to JUMP!”
One of a Kind Original Design by CWSmithMachine Pieced. Hand Quilted. All Cotton Materials.In 1993 “ Pain” (60H x 54W) was juried into “Materials: Hard &SoftExhibition”, at the Greater Denton Arts Council, Denton, Texas. – It now hangs with the 12 x 12 mounted fabric photo of The Isaac Eaton House, c. 1840 @19 Chaplin Street, Chaplin, CT. at the Chaplin Library.
“In 1840, Isaac Eaton bought “one acre, twenty-nine rods, more or less” of land from Henry Spafford for $150. He then mortgaged the property for $350 to build this one and one-half story gable-end house with an ell. The outstanding feature inside the Isaac Eaton House is the kitchen fireplace, with its bake oven and single stone lintel. “Noteworthy was the Old Maple Tree that grew out front of this home on Chaplin Street. A former homeowner, took great pride in that tree and tried to insure its longevity by having wire supports added to it’s heavy limbs. But over time the tree had to be removed – so to honor this tree the Town of Chaplin invited local Wood Turners to create pieces from the parts of the tree.The Chaplin’s Old Maple Tree Harvest Buffet Dinner held at the Chaplin Senior Center on Saturday, October 21, 2006 turned out to be a great community gathering and fund-raiser ($3,2700.00). I was able to purchase a pen and a small vase made from this tree.
During the years that we have lived in Chaplin since 1974 this home at 96 Chaplin Street has changed owners three times. I photograghed this house because I enjoyed seeing the American flag hung from the front porch. When Mrs. Murphy lived there the back of the house did not have a back porch/ deck to sit on. Now it does for a pleasant out door experience. By my count there are 18 interesting porches on Chaplin Street, front, side or back they add living and social gathering spaces.
The quilt that I decided to hang for the month of August is “Grab and Go”! because it is typical of this time of Summer. When hay fields are being cut, stacked, rolled up and taken away to be stored either in white plastic or in a barn. This quilt has been shown many times, including in 2016 – @ The Nor’Easter: 46th Annual Juried Members Exhibition. New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT. Machine pieced, hand quilted. Includes my photo image of a Bassett’s Bridge Farm in Mansfield, CT. Digitally printed on treated cotton. All cotton materials, screen print by CWSmith.
NOTE: If you are looking for more quilts to view check outLocal Color: A Connecticut Welcome (SAQACT Regional Quilt Show) – on view at the Windham Textile & History Museum Willimantic, CT from Friday, August 5th, through Sunday, September 25th, 2022.
PLUS ENJOY these up-coming events at the Windham Textile & History Museum, Willimantic, CT
Friday, August 5th QUILT SQUARES 1 – 3 pm in Dugan Mill 157 Union Street, Willimantic, CT Learn about quilts while you make your own geometric paper quilt. Children ages 5- 19. Event is free.
Friday – Saturday August 19th, 20th – Crazy Quilt Book Sale 9 – 4. Dugan Mill. Don’t Miss out on the bargains. Admission FREE
Saturday , August 27th: PUT A PIN IN IT. a Quilting Expo at the Mill Museum 10-am – 4 pm in Dugan Mill Demos, lectures, vendors, and classes in both the main museum building and Dugan Mill. Classes will include English Paper Piecing and Crazy Quilting with kits available to purchase. Tickets are free with museum admission.
So yesterday, I removed the June “Bicentennial Quilt of the Month” from the Chaplin Library and hung “Where The Red Moon Rises”
When I was working on this piece, I was stumped as to how to finish the border that would support the design elements of the rest of the quilt. By chance a friend and Chaplin neighbor who was living out of the U.S. sent me the beautiful printed flower fabric that just seemed “perfect” to complete this quilt. It has been shown : 1993 Where the Red Moon Rises A Quilt Show IV, Invitational Sponsored by Women’s Fellowship of the Congregational Church, South Glastonbury, CT. 1992 Where the Red Moon Rises Quilt Connections, Invitational Exhibit and oral history. 2012 – Line Dances: Quilts by Catherine Whall Smith – A 20 year Retrospective 1991-2011 at the UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT, Storrs, CT.
* * * * * * *
I used my photo (shown above) of the Chrysler house c. 1825 @15 Chaplin Street – to create the 12″ x 12″ fiber square. – “The builder and earliest residents of the Chrysler House are unknown, so it is named after the family that resided here for much of the twentieth century. It is one of three brick houses in the Chaplin Historic District constructed within a decade of the incorporation of Chaplin.” Pg. 18 “Historic Homes of Chaplin Village” J. Philbrick Copyright 2002
If you are not familiar with Sydney Chrysler (1915 – 1999) here is one of the things he was noted for: “Chaplin Impresario Stages Grand Opera With Performers Three Inches High”by David H. Fowler, The Hartford Courant: Sunday, November 25, 1951.
Grand opera, with 800 singers and a 75 piece orchestra, is in rehearsal in this town of 712 under the guidance of impresario Sidney Chrysler. Connecticut music lovers will find it hard to believe that statement, but Chrysler can prove it: on a stage three feet high and three feet wide, with his 800 miniature actor singers, each three inches high. . . . . . . .
From neighbor Ann Chuk; “We all learned so much about opera . . . it was like an institute in opera … and the best thing was we would take a break during the once a week practices, and Sidney would always make the best fresh fruit desserts…from local farms or his own bushes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries! Yum. Sidney also would plant perennials at a neighbors home when he was thinning his lovely gardens out.
* * * * * * * * *
NOTE: For the 2022 Connecticut “Hang A QUILT Day” we got out the ladder and hung “Ladies in Waiting” and “Lyme Disease Babeosia Strain”.
It happens every year – The Farmington Valley Quilt Guild is sponsoring Connecticut Hang-A-Quilt Day on June 18, 2022 – 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM . It is the perfect open air quilt show! Hang a quilt outside your house — on your garage, clothesline, fence, tree or chair. Ask a local business if you can display a quilt for the day. Post a picture on social media with the #CTHangAQuiltDay. There is no pre registration required. I’m not sure which quilt I will hang, but I still have time to think about that.
My focus recently has been on “which” one of my QUILTS I will hang at the local Chaplin Library. (shown below) My quilt for June is “Blue Blood” (48H x 48W). It is part of my Transfusion series that started several years ago. It has been shown at the Mystic Museum of Art, Mystic CT.
The Grange, Chaplin, Connecticut
When we first moved to Chaplin in the 1970’s we had the opportunity to experience a REAL TOWN Meeting. At that time the town meeting was held in the Grange on rte. 198. Besides the annual town meeting the building was used for other events including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Pine Wood Derby, and several square dances. Today that building has been turned into a home.
Between 1820 and 1850, approximately 25 homes, a tavern, a general store, a dry goods store and a merchant’s store were built adjacent to the church along a curved portion of the major north-south route that paralled the Natchaug River. The majority of the houses that line the Chaplin Village street were built within a single thirty-year period. In 1822, the residents of this village negotiated with the towns of Mansfield, Hampton and Windham to incorporate Chaplin, named in honor of the town’s benefactor.
Chaplin Street, as it is now called, became a mile long cut-off when State Route 198 was straightened in 1929, thus leaving most of the village homes intact and creating a unique study in time in northeastern Connecticut. In July 1974, Chaplin Village was designated a Historic District to preserve the character of the buildings and their settings for future generations.
* * * * * * * * * *
Oh and don’t forget Monday, June 13th is “National Sewing Machine Day“. Thomas Saint received the first patent for a sewing machine design in 1790, but he never advertised it. In 1874, William Newton Wilson found Saint’s drawings in the London Patent Office, made some minor adjustments, and built a working model. Others, including Isaac Singer and Elias Howe were instrumental in the sewing machine’s later development. Today you can adopta toy sewing machine through The Mill Museum and help us to preserve the history of these unique antiques. You will receive a certificate of adoption with a historical information sheet, a matted print of the machine of your choice, and a lace ornament you can treasure. Go to https://millmuseum.org/adopt-a-sewing-machine/ for details.
* * * * * *
NOTE: Hopefully the rain will hold off this Saturday for the Arts In The Garden Weekend June 11 & 12 from 10am-5pm. Outside at Barbara Lussier Gallery Daffodil Hill Farm, 22 Harrisville Road Pomfret, Connecticut 06258. 860-805-3182 – Paintings, Pottery & Jewelry Join celebrated artists in the garden Barbara Lussier paintings, Cynthia Saari Jewelry, Christine Tanson Pottery. Tour the farm and gardens, See you there!!