Thursday, July 05, 2007

"NeedleArts" from the Embroiderers' Guild of America

The photos below are from an article written by Laura Olah, Curator for the Margaret Parshall Gallery for NeedleArts volume XXXVIII, no. 2, June 2007 pages 45-46. The article describes the Fiber Revolution exhibit in the Parshall Gallery entitled "Quilts as Art" on display at the Embroidery Museum and Resource Center at EGA headquarters in Louisville, KY through August 31, 2007. All pieces in the exhibit include embroidery, hand or machine, in the artwork. Two of my pieces are included in this exhibit and are pictured below.

In the upper right hand corner is the following piece:

18”w X 27”h

Since I love nature and especially birds, and I enjoy using the machine as a drawing tool, this quilt shows a natural step in my evolution as a quilt artist. Hand-painted cotton provides the dramatic backdrop. The birds were free-form machine embroidered using a stabilizer, then appliqu├ęd to the background. This piece is embellished with many different kinds of threads and yarns, paints and colored pencils, and hand-painted cheese cloth to create the thistle leaves and background scenery.

In the lower left corner is:

STARFIRE ©2002 Pat Dolan
46”w x 36”h

The red-hot star embroidery began as a demonstration for an embroidery class for teens I was teaching at the Princeton YWCA. Months later, I was drawn back to complete the embroidery and eventually to use it for the powerful central design in this art quilt. With the rebirth of my artistic self, vibrant hand embroidery on black seemed to epitomize the evolution I was experiencing – coming out of darkness into new light.
Hand-embroidered on cotton; machine pieced; machine couching; machine quilted.

It is an honor to have my work hanging in the EGA museum headquarters. In truth, I began creative embroidering in 1964 while still in college and several pieces were in my senior art show at school. I continued embroidery work for many years, off and on, especially while our children were young. It was all hand work, easily transported, and I hadn't even considered quilting at that time. My embroidery skills are nothing like the meticulous expert work of most EGA members - I simply like to create using free form stitchery and using it to embellish other work.

I made my first quilt in 1979 doing white work crewel embroidery featuring my own designs of the flowers of the month, which I then put together with sashing and a border and hand quilted. Alas, it was all poly-cotton fabrics and dreadful to hand quilt. Still, I was hooked on quilting, for some reason or other. And now my work is coming full circle yet again... Maybe I'll dig that piece out and photograph it for tomorrow's blog!


Karoda said...

I always forget about the EGA being headquartered here...will place this on my calendar to check out before the end of August.

Diane said...

Congratulations, Pat! That IS an honor! I wish I could check it out in person!