Catherine Whall Smith . . . is doing a little “Plein Air” quilting!

During the past few weeks I have kept busy in my studio finishing the top for the “Explorations: Journeys in Creativity” show. Since my unique hand quilting techniques were selected to share through journaling my process, I had to first make the top that I will hand quilt.  To date, I have been documenting the entire process not just my hand quilting.  Here are a few photos of the top as I proceed with the initial auditioning of the fabrics for “Transfusion #7” to some of the final tweaking.    

Photo above is the initial auditioning of a few fabrics for possible placement. And below is a photo of two sections that were completed and are now ready to be sewn together.

And here I am getting to the end of the possibilities of my design process.

Once the top is complete then there is the  challenge of picking out the fabric for the back of the quilt – which will determine the quilting lines that will highlight sections of the quilt top.  Speaking of quilting, since today was such a beautiful day – I decided to head outside and do a little “Plein Air” quilting. Here I am enjoying the fresh air! 

I will keep you posted on any show up dates but as of now this show will be held at the New England Quilt Museum (NEQM), in Lowell, MA . The show of 24 artists will take place in two parts, with 12 selected artists in each show.  The first show opens at NEQM from October 3 – December 28. The Artists Reception is Saturday, October 13 at 1pm.  The second group will be from April 2 – June 23. (This is a change of date) The Artist Reception will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 1pm.  As of now I do not know which show my work will be in – but both shows will be equally exciting!!


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Catherine Whall Smith is . . . doing a little “Spring Cleaning”

Time for a little “Spring Cleaning” so I decided my Facebook page needed an up-date!


I’m posting “Transfusion #5” (16H x 43W) which is hanging in the CAFA show at the Mystic Museum of Art till June 2nd. And now my profile picture shows a section of “Chorus Line” one of my new series of mounted 12 x12 Fiber Art that were inspired by my quilts in the book – Artistry in Fiber “Wall Art” Vol.1, which has over 600 photos with personal comments from 100 of today’s established and emerging artists. These 12×12 pieces will be For Sale along with the book on “Fiber Day” May 5th, 2018 10am – 4pm at the Windham Textile & History Museum in Willimantic, CT.  Hope you can stop by the WTHM on Saturday for the vendors, talks, the “Mother’s Against Gun Violence” quilts, spinning & weaving demos, and the quilts in SAQACT’s show “Local Color#3 :Inspired By Science” on view May 5th – July 9th.


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares her studio picture

Stay Tuned for what will be a very exciting exhibit. “Explorations: Journeys in Creativity, The Quilt Artist’s Studio”. Congratulations go to the 24 artists selected for this exhibit:  Agusta Agustsson, Susan Bleiweiss, Ann Brauer, Diane Cadrain, Sue Colozzi, Judy Dales, Janis Doucette, Diane English, Janice M. Jones, Mary-Ellen Latino, Marya Lowe, Jeanne Marklin, Valerie Maser-Flanagan, Sharon McCartney, Suzanne Munroe, Madalene Murphy, Susan Polansky, Wen Redmond, Cheryl Rezendes, Diane Sheckells, Catherine Smith, Sarah Ann Smith, Timma Tarr, and Nancy Turbitt.  All have dedicated their creativity in pushing the boundaries of what a “Quilt” can become. The aim of this exhibit is to educate the viewer about particular art quilting techniques and each artists passion for their creative process in their studio.  We were given many deadlines to record our studio practices, through our journals and photos.  I plan to share some of my studio practices in the coming months. Premiering in Lowell, MA at the New England Quilt Museum – the first opening will showcase 12 artists on October 2nd, 2018; and the second opening will be January 9th, 2019.

So STAY TUNED  our next deadline is June 1st – which requires photos of the 50H x 30W piece in progress.

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares a “SAVE THE DATE” May 5th, 2018 at the Windham Textile & History Museum

SAVE THE DATE!  Saturday, May 5th, 2018 will be your opportunity to view Studio Art Quilt Associates of CT Traveling Quilt Show.  Local Color#3: “Inspired by Science” will be on view from May 5th – July 8th, 2018.  See below for the list of artists in the show along with some of the days activities;

*And an added bonus – the monthly Weaving Group, under the instruction of Peggy Church, Master Weaver  will also have their studio pieces on display with several demonstrations throughout the day.

Special One Day Showing of: Rhode Island’s “Mother Against GUN Violence” quilts – sharing their stories.  See you there!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . suggests checking out the Fiber Show at Gallery 53, Meriden, CT

The Gallery 53 in Meriden, CT  is hosting “ALL THINGS CONSIDERED”. On Exhibit: April 14 – 27.  Here is the write up on the show: “See how regional artists exploit the creative potential of textiles to create new, exciting and meaningful works. Many of the exhibitors are members of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association) Connecticut, a group dedicated to supporting and promoting professional fiber artists and teachers as well as quilters working to develop their fine art skills.  This juried show was judged by well-known textile artist and “Artrepreneur” Clara Nartey, an award-winning artist who has a keen sense of color and design. Her textile artwork has been exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions across the USA.  These stunning layered, stitched visual works are an eye-opener: from its roots as a practical craft, quilting has evolved into an art form in its own right. Don’t miss this exhibit!”  My pieces “Spring Is Here” and “Hay For Sale” have been included in this fiber show and sale. Opening Reception and awards ceremony is Saturday April 14th, 12-2 pm. Refreshments served, free parking in garage across the street.  On Exhibit: April 14 – 27.

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . marvels at the handwork in a crochet doily

At a recent Antique show in Manchester, CT I stopped at Doris Olson’s booth of “Eclectic Choices” titled Sunshine Attic.  Amongst her vintage bags and linens I spotted “IT” an amazing crocheted centerpiece doily.  The colors were perfect for my Easter table and the execution of each stitch was just amazing – so perfectly done – so I purchased it.  Below is a close up of the piece, and a full view.  My thoughts at the time were who made it, how many others did she execute, how long did it take to complete AND, is this not a one-of-a-kind piece of art?





Did “the maker” of this piece consider herself a woman artist or a craft person?  Over the years bed quilts have been hung on walls and today’s Fiber Artists keep trying new techniques and pushing the boundaries of the words “Quilts as Art”.  When I show my hand stitched Fiber Art at all media art shows, usually someone will ask that same question “How long did this piece take to complete?  A question that is hard to answer, as the hand stitching on a large piece could take a month – but who’s counting.  Recently I’ve started working on my PARTS series, made up of 12h x 12w inch squares that duplicate sections of my larger quilts.  Two of these “Parts” will be shown at The Art League of New Britain, which will be hosting the Connecticut Women Artists (CWA)  all media juried show.  The show opens the week-end of April 7th with a talk on Sunday, April 8th, from 2 – 4 pm. Titled “At Home Abroad: American Women Artists in Late Nineteenth-Century Italy”. Free and open to the public. Presenter: Jacqueline Marie Musacchio, Professor of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art at Wellesley College.  Hope you will be able to attend, view the art, and find out what some of Connecticut Women Artists are up to!

Note: Six years ago at Easter time, I posted this on my blog, That attention to detail has stayed with me, just as the maker of this doily paid attention to the details of each stitch. Wishing you again a Happy Spring, Happy Easter, and Happy Passover!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . shares her Art Quilt Elements experience

Friday, March 16th was travel day to the Wayne Art Center, in Wayne Pennsylvania.  Arriving around 3:00 p.m. our first stop was the Wayne Art Center to view the Art Quilt Elements (AQE) 2018 show. The 48 art quilts in the show represented artists from 26 states and Japan.  As an exhibiting artist I was eager to view the show.  How will each piece look hung in a large (or small) gallery? Will the adjacent art compliment each piece and vice versa? As I entered the main gallery I felt confident that great care had been taken in hanging all the pieces in this show. One of the docents shared that it took a week to hang this show.


My piece (center) shares part of the large gallery wall with (right) “National Gallery of Art” (69″ x 39″) by Dan Olfe of Julian, CA.  His designs are created on a computer.  Photoshop was used to stack 3 interior photos vertically and then one more photo was layered with small bars in the skylight replaced by quilt lines. To the left is “Red Flags” (45″ x 38″) by Aryana B. Londir of Phoenix, AZ.  This piece was created in response to the realization that everything is not as it appears . . .   Finally, I will share parts of the Juror’s Statements;  Mi-Kyoung Lee, Program Director, Craft + Material Studies University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA stated “The selection of art quilts was extremely challenging with strong bodies of work from each artist. It was important for me to count how the artist understood the essence of the quilt, how the artist orchestrated the material of his or her chosen cloth, and the process of stitching and sewing as a tool of mark making as well as the construction.” And, Marsha Moss, Public Art Consultant and Curator stated “I personally relish evidence of the artist’s hand in skillful execution of the art quilt medium.  A demonstration of technical proficiency, mastery of the quilt-making process and fine craftsmanship all contribute to the aesthetic quality of this art form.”



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Catherine Whall Smith is thinking “ROAD TRIP” in 2 weeks!

Two weeks from today, I will be in my car with close friend and fiber artist Rita Hannafin driving to Wayne, Pennsylvania for the week-end events at the Wayne Art Center and the Opening of Art Quilt Elements 2018. AQE includes 48 Art Quilts; many are For Sale and you can view them on the AQE website: A lot is happening during the March 17th-18th week-end and throughout the entire month. Here are a few of your options: Opening Reception & Meet the Artists March 17 5:00 – 7:00pm. DOCENT TOURS 12:30pm Wednesdays, March 21, 28 & April 4, 11, 18, 25 or by appointment: email . The AQE CATALOG is $20 plus tax. Available at WAC and online at I feel honored to have my art “Transfusion #3” included in this show. When I return I will post more about the show – but maybe I will see you there !

NOTE: If you cannot make it to WAC and want to indulge in lots of local Art Quilts consider driving to Willimantic, CT to attend the Windham Textile & History Museum’s third annual Fiber Day on Saturday, May 5th, 2018 and the viewing of SAQACT’s “Local Color #3 – Inspired By Science” which will be on display at the museum from May 5th – July 8th, 2018.

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . thinks it is time to revisit the past!

While getting ready for Christmas morning brunch 2017, I decided to take out a favorite glass candelabra that I’ve used in the past to add a little “glam” to the table.   Revisiting favorites from the past starting me thinking about the quilt that is hanging over the dining room seating area.



Titled “Staying in Line” (48H x 42W) it has been shown several times including my 20 year retrospective 1991-2011 at the University of Connecticut; and in 2013 in the 44th Annual Nor’Easter, at The New Britain Museum of American Art.  Presently I am revisiting this line in my art and how it creates eye movement across the surface of the quilt. My present “Transfusion” series takes this line to a new level with a variety of red patterned printed fabrics.   Shown here on my design wall “Transfusion #4” is now ready for me to start the hand quilting process.  So if we get that snow that is being predicted for Christmas Day in CT – I am all set, with family, friends, food, and something to work on.  So let it SNOW and have a Merry Christmas – Love – Peace – and Joy to all! (If we loose power – remember I have lots of candles to light, and I don’t need electricity to do my hand stitching.)

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Catherine Whall Smith is getting ready for “Turkey Day”

Catherine Whall Smith is getting ready for “Turkey Day” and wonders about the idea of art being the sum of it’s parts.  This is my 8th Thanksgiving post, last year I posted So much has happened since that post – I’m sure we have many stories to share – good and not so good – but in the spirit of being thankful I hope there are many things that you can reflect on and be thankful for this year.  My Thanksgiving dinner this year will include a whole turkey and a turkey breast – to be sure there is plenty of meat to go around.  The turkey is the sum of it’s many parts; the legs, wings, breast, white meat, dark meat, etc.  Each one of us has a favorite part.

When I finished “Transfusion #3″ and posted; – I was taken by it’s size (43H x 73W).  But then I started to really look at the various design statements throughout this piece.  I then photographed 12″ x12” sections of this quilt and decided to reproduce these ideas again in a smaller format.  Kind of like deconstructing the whole into it’s parts.  So far I have completed two of these 12×12 tops and will post some of those images soon.

Back to Thanksgiving 2017 – though the perfectly cooked whole turkey or completed whole quilt is a goal sometimes the “parts” can be more “tasty”.  What is your favorite part or are you one of those “just give me some stuffing and gravy” addicts?

NOTE: The picture posted above is my Thanksgiving table 2016 – the scenic painting is a piece that I purchased from Barbara Lussier, a local artist who will be participating in the Artists’ Open Studio of Northeast Ct. – check out this link for more information . So push yourself away from that table and get ready for some exercise by joining these artists in their studios and local venues.


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