Connect + Share + Network + Encourage + Inspire

Monday, August 3, 2020

August 2020 Addendum

Many thanks to Suzanne Loker for immediately stepping up to the plate with news for our blog...

I won't usually post twice in a month, but this event is time sensitive and, if you're in the area, you will want to see this safe and colorful exhibition!

Masks on the Line

A public art installation in downtown Middlebury that symbolizes community spirit and commitment to healthy behaviors.
August 1 - 31, 2020
Middlebury, VT

The Sewing for Change group, led by Bethany Barry, invites you to a walking tour of downtown Middlebury to view "Masks on the Line".

Originally founded to sew reusable bags to give away at local stores, in order to help with the transition to the July 1, 2020 Vermont regulation to eliminate plastic bags, the group sewed and distributed over 1000 bags.

Suzanne (on the left) assists with the installation

When the COVID-19 pandemic created a necessity for cloth masks, Sewing for Change began sewing masks for individuals, and particularly for organizations and residences that serve elderly, low income, and essential services. They made over 800 masks.

As the pandemic continued, a public art installation was envisioned. 

Friday, July 31, 2020

August 2020 News

Ideas Please...

With exhibitions having slowed, and the new reality of living in a COVID-19 world having taken root, news for this blog has pretty much dried up. I need suggestions for how to proceed.  As members, what does this blog mean to you and what would you like to see here?

I still think that this space could become a virtual gallery where members share their work, even if it isn't headed to an exhibition. It could also become a virtual bulletin board for sharing resources or information on techniques, websites, or books of interest. You might consider being the "blogger for the month", writing about something that is of particular interest to you and which you think would be valuable to other members (I would assist with uploading). 

In order to keep this entity going, I need your help coming up with content. I warmly welcome your suggestions and contributions ( 

I know many of you are getting a lot of work done in your studios this summer, and others are struggling to find a work pattern in this time of new normal.

Austin Kleon is an author who draws. His books are the proverbial shot in the arm we all need from time to time, regardless of medium or how well things are progressing in the studio.

Written in 2019, his book Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad is a quick and grounding read, perfect for this time. It will give you a boost no matter whether you're cranking out the work or just feeling cranky.

Enjoy this beautiful month of July in Vermont!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

July 2020 News

As the pandemic wears on, don't forget to look to SDA as a wellspring of artistic community and resources, locally, nationally, and internationally. I think it's safe to say that, especially now, we could all use a measure of relief during this time of relative isolation. Remaining creative and connected beyond our own studios can be part of the answer. Take advantage of what SDA offers for a creative boost; keep your eyes peeled to the website for ongoing calls for entry, blog articles, networking opportunities, and inspiration.

For those of us who enjoy adding to our textile libraries, the SDA Book Club, a relatively new arm of the SDA Blog, has had some compelling suggestions. If you are interested in natural dyes, this month's review of Keith Recker's True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigments may be right up your alley. Read more about it.


Thank you to Jackie Abrams for alerting us to the fact that Global Textile Hub has issued a Call for Entry to textile artists for  "Re-imagined " A Collaboration With a Difference - Make the Ordinary Extraordinary, a non-acquisitive virtual exhibition that will open online in August of 2021. Note the Deadline for Expression of Interest (EOI)/ and payment of Entry Fee is September 1, 2020.

March 30, 2020 - Call for Entries - Online applications open for Expression of Interest (EOI)/payment of Entry Fee
Sept 1, 2020 - Close of EOI and payment of Entry Fee
April 30, 2021 - Submission Form and images of completed work to be submitted online
( A Dropbox link “Request for Files” will be sent to Entrants on receipt of payment)
August 11, 2021 - Online Gallery Exhibition Opening (to remain available online until March 2022)

For full details, see the Global Textile Hub "Re-imagined" page under Resources in right sidebar.


On July 18th, Eve Jacobs-Carnahan will be holding a free knitting circle at the Old Stone House Museum in Brownington, VT. This program is in conjunction with her Knitting Democracy Together project, which seeks to help people envision a positive model of democracy.
For full information and to pre-register

On View

Dianne Shullenberger and Elizabeth Fram each have pieces in the show "Sheltering in Place, in the time of COVID-19", opening July 1st at the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro.

An invitational exhibit, artists were asked to create a shelter that is a reflection of their time at home during this pandemic. Made from materials in and around their home, the pieces are nestled in a forest of red willow branches. A soundscape of original music will be interwoven with spoken haiku, written especially for this exhibition.

The on-site exhibition opens on July 1, 2020 with social distancing measures in place.
Full details will be available on the Highland Center for the Arts website (unfortunately not yet available when this was posted). Please check their site before making plans to visit.
Pre-registration for visit times is mandatory.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

May 2020 News

Let's Stay Connected

In an effort to maintain a sense of normalcy during these unusual times, welcome to our virtual Covid-19 online gallery! A huge thank you to all who submitted work. I hope more of you will join in next month, and of course those who contributed this time are welcome to send in something new for June. Details at the end of this post.

I have stepped out of the way to let quotes from each artist tell their story. Links to individual websites can be found in the sidebar to the right.

Please enjoy

Marya Lowe

"Deep Dish Fruit Pie" 19" x 15", ©Marya Lowe

"I'd like to submit a piece I've just finished. It's one from my new "Recipes from Heaven" series, highlighting wonderful recipes from ladies I've known who have passed away. If you go to my website, by clicking on any of these recipe pieces, you can get and print the full recipe."

Marya reports that she has been reading a lot and specifically mentioned The Art of Richard Diebenkorn and On Rue Tartin: Living and Cooking in a French Town. She adds, "I feel so lucky to have an entire armory of fabric up in my studio...throw a cup of tea and a cookie at me every now and then, I can probably go for months."

Eve Jacobs-Carnahan

©Eve Jacobs-Carnahan

"Here's a photo of the heron I completed during the first month of physical distancing. It doesn't have a name yet. My decision to crochet strips of black rubber inner tubes was influenced by the grief I felt at the start of the Covid-19 isolation period. I am coping much better now as I reschedule or take my Knit Democracy Together knitting circles online. I am determined to carry out this community art project. You can read about it at"

Cari Clemmons

"Untitled" ©Cari Clement 

"This piece was initially inspired by the colors of the Southwest, especially the mesas, but it also has a bit of foreboding to it, brought on my stitching most of it while listening to the news my last couple weeks in FL.  ...It's photographed on my work surface, indicating it's still a work-in-progress."

Sharon Webster

"Oh SONG", ©Sharon Webster

"These images are from a piece I'm working on called "Oh SONG". I'm stitching words from a poem of mine onto sheer fabric. When finished, the word panels will be stitched onto the larger sculptural form supported by an old-fashioned drying rack. The poem and the piece are about the surprised, ephemeral kind of wonder that can happen when one is open to simple sensual pleasures."

Dianne Shullenberger

"Arcadia Marsh 2", ©Dianne Shullenberger 

"The Arcadia Marsh series is from a newly restored area (in Michigan) that has a boardwalk for 1-1/2 miles, handicapped access and informative signs about the vegetation and wildlife in the area. I documented scenes from various points along the boardwalk."

Elizabeth Fram

"Veiled Sister" detail,  24" x 18", ©Elizabeth Fram 

"This is a detail shot of a newly finished piece that was inspired by Hans Memling's 15th century portrait of Barbara Van Vlaenderberch. The work is a continuation of my exploration of the idea of 'hidden in plain sight'. Nuances, built up between dyed, stitched-resist patterns and an embroidered image that cycles through being lost within that pattern and then teased out again with over-stitching, form the basis for reflecting upon the idea of how easily one becomes lost (or is it protected?) within her environment." I have outlined the many-layered process in two blog posts: What's Your Story Morning Glory and Conquering Isolation.

It looks like it may be a while before before social distancing eases and things return to the way they were before everything closed down. With that in mind, let's keep the doors to our virtual Covid-19 gallery open.
For our June blog post, please email me ( an image of what you are working on or have finished during this period of isolation, along with a brief statement about the work. Please be sure to include title and dimensions.  Also, feel free to pass along any resources that you've enjoyed, found helpful, or just feel like recommending during this unusual time.
Please put "SDA COVID-19 Virtual Gallery" in the subject line. 
Deadline: Monday, May 25th. 

Stay safe everyone...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

April 2020 News


It is surely an understatement to say we are in the midst of challenging and unusual times. But spring is coming.

Hyacinths pushing up against remnants of snow

Now, more than ever, we need to be able to tap into our communities as a source of comfort and of hope. How are you doing? Are you finding this a welcome chance to delve into your creative work?  Or is it hard for you to concentrate and to buckle down? I've heard both reactions and think it's important that we all be easy on ourselves as we figure out how best to weather the storm.

It's challenging, to say the least, to have to keep each other at a physical distance, but thank goodness for the internet and its myriad options for staying in touch and staying inspired. Don't forget that the SDA website is a great resource. Be sure to check in with it regularly for blog posts, online exhibitions, and a sense of creative camaraderie

All that said, I have a suggestion for our Vermont chapter blog post next month (May). Let's stay connected. Please send me ( a photo of one piece that you're working on or have completed while being confined, and/or links to any resources you'd like to share that you are finding helpful during this period of isolation. If you want, you can include a  sentence or two to let us know what you're up to and how you are coping.

Please include all necessary info and be brief. I will compile everything into a list and our own Online COVID-19 Gallery.
Submissions due no later than April 23rd.   Send to with the subject line: SDA COVID Gallery

Thank you to Marya Lowe who wrote to remind everyone of SDA's Premium Member Gallery which, for an additional fee beyond regular member dues, allows one to have 10 images on the SDA website and elegiblility to participate in online exhibits. Full details appear here.

"Storm Lifting" by Karen Henderson

In case you didn't catch it the first time, Jennifer Lee Morrow wrote a comprehensive blog post about  Threaded: Contemporary Fiber in New England. Check it out for more photos of the exhibit and of the "Spend A Day With SDA" activities. I am very grateful that she included such a great shot of Karen Henderson's piece Storm Lifting. It was the one Vermont member piece I wasn't able to secure a photo of last month.


Reports are that we're still 4 weeks away from the virus's peak here in Vermont, so it is likely more and more communities will be requesting masks.  For anyone who is interested in sewing some, this is the best pattern I have come across to date. In general, I think medical professionals prefer ties vs elastic, which this pattern accommodates.

Stay safe and well.

Friday, February 28, 2020

March 2020 News

Threaded: Contemporary Fiber in New England

"Splattered" and "Companion",  Rosalind Daniels

Seven Vermont members of SDA joined more than 40 other New England artists at "A Day with SDA" at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA in mid-February. This was the second New England regional gathering of surface design artists in 3 years. It was a chance to meet colleagues and make new connections. The room buzzed with conversation as the artists at each table shared photos and examples of their work with new acquaintances.

L to R: Karen Henderson, Adrienne Shishko, Karen McGarity, Eva Camacho-Sanchez, and Michelle Lee (all, except Karen, from the MA/RI chapter) Photo: Michelle Lee

The structured presentations included short slide presentations by artists in PechaKucha style. Adrienne Sloane moderated a more formal panel discussion with artist Lissa Hunter and scholar Sarah Parrish. Their comments were wide-ranging, touching on fiber art as a reaction to the fast-paced world of screens and technology, the rise of the professional crafter (see Etsy for examples), and the generational change that is seeing important institutions recognizing artists like Anne Albers and Sheila Hicks. Lissa asked questions about the role of political themes in art and Sarah spoke about the significance of indigenous cultures. The discussion continued in the gallery and hallways as the group dispersed to admire the artwork in the juried exhibition.
As the day ended, we took home new ideas, email addresses of new colleagues, and even materials collected at the swap table.    - submitted by Area Rep Eve Jacobs-Carnahan

View of the upstairs gallery

Many thanks to Sharon Webster, her husband David Cavanagh, Rosalind Daniels, and Karen Henderson for sharing their terrific photos, stretching the few I took to a solid representation of the exhibition. For those who have not yet been able to make it to Watertown, Threaded remains on view through  March 20th. I hope this taste of the show will encourage you to visit in person.

"Hidden Migration", Agusta Agustsson

"Totem Triptych 2", Adrienne Shishko

"One's Shell", Yekaterina Mokeyeva

"Persist", Virginia Mahoney

"American Album Quilt", Alexis Deise

"Sand Stories", Dianne Shullenberger

Sharon Webster with her series "My Stitched Hands and Feet"

"The Fiber of My Being", Carol Ingram

"Morning Fog Emerges", Shari Boraz

"Lost Things #3", Ellen Solari

"Neptune", Amy Gesner

"Sunrise Inspired by Moonrise", Carol Anne Gotrian

"Beanstalking", Saberah Malik

India Tresselt with her piece, "Hands Off"

"Peace", Minna Rothman

"Stronghold", Leslie Roth

"Telling", detail, Michele Bonner

"Hope Takes Flight", Adrienne Sloane

Left top, bottom, right: "Espresso & Peanut Butter", Elizabeth Fram,  "Rainbow Baby",  Kara Patrowicz,  and "Winter Sea", Jeanne Sisson

Friday, January 31, 2020

February 2020 News

Many of you may already be dreaming about seeds, longer days, and rising temperatures but I, for one, am grateful to hang on to winter for the time being. There is nothing that compares to the bright reflective light in the studio on a snowy day. Working with color seems magical in such conditions.

Don't forget to let me know if you have an exhibit or upcoming event that others would want to hear about. With that said, I hope you will consider the following possibilities to brighten your February.

On View

Look for Roz Daniel's work in an exhibit at the Chandler Gallery in Randolph throughout February and into March. "The exhibit, curated by Rebbie Carleton and Kirstin Quick, features three pairs of Vermont artists, interconnected as partners and friends, who inform and inspire one another through observational osmosis, as well as conversation and critique. The pieces have been curated and displayed to emphasize how their deep connections as family and friends intuitively influence their art."

Colorful Gestures - Creative Partnerships

January 25 - March 7, 2020
71 N. Main Street
Randolph, VT


Thank you to Eve Jacobs-Carnahan for alerting us to a Call for Entries by the Attleboro Arts Museum in Massachusetts.

On the Surface

A National Juried Exhibition at the Attleboro Arts Museum

Submission Deadline: Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Open to all mediums, sizes, and interpretations of On The Surface

Six prizes of $100 each will be awarded.

- All entries must be submitted through CaFÉ (
- Email or hand-delivered entries will not be accepted.

August 2020 at the Barn at Lone Rock, Marshfield School of Weaving

Consider a workshop this summer with Graham Keegan at the Marshfield School of Weaving.
Keegan will be hosting 5 workshops over 3 weeks next August. Mordants, indigo, shibori, & block printing are only a sampling of the subjects covered during this deep dive into natural dyeing. Link to further information.

Explore Graham's website for online tutorials, book recommendations, and more.