Catherine Whall Smith . . . use to MAKE CLOTHING, not anymore!

I grew up in a home where my mother Rose, was usually making something like curtains, clothes, etc. I too did the same when I had my own home. curtains, clothes, etc. But in the mid 1970’s when quilts were put on walls and the art of Nancy Crow had a huge impact on what was happening in the quilt world;  I started to think about quilts in a new way.

A previous blog post suggested that my next “Transfusion” piece. would have lots of reds, oranges, and a touch of green.   The idea of using my own sized pattern that I created in an Advanced Pattern Making class in the 1970’s came to mind as the shapes – the bodice and skirt – that I would use in this piece.  My present “Transfusion” series relates to my father and his sudden heart attack, then why not have this piece relate to the sewing skills “transfused” in me by my mother.  I choose three “dresses” to be the focus of this 60×90 piece (see in progress section on right). Title  “I use to make CLOTHING!”.  My goal was to complete the top and have it ready for hand-quilting by February 11th the date of my 2nd vaccine shot. – BUT, actually this quilt grew – became more complicated and I just took it off my design wall on February 23rd.   So my question; “If I used these pattern pieces to make a dress for me now – would it fit? Hmmmm – do I want to find out – maybe not!  

For a look at more quilts with a clothing theme check out Bisa Butler  – Her large scale works are textile portraits of people of color fabricated from layers of brightly colored fabrics with a multiplicity of meanings. “I quilt because this was the technique that was taught to me at home. I could sew before I ever painted on a canvas.  My grandmother and mother while not quilters, sewed garments almost every day.”  Check her out: OR

Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio

 NOTE:  If you haven’t had time to check out the 2021 – Art Center East – 2nd Annual Wearable Art Exhibit – February 19th – March 13th. Fridays & Saturdays 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Here is your chance:  Arts Center East is having a fashion show watchable online! (My piece – “Marriage is Seldom Black & White but many Shades of Gray” has been juried into this exhibit.)




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Catherine Whall Smith . . . JOINING borders to make a whole!

As “Transfusion #12” (the dresses) gets larger and larger – I realized that the weight of the quilt will compromise the stitching of each of FOUR separate border pieces on each of the sides. So my solution was to “Join Borders” and stitch the 4 borders together and then attach to the larger piece.  Below the start of that process showing 3 strips being laid out and pressed after each border is attached to the next.

So joining borders to unite is a good idea hmmmmm!

Now on to selecting the fabrics for the back of the piece, which I’ve decided will incorporate fabric shapes of my 1974 pants pattern. (I will explain the 1974 pants pattern in another post.) So far so good with that – though I’ve already spent 5 days in the studio on the back of the quilt. – Needing a studio break I just dressed one of my mannequins with a T-shirt I received from the University of Connecticut. It was a gift for entering one of their on-line challenges. The Benton Museum Challenge – asked members to recreate a work of art. Basically they were looking for art that referenced something in their on line archives. I found the Fox II (1972) (33.5 x 37.3 cm) image shown below right by Anni Albers (aka Annelise Fleischmann Berlin, Germany, 1899 – 1994), and thought my “Joined by the Hand Cuffs” and “Burning Embers” (below left) had a similar format. Check out all The Benton Museum has to offer at

Continuing my short studio break, this afternoon I will check out the virtual Art Center East’s 2nd Annual Wearable Art Exhibit February 19th – March 13th. Accompanying the Exhibit is a Wearable Art Boutique! Browse and shop for one-of-a-kind items from local and regional designers. Enjoy!      Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . had a “studio pause” to meet a deadline.

Just when everything was going great in my studio as I worked through some ideas including adding my signature slashing lines inserted “after the fact” (see below)


for “Transfusion 12” – THE DRESS PROJECT, an email reminded me of my February 15th deadline.  Last October I signed up for the Brooklyn Library “Sketchbook” project.  As usual I started collecting stuff, and editing ideas until I felt I had a “vision” of what I would do.  Well, time got away from me – so this week I was able to pull it off and complete my Sketchbook. 

Actually I am pleased with the results. It’s focus is my “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance” series.  Not so much the process but a documentation of the pieces with my blog posts that supported the completion of the 12 quilts.  I even went back to add some of the United States infection rates and numbers of deaths during the time I was constructing those pieces. Packed up and ready to be mailed it rests against the recently completed (12H x 12W) – “Bathroom Renovation” piece. My photo image in “Bathroom Renovation” shows the lathe when we removed all the tile on the bathroom tub/shower walls many years ago.

SO WHAT DEADLINES are you working on?  Which reminds me if I am going to make a couple of Fall 2021 deadlines I better finish and get “Transfusion#12” (approximate size 60H x 90W) off my design wall to start the many weeks of hand quilting.   Happy Valentines Week-End!  Remember if one MASK is good TWO are better. BTW – I just received my 2nd Covid shot. Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . thought SHE was a stickler for “the details”.

Even though my art reflects a randomness of lines – each of my pieces is well thought out to create that visual.  Shown below right, each line added impacts the “before” and “after”. 

Recently my husband (while reading “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow Penguin Press New York 2004 pge. 564) shared this passage. ” A chronic stickler for etiquette, Hamilton entered into the minutiae of protocol and dress. . . . The most fastidious tailor could not have dictated more precise instructions for Washington’s uniform. “A blue coat without lapels. lining collar and cuffs of buff, yellow buttons and gold epaulettes of double bullion tag with fringe, each having three stars. etc. .  . . For his boots “Long boots with stiff tops reaching to the center of the knee pam . . . ” and on and on! His mind percolating with ideas!!!!

As I create these “Dress” pieces shown in progress on my design wall I too thought of  “the details” – “large round buttons . . a slashing line here and there, side pockets, and lots of dots!” When complete these pieces combined with a third will be “Transfusion #12”.







LOOKING BACK at some of the stages of the”TRANSFUSION” pieces – when almost complete, I decided one more line needed to be inserted into the piece shown below. I carefully marked the section with pins and then took my rotary cutter and slashed the line. Later at the sewing machine I stitched in one of the Karen Lewis black and white “Kite Tail” fabrics – adding some more detail to the piece.        

NOTE:  If you are looking for something to do before the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb.7th, why not attend a virtual SALON TALK from    1 – 3pm by some of the artists in the “MixMaster Show” show. I plan to participate. You can register for the virtual event here: .                                 Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . wonders where what she sees GOES!

Everyday like you I see lots of stuff – most of which I take for granted that it will just be there.  Our 1830 house has a back staircase that I use all the time to get to the second floor and then up to my third floor studio. Maybe this small unassuming stairwell was the “servants’ staircase.  Our children used it all the time for sliding down on pillows.  Below right is a picture of a framed art poster with a piece hung above that just came out of my studio. The art poster is from the Rothko September 2008 – February 2009 Tate Modern London England show that I had the good fortune to see in London, England.  I have to think that seeing that Rothko everyday, day in and day out for years implanted something in my brain.  Color choice slightly similar.

The photo image in my piece is of a door titled “Corn Crib” on an out building at the Joshua Trust Farm.





I took the photo years ago and recently decided to use it in this piece. It includes; commercial fabrics, a piece of photo fabric of wood, and a wonderful dyed piece from Susan Knight Ober – Check Out:

“Corn Crib” is 16H x 32W mounted on stretch canvas.  I never intentionally decided to reference the colors in the Rothko piece – it just happened.  So what are you “SEEING” and what is “HAPPENING” in your studio?   Stay Safe!  . . . Smith Stitch Studio!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . got her shot!

I really enjoy watching those “So WHAT are you waiting for!” GEICO  ads. Right now I am waiting to get my 2nd Covid-19 vaccine shot.  First shot done! So how will my life change after the 3 week wait – we will see.  I missed the opening of the Mattatuck Museum’s Mixmaster show, but my piece “Cows Got Milk and Plasma” was awarded a  Juror’s Selection Prize (Juror Leslie Garrett, Director at Nohra Haime Gallery in NYC.) Show Dates: Sunday, Jan.17 – Sunday Feb.21, 2021  at Post University, 140 Bank St, Waterbury, CT CHECK IT OUT

I’m keeping up my studio time by working on a new “Figure/Ground” series. Each piece consists of one of my Figure/Ground paper studies photographed and digitally applied to treated cotton. Then it is combined with one of my local farm photos. For example: shown below; “Figure/Ground Study Interplay#2/Rte 66” – NOTE:  this piece will be shown along with “Herd Immunity” at the Slater Memorial Museum’s 77th Annual CT Artists Juried Exhibition – on view January 31 – March 12, 2021. Norwich, CTShown below is another in this series:  “Figure Ground Study #3/Blue Bales”

These mounted 12x12x1.5’s are a quick study to keep my mind in studio mode.  Which allowed me to resolve some ideas for my next “Transfusion” piece. I’m thinking lots of those reds with oranges and a touch of green.  My goal is to complete the top and have it ready for hand-quilting by February 11th – the date of my SECOND SHOT.

Note: As I watch TV and view people in long lines waiting many, hours to get their shots, I am thankful for Hartford Health Care’s – My Chart system. I was able schedule both of my shots via this system and my wait time at my 1st appointment was less than 15 minutes. – Congratulations to our new President Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris. They will have their work cut out for them. Speaking of cutting, I think I better head up to my studio and start cutting up some fabric.  Stay Safe . . Get Your Shot . . Smith Stitch Studio!

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . thinks it time to read this AGAIN!

It may be time to read my . . . Catherine Whall Smith . . . like you wonders HOW! Posted on October 5, 2017 again. It begins like this; “So maybe it is time to share this post that has been on my wordpress site in my draft mode for awhile – so many senseless shootings, injuries, and deaths since I typed these words many months ago in late 2015.”  Read MORE . . .  October 5, 2017


“Bruised” (12H x 12W x1D mounted)   

    Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . will be back BLOGGING later than sooner!

Happy New Year 2021 !!!!!! It’s done – 50 blog posts during 2020 – never had that as a goal, but as the pandemic worsened – reaching out weekly to share”something” was a life-saver to me.

For me, the purpose of having a blog is to invite people into your world, offer something unique and to nurture a deeper connection to you and your artwork. Do have a favorite blog? If you were to share one thing about that blog, what would it be? Witty, intelligent, informative, thought provoking or maybe it’s just a break in your daily routine.  Feel free to email your thoughts to me Thanks for reading.  Now it is time for a break, and maybe go back to a monthly post . . . but who knows!

If you missed BLOG POST #49 here is the link:  Posted on December 28, 2020 Catherine Whall Smith – admires snow falling down, how about YOU!

NOTE: Where my fiber art will be shown in 2021.  I am always hopeful.

UP-DATE: 2021 – Mystic Museum of Art, Mystic CT. January 29th – March 20th.Members & Elected Artists Exhibition Virtual Show includes “Cutting Hay” by CWSmith.

  • 2021 – Fairfield University Bookstore, Fairfield, CT – January 5, 2021 – January 31st, 2021.”Local Color #4″ – Ten pieces were curated into this show. Artists: Kathy Baglioni, Christina Blais, Carol Capozzoli, Rita Hannafin, Evelyn Knight, Cathey LaBonte, Lura Lugo, Susan Ober, Phyllis Small, and Catherine Smith.
  •  2021  – Mattatuck – MIXMASTER 2021 Juried Members Exhibition “Cows Got Milk and Plasma” was juried into this show. Show Dates: Sunday, January 17 – Sunday, February 21, 2021.  Reception & Awards: Sunday, January 17, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Location: Post University Downtown, 140 Bank St, Waterbury, CT 06702 Juror’s Selection Prize: Catherine Smith, Cows Got Milk and Plasma.
  •  2021 – New England Quilt Museum, Lowell Mass. –“Edges” – January 9th,  – March 27th, 2021; “Hay . .Keep Your Distance at the EDGE of the Hay Field #4” was juried into this SAQA MA/RI Regional Exhibit. .
  • NEW – 2021 – 77th Annual CT Artists Juried Exhibition – All media show on view January 31 – March 12, 2021, “Herd Immunity” and “Figure Ground Study #2/Rte. 66” by CWSmith have been juried into this exhibit. The 2021 Juror is Kenneth E. Silver, Professor of Art History at NYU. Silver’s research interests include Modern and Contemporary art, design, and culture. Opening Reception Sunday, January 31 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.
  •  2021 – Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA.April 7th – June 5th, 2021. “Hay . . . Keep Your Distance at the EDGE of the Hay Field #4” by CWSmith was juried into this SAQA MA/RI Regional Exhibit.
  • 2021 – Quilt National 2021 – Athens, Ohio, Exhibition Dates: May 28 – September 6, 2021.“Transfusion in TWO PARTS” by CWSmith was juried into this show.

Corona virus Infections/Deaths on December 31st, 2020;

World-Wide#: 82,843,750 infected;  1,807,866 deaths                   United States of America#: 19,745,888 infected; deaths: 342,414 Stay Safe Wishes to You . . . Smith Stitch Studio!



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Catherine Whall Smith – admires snow falling down, how about YOU!

Fortunately I was able to admire last weeks’ snow falling down from my studio window.

And I can view my interpretation of “Snow Falling Down” hung above the sitting area couch. I use my studio’s fabric stash as my “paint” palette.  – – Instead of tubes of paint,  I have bins of fabric. “Snow Falling Down” includes a fabric with gold circles that I purchased years ago at Mendel’s fabric store on Haight St. while attending a SAQA  Conference in San Francisco, California. Another perk of being a SAQA member are yearly conferences.  (During 2020 all meetings have gone virtual.)

Our snow quickly disappeared, but if you are interested in seeing more of the beauty of “SNOW” check out artist Barbara Lussier’s Gallery website “ The woods are lovely, dark and deep.But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”― Robert Frost

Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . KNOWS she will be HOME for Christmas 2020.

Will you be home for Xmas or taking a “Road Trip” REAL or SURREAL? Right now the thought of being able to travel keeps me hopeful!  Fellow artist Dawn Allen has documented her personal journey as an artist in a new publication “Great American Road Trip”. Check out her vintage car art . A master at her art who has developed new techniques in fiber art – her digital art is something to see.  Each car will bring you back to memory lane.  So check out to see what I mean. She is a master of “Practice makes Perfect”!

Just as your body gets stronger when you exercise, your creativity strengthens when you take it for a metaphorical trip. It needs regular exercise. Creativity develops with regular practice.  I practice in my studio every day – the more I travel there the more I explore new ways to interpret my line. Plus I like alone time. My third floor studio doesn’t allow many visitors, but it does have a great view now that the 100 ft. evergreen is gone.

Right now the “Ruth Snow Bowen” quilt is one of my go to projects. Her photo images were digitally applied to treated cotton and I thought a simple Log Cabin block would work well. Ruth a famous Connecticut quilt maker and a former neighbor of mine was a master at the “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” format. She obviously did more than her 10,000 hours of practice to perfect her craft!


Wishing everyone “A Merry Christmas”!  According to the Gospel of Matthew three wise men took a “Road Trip”* to Bethlehem and found the divine child Jesus Christ, twelve days after his birth. Today maybe it’s better to Stay Home – Stay Safe . . . Smith Stitch Studio!


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