Catherine Whall Smith . . . wonders what is the “Right amount of Wrong”

Since my art includes “improvisational piecing” – NO PATTERN – there is really no right or wrong design to the piece I am working on.  Notice I didn’t say “good or bad” design.  It happens – we all know that some of our art connects and some doesn’t.  When we enter juried shows there are the accepted and declined pieces.  So what was the difference? – One of my theories is that the piece of art should have “JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF WRONG”.  I recently came across this ad for Cosmopolitan Las Vegas a unique luxury resort and casino.

It said it all – I think I want to go there to find out what is the RIGHT amount of WRONG.  But for now I will continue working on this studio piece that is presently on my design wall, and give it the RIGHT amount of WRONG!  Feel free to let me know your thoughts on Art that has the RIGHT amount of WRONG. Looking forward to hearing from you! .

Note:  The first piece in this series “Get Me Out of Here” (12H x 12W) has been juried into the 2018 – Connecticut Women Artists (CWA) – 89th Annual National Open Juried Exhibition – EXHIBITION DATES: Saturday, September 1- Friday, September 28, 2018. LOCATION: Barnes-Franklin Gallery, Building #600, at Tunxis Community College, Farmington, CT.  Opening Reception on Saturday, September 8, 2018 from 2-4 pm. 

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Catherine Whall Smith . . . continues the “Stay Tuned” on “Explorations: Journeys in Creativity”

On, April 27th I posted information on “Explorations: Journeys in Creativity, The Quilt Artist’s Studio”.  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.  Included in this April 27th post was a picture of my studio design wall showing the start of  “Transfusion #6”.

Today, on June 27th – just 2 months later I am happy to share that the piece is complete!! The fabric for the back has been selected and the three layers (top, batting, and back) have been basted together on a flat surface, actually my dining room table.  Lining up the middle of the top and the center of the back are key to my signature hand quilting technique.  This technique uses the printed design as my guide lines for my hand stitching.  Lois Palmer, a certified quilt appraiser is in the process of appraising it before I send it on to the New England Quilt Museum  (NEQM) in Lowell, MA.  The first opening will showcase 12 of the 24 selected artists on October 13th, 2018; and the second opening has been moved to April 6th, 2019.  The timing of the completion on my piece is perfect.  I will be heading down to the R. I. shore  for a week and to celebrate the July 4th holiday.  Oh, and I just packed something to hand quilt while sitting on the beach.  Happy Independence Day!  It’s going to be a GREAT ONE!


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Catherine Whall Smith . . . joined Lois Palmer for the WTHM Appraisal Day

Lois Palmer a certified Quilt Appraiser, enjoys the “surprise factor” of what she will discover each time she encounters a quilt. Saturday she was at the Windham Textile & History Museum (WTHM) to start the appraisal process of several new and antique quilts.  Here she is with a recent donation to WTHM by Wayne Norman, the local radio host of 1400AM and 95.3FM This piece has lots of visual impact and lots of history – can’t wait to read the final appraisal. Eventually it will be packed, stored properly and join the museum’s antique quilt collection.  Hopefully, at a future museum quilt show it will be displayed along with some of the other gems that the WTHM owns. I took advantage of the opportunity to ask Lois a few questions including – was there a favorite piece(s) that she has appraised.  Her answer was an immediate “Antique chintz four poster bed quilts dating between 1830 – 40’s; and Contemporary Art Quilts that show the creativity of today’s fiber artists”.   How about you – do you have a favorite quilt? It may even be one of the pieces in the SAQACT’s “Local Color #3: Inspired By Science” quilt show that is on display at WTHM in Willimantic, CT  The show ends on Sunday, July 8th, 2018.

For more information on Certified Quilt Appraisers, please visit this link on the Studio Art Quilt Associates website.   


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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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