Sunday, October 15, 2017

My guest quilt artist exhibit at Murray Arts Council

I am honored to be the featured artist at a lovely exhibit of quilts and vintage sewing machines at the Murray Arts Council [MAC] in Chatsworth, Georgia. My husband, Larry, and I attended the opening reception this Saturday and were warmly greeted by the staff, volunteers and visitors to the exhibit.
My quilts at the guest artist exhibit at the Murray Arts Council quilt exhibit.
October 14-15 and 21-22, 2017
Nine of my quilts are on display this weekend, October 14-15, and next weekend, October 21-22 along with quilts from local quiltmakers and a wonderful selection of vintage and toy sewing machines from the collection of Debbie Vick Davenport.
"Sidewalk Surprise" (left) and "A Feather Runs Through It" on display
with a vintage featherweight sewing machine.
"Your art quilts set the tone for the exhibit," said Debbie Vick Davenport, my exhibit liaison and one of the exhibit's coordinators. Lori McDaniels, one of the MAC directors, indicated there was an overwhelmingly positive response to my pieces and the Guest Artist exhibit, and just the first day's visitor attendance had far exceeded past shows.
Visitors at the annual quilt exhibit at Murray Arts Council, Chatsworth, GA.
The exhibit has a sampling of quilts from several quilting genres—art quilts, traditional, memory, vintage/antique and patriotic—that are complemented by an exhibit of antique featherweights and vintage toy sewing machines. Here is a preview...
Art quilt (left) by Miriam Duncan and "Flowers for Peyton" by Brenda Bowling.
Debbie was on hand and talked about the history and stories of the acquisition of her vintage sewing machines. She gives each machine a name—usually in honor of a family member that was a seamstress or quilter. It was amazing to see the toy machines and realize how small they really are. (Having one as a little girl, they seemed so much bigger!)
Debbie Vick Davenport with a vintage toy sewing machine.
Right: a model 221K White Singer from 1964. Notice the hard carrying case.
The background for this Cathedral Windows quilt is linen. The colorful patches are fabric swatches from a mail order fabric club. Pre-internet days, fabric stores would mail groups of fabric swatches to home sewers so they could select fabrics for mail order purchase. 
Cathedral Window quilt with linen and cotton fabrics.
The exhibit included appliqué quilts featuring the traditional—and always recognizable—sun bonnet characters. These motifs go by names such as Sunbonnet Sue, Dutch Doll, Parasol Girl and Sunbonnet Sam. I wonder if the alternate blocks of the novelty fish fabric were paired with a collection of vintage Fisherman Sam quilt blocks to make this quilt (below left).
Left: Fisherman Sam with novelty fabric.
Right: "Little Dutch Girls" by Mabel Beavers.
One of my favorite quilts in the exhibit was this scrappy "Pinwheels and Stars" quilt by Clemmie Jones. The checks and stripes gave it an energy that spoke to me. And the mix of prints florals and other prints tells me this quiltmaker was not timid with her choice of fabrics. I think this block pattern would be fun to use in a modern quilt. Modern quilters—what do you think? Can you envision a modern version?
"Pinwheels and Stars" by Clemmie Jones
The quilt exhibit continues today (Sunday) and next weekend. If you want to make a full day of it, the Black Bear Festival is also happening October 21-22. Quilts, crafts, music, food and beautiful scenery of the foothills of the Appalachians... enjoy the day!

A note about directions to MAC:
When you get to Chatsworth (if you've not been), look for the Murray County Courthouse building on N 3rd Avenue with the flags out front.
The Murray County courthouse is right across from the MAC entrance.
The Murray Arts Council location is in the middle of the block right across the street from the courthouse. Look for the red MAC logo on the window. They had a "Quilt Show Today" sign outside on the sidewalk.
Murray County Arts Council with the quilt exhibit.
At some point in the conversation between my husband and the quilt exhibit hosts, it came out that yesterday was our wedding anniversary. So, in addition to being the guest artist at the Murray Arts Council quilt exhibit, I received many compliments on my quilts and well wishes for our anniversary. Last night, we celebrated with a special anniversary dinner at Alleia downtown Chattanooga. It was a very good day.

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