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Thursday, December 13, 2012

more textiles on exhibit!

Montpelier member Karen Henderson will have some of her textile pieces shown along with other Vermont artists at a show out in Burlington--

A Winter Art Sale

featuring works by Vermont Artists!


December 11 - January 25
Opening Reception: Friday, December 14, 5-7pm


BCA Center, second floor
135 Church Street
Burlington, VT 05401


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

weavings featured at ArtWalk!

Karen Henderson will be the featured artist at The Knitting Studio during the upcoming ArtWalk in downtown Montpelier!

 (image: Ripple Effect by Karen Henderson)

Meet the artist!
ArtWalk ~ Friday, Dec. 7, from 4pm - 7:30pm 
or you can see Karen's ephemeral landscape-inspired woven wall pieces at the shop from December 7 through 21, 2012

The Knitting Studio
112 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602


The Knitting Studio's Hours:
Mondays - Fridays 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-4pm
Tuesday Knit Nights! 6pm-8pm
Thursday Knit-Along, 11:30am

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Knitting featured in 7days!

Our very own SDA member Eve Jacobs-Carnahan is featured in this great article in this weeks 7days newspaper - Read On....

Knit Wits

From sweaters to sculptures, Vermont knitters have fun with fiber

It’s that time of year when Vermonters are digging out their sweaters, mittens and caps — and when knitters, spurred on by dropping temperatures and perhaps by a plethora of holiday craft fairs, take up their needles with renewed purpose.
But we’re not talking about your grandmother’s knitting. A growing crop of Vermont crafters is using the age-old skill to whip up anything from stylish sweaters to offbeat children’s costumes to sculptures with a social statement.
Seven Days tracked down three accomplished knitters to talk about the joys — and boundless possibilities — of their hobby.

Leslie Roth, Montpelier

A 42-year-old mother of two, Leslie Roth isn’t necessarily the type you’d expect to run out and commission a tattoo for her upper arm. But she did. And the tattoo itself is perhaps even more startling: a skeleton wielding knitting needles and a hank of yarn.
That just goes to show how devoted Roth, a co-owner of the Knitting Studio in downtown Montpelier, is to her favorite hobby. It also hints at her offbeat approach to knitting.
When she picked it up in her early twenties, Roth was attracted to the functionality of knitting; she liked knowing her leisure work resulted in something useful at the end of the day. “It’s relaxing; it’s creative; it’s functional,” she explains.
Pretty early on, Roth admits, she began deviating from patterns. “Some of us are not so good at taking instruction,” she jokes. Now she specializes in original designs — from one-off creations she knits for herself and family members to freelance patterns she creates to share with other knitters.
That might sound revolutionary to hobbyists still wedded to their pattern books, but Roth insists it isn’t.
“Knitting is not skydiving,” she says. “You can mess up as much or as often as you want, and no one is going to get hurt.”
Pulling projects from her tote bag, Roth describes some of her recent designs. She’s knitted Halloween costumes — among them a lamb, a penguin, a pterosaur, a chimera and an Ewok — every year for her children, now 5 and 8. After hearing a radio feature about a musician who drafted a composition based on the number pi, Roth whipped up a dress in which each stripe represents, in color and number of rows, a digit in pi — out to 50 decimal places.
This time of year, she’s juggling a few projects — holiday presents, knits for the store, socks.
“I’ll knit with anything but wire,” Roth says, and adds, “It’s really popular right now. Just not with me.”

Stephanie Vianelli-Nixon, Burlington

Stephanie Vianelli-Nixon begged for knitting needles as a child — and the crafter, now 30, remembers when Santa obliged the 7-year-old’s request. “I wasn’t instantly good at it,” she admits, so she set the needles aside for some years. But her interest in the craft endured, and when her best friend showed her the ropes, Vianelli-Nixon, then a 24-year-old grad student, was hooked. “I would not have survived grad school if not for the knitting,” she says.
A relatively recent transplant to Burlington — her husband snagged a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Vermont — Vianelli-Nixon counts herself lucky to have lived in some great crafting communities. Now she works four days a week behind the bright, cheerful storefront of Nido, a College Street fabric and yarn store. Peruse the lovingly curated shelves there and you’ll probably stumble on more than a few of Vianelli-Nixon’s knit wares.
“This girl can whip out a sweater in — how long?” asks Nido owner Phiona Milano, glancing at Vianelli-Nixon. (The answer: a lightning-quick three weeks.) “I’ve never seen someone so able to produce so much.”
Vianelli-Nixon admits that she does knit a lot of sweaters. “It makes you feel good when someone says, ‘You made that?’” she says. Plus, after struggling for years to find clothes that properly fit her frame, Vianelli-Nixon found she was better off knitting something from scratch. She sticks mostly to patterns but has a strong sense of taste — a 1950s aesthetic, she says, that’s fairly “vintage-y.”
Most of all, though, Vianelli-Nixon is inspired by the fibers. Wandering through yarn stores as a child was what drew her to the craft, and her advice to aspiring knitters is, first and foremost, to find a yarn they love. “If you don’t love it, you’re not going to use it,” she says.

Eve Jacobs-Carnahan, Montpelier

Eve Jacobs-Carnahan, 52, got her start knitting as a child — first with a pair of mittens, then scarves and hats. By the time she reached college, she was crafting complicated sweaters. But what the seasoned knitter remembers more vividly than those early projects is the moment, about 15 years ago, when she first realized that knitting could be more than just producing functional clothing: It could be art.
That realization came when Jacobs-Carnahan picked up the 1996 book Knitting in America: Patterns, Profiles, & Stories of America’s Leading Artisans. “It just blew my mind,” she says, remembering being particularly struck by a project called “Portrait of Alzheimer’s” by fiber artist Katharine Cobey. The sculpture showed an intricate lace shawl that devolved into strange holes and shredded wool and silk.
For Jacobs-Carnahan, who had long worked from patterns, the shift to sculpture was “a big jump,” she says. “It was a big, mind-opening experience to see somebody making something that wasn’t clothing.” Then again, she admits she was tired of sticking just to functional wares. “I wanted something more,” she says.
Since then, Jacobs-Carnahan has knitted sculptural designs ranging from garden-inspired motifs to large, lacy tapestries, many from wool she spun and dyed herself. Several sculptures — including a series in which knitted hands or mittens figure — allude to knitting’s traditional role in garments. Some act as political commentary; others express frustrations with group dynamics or concern for social and environmental issues. Most are constructed over an armature of wire that gives them a three-dimensional structure. Jacobs-Carnahan’s work has appeared in exhibits throughout the United States and Canada, often along with that of other fiber artists. Even so, she says, sculptural knitting is fairly rare. And that means she’s often looking to other forms of art — particularly sculpture in other media — for her inspiration.
In her day job as an assistant attorney general for the State of Vermont, Jacobs-Carnahan says, her work is to “write and read and analyze and work on cases that take years to complete.” Knitting, she says, gives her an outlet that is tangible, physical and colorful — with more immediate results. “It lets me be creative with a different part of my brain,” she says. “I really need to do both, I have discovered.”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Innovators & Legends: Generations in Textiles and Fiber

Bhakti Ziek of Randolph, VT is one of the 51 artists included in  
Innovators & Legends: Generations in Textiles and Fiber
an upcoming exhibit at the Muskegon Museum of Art.

Works by top tier, internationally celebrated fiber artists explores the fine art textile movement over the past century through the contemporary artwork of four generations of artists. The rich variety of assembled pieces illustrates the transformation of fibers from functional and decorative use to today’s forms created with a wide array of diverse materials and techniques. The artwork addresses issues such as narrative, identity, ecology, recycling, and political thought, and demonstrates beauty and visual richness achieved through color, pattern, texture, and form.

Show Dates: December 13, 2012 - March 17, 2013

Muskegon Museum of Art
296 West Webster Avenue  
Muskegon, MI 49440
(231) 720-2570  

The Exhibit will then travel on:
May 26 - August 11, 2013 
Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center 
205 Genesee Street  Auburn, NY 13021
(315) 255-1553

September 8 - December 1, 2013
The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky 
405 Rose Street  
Lexington, KY 40508

January 24 - April 11, 2014
University Art Museum at Colorado State University
University Center for the Arts
1400 Remington Street 
Fort Collins, Colorado

News from the North East Kingdom!

Judy B. Dales of Greensboro, VT will be having a show 
of her art quilts at The Craftsbury Care Center  
in East Craftsbury village.

'Musical Spheres' by Judy B. Dales
Show Dates:  December 4 - December 31
Opening Reception: December 16th, 3:30pm - 4:30pm

The Craftsbury Care Center
1784 East Craftsbury Road  
Craftsbury, VT 05826 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Local Project to assist Hurricane Sandy survivors

Community Project...helping survivors of Hurricane Sandy

Sandy project 004This info is from The Knitting Studio's Blog:

As you know, NYC and parts of NJ and CT were really hard hit by the recent storm.  Many people lost power and/or their vehicles, jobs, homes. It's incredible to think, as the sun shines here on just another day, how challenging it is right now for many folks in those areas to keep doing all the normal activities that make up a life.   Irene taught VT many lessons, and as much as we cared for those who were drastically and adversely impacted by the flooding last year, we'd like to show our care again and pass along a bit of help to the survivors of Hurricane Sandy. Let's provide a small assistance to people who are just trying to recover, clean up and survive.

With that said, The Knitting Studio in Montpelier, VT is collecting hand-crafted hats, mittens and scarves that they will send down to NY to be distributed to some of the people who have lost so much. We have had two requests for help. One comes from the yarn distributor Knitting Fever, located on Long Island. The other request is from two women who live, knit and blog in NYC. They are Brett Bara of the Manhattan Craft Room and Natalie Soud of A Dose of the Delightful. Check out their blog links.

Please bring down some great items to share with those who are trying to keep warm as the temperatures drop.   They'll be collecting from Nov. 14 through the Friday after Thanksgiving...that's the 23rd of this month. The need is now! 

Sandy project 003They've had a terrific response so far, and they thank everyone who has participated already.

So with an ahead of time thanks to anyone else who can come out and donate in this last week for the Project, here's where to bring your items:

The Knitting Studio
112 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Mon-Fri 10-5:30
Sat 10-4
Tuesday Knit Night 6-8

Award Winning Art Quilts!

Pamela Druhen of Northfield, VT has some exciting news from the recent International Quilt Festival held in Houston, Texas!
Her piece “Passion” picked up a third place prize in the Art Quilts - Painted Surface category.
'Passion' by Pam Druhen 
Also, another of her pieces entitled “Spring Thaw” won second prize at LaConner Quilt Museum’s Festival of Quilts, LaConner, Washington.
Congratulations, Pam! 
You can also see her work locally at a Solo Exhibit that's still going on until December 5th at Gifford Hospital, Randolph, VT.

Open House in North Harland!

Pippa Drew of Post Mills, VT is showing her new one-of-a-kind dyed scarves at the Earth Star Pottery Studio and Gallery in conjunction with their Open House weekend on Friday, December 7th and Sat, Dec 8th.  Also for sale will be beautiful pottery by the talented Earth Star ceramicists.

 Water Dance design:  Shibori (Japanese tie dye), silkscreen frog print
Flight Design:  hand-painting

Petal Design:  batik (brushed wax resist and dye immersion)

 Wine and other beverages are provided both nights, with fabulous hors d'oeuvres by John Quimby and exquisite cakes from Slice of Life Bakery.  Hope to see you there!!

Sixth Annual 2012 Open House
Friday, December 7     6:30pm - 9:30pm
Saturday, December 8   6:30pm - 9:30pm

619 US Route 5
North Harland, VT 05052


The gallery is located in the old Coutermarsh General Store, a big white clapboarded building on the left, heading South on Route 5, just  five miles south of White River Junction (past the recycling center).

New England Biennial 2012

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center is showing the work of 13 artists (listed below) who represent five New England states and have been selected from among nearly 400 applicants for inclusion in New England Biennial 2012, a juried exhibition organized by BMAC that showcases established, mid-career, and emerging artists working in all media. 

  'Pollinators on a Frond' by JoAnne Russo

The exhibition occupies five of BMAC’s six galleries. Each artist will show a curated body of work or an installation.  SDA's own JoAnne Russo of Saxton's River, VT, is one of the artists featured; along with two other VT artists, Denis Versewyveld and Kathryn Lipke Veigesaa. 

William Brayton (Conway, Massachusetts)
Christine Destrempes (Harrisville, New Hampshire)
Michael Donovan (Cheshire, Connecticut)
Marjorie Forte (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Benedicte Lassalle (Boston, Massachusetts)
Greg Mencoff (Somerville, Massachusetts)
Roslyn Meyer (Guilford, Connecticut)
Lynn Richardson (Marlborough, New Hampshire)
JoAnne Russo (Saxtons River, Vermont)
Robert Steinem (Colrain, Massachusetts)
Jason Travers (Providence, Rhode Island)
Denis Versweyveld (Vergennes, Vermont)
Kathryn Lipke Vigesaa (Belvidere, Vermont)

New England Biennial 2012
November 2, 2012 - March 1, 2013

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
10 Vernon Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301

Hours: 11-5 (M, W, Th, Sun); 11-7 (Fri); 10-5 (Sat); Closed Tuesdays | 802-257-0124 |

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Vermont artists in PMA Craft Show

Two Vermont SDA Members will soon be exhibiting their work at the 

36th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show !!!
November 8 - 11, 2012

Karen Henderson of Montpelier will be showing her ephemeral landscape inspired wall pieces in Booth #506. 


(above image: 'Almost Twilight' by Karen Henderson. 12"w x 12"h)

Jackie Abrams of Brattleboro will be showing her contemporary baskets in Booth #319, as well as co-exhibiting with her collaborator, glass artist Josh Bernbaum in Booth #321.

(above left: 'A Woman of Consequence' by Jackie Abrams, and right: Glass Sculpture by Josh Bernbaum and Basket by Jackie Abrams)
This premier show and sale of contemporary craft, includes 195 of the finest and most dynamic craft artists in the United States, selected from more than 1,300 applicants. British and Irish artists will also be featured. All work is for sale.

Show Dates / Hours:
Thurs. & Fri. Nov. 8th & 9th :11am - 9pm
Sat. Nov.10th : 10am - 6pm
Sun. Nov.11th : 10am - 5pm

Held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center
Exhibit Hall "F", 12th and Arch Streets, Center City Philadelphia

For all info on tickets and other show details visit:

Hot off the Presses!

Deanna Shapiro of Ferrisburgh has just published her second book ~ Congratulations, Deanna!

Her book "The Place You Live In: A Multigenerational Immigrant Story" is  about her father's immigrant family in prose and accessible poetry. 

It follows her family from Eastern Europe to the tenements of the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the Bronx and Catskill Mountains and takes place from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. It includes the culture, religion, customs, rituals, music, and food of the time.  The cover of the new book features a print of one of Deanna's painted & stitched collage pieces. 
Her earlier book, "Conversations at the Nursing Home: A Mother, A Daughter and Alzheimer's" is about her mother's last fourteen months living at Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehab in Middlebury, VT while she was suffering from dementia. It also includes her relationship with her mother, and how it changed for the better over time. The format is poetry--accessible poetry, which is what Deanna believes in.

Both books can be ordered from her website: or directly from Amazon, B&N, and by ebook.
Deanna Shapiro will be showing three pieces of her mixed media art work at the 
Jackson Gallery, Town Hall Theatre for their Fifth Annual Exhibit of Original Works by Local Artists.

(above image: Joined by Deanna Shapiro)

The show runs November 16 - December 31, 2012

Jackson Gallery
Town Hall Theatre
68 S. Pleasant St.  
Middlebury, VT 05753
802) 388-1436


New Fiber Arts Fund at CERF+

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund, based in Montpelier, VT, has announced that Harmony Weavers Guild is spearheading an initiative to start a Fiber Arts Fund at CERF+. 

Thanks to an anonymous donor, any donation made to the Fiber Arts Fund will be matched until the $2,000 necessary to create the fund is reached. 

With another big hurricane on the way, it's important to remember the many non-profit organizations who help so much in the aftermath.  CERF+ is a national artists’ service organization whose mission is to safeguard and sustain the careers of craft artists and provide emergency resources that benefit all artists.

To make a contribution to the Fiber Arts Fund at CERF+ donate online and include “Fiber Arts Fund” in your note as you complete your donation, or include “Fiber Arts Fund” in the memo field of a check made out to CERF+ and mail it to PO Box 838, Montpelier, VT 05601.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

AVA Gallery Art Center

Affinity: Cyndy Barbone, Deborah Frazee Carlson,
Fuyuko Matsubara and Bhakti Ziek

October 19 – November 16, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, October 19, 5-7pm
Gallery Talk: Thursday, November 1, 5:30pm
Rebecca Lawrence Gallery 
Entry and Clifford B. West Gallery


Kiranada Sterling Benjamin – Moon Ascending:
Japanese Rozome Batik
 Gallery Talk: Saturday, October 20, 1:30pm
E.N. Wennberg Gallery and Gallery 3

Barbara Bartlett – The Art of Tea II
 Gallery Talk: Thursday, November 15, 5:30pm
E.N. Wennberg Gallery and Gallery 3

11 Bank Street Lebanon, NH 03766
www. 603.448.3117 
  Gallery Hours:
Tues–Sat, 11am-5pm • Thurs until 7pm
and by appointment

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Open Studio at Dianne Shullenberger Gallery

Vermont Craft Council's

2nd Annual

Fall Open Studio Tour - 2012

Saturday/Sunday Oct. 6 & 7, 10am-5pm


228 Nashville Rd. Jericho, Vt. 899-4993

"Red Branch" by Dianne Shullenberger (Colored Pencil)

Also Featuring Local Artist Diana D. Dunn's Colored Pencils
& Watercolor Paintings of Birds (

22 Barber Farm Road, Jericho

MAPS & display of 16 participating area artists

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kent Museum Presents "Full Circle"

Montpelier member Karen Henderson will have her work included in an upcoming exhibit:

“Full Circle: Vermont Artists Give Round a New Shape” 
Kent Museum, Calais, Vermont
September 28 - October 7, 2012
10 - 5 daily

Special Event: Artist Gowri Savoor will host a Rangoli Workshop in the Kent Museum.
Friday, September 28, from 10 – 4
Participants will take part in the creation of a large Rangoli, an ancient ephemeral art form practiced throughout India.  Other participatory art making will be a regular component of the exhibition. 

Opening Event
Saturday, September 29,
featuring the music of Donald Knaack, aka “The Junkman”, 3-5pm
Closing Event 
Saturday, October 7, music and refreshments, 3-5pm

Presented by Historic Kents’ Corner, Inc., the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund), the show observes Open Studio Weekend, American Craft Week as well as Calais’ Fall Foliage Festival.  Special events, as well as a Silent Auction of craft and fine art to benefit craft artists in emergency, will be held throughout the run of the show.

The show exhibits works in all media from 15 Vermont artists that explore the circle as a geometric shape, but also as symbol of the cycles of life and nature, and the need for humanity to reuse materials that respect the ecosystems of our natural world.  Many of the artists work in materials that are either directly from nature or are the product of recycling or reuse.  And many of these works give new artistic life to everyday, found or natural objects.  In some cases, materials and themes may literally be brought “full circle” in the process of creating art.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

9 x 9 x 3: Salon des Refusés

Eve Jacobs-Carnahan of Montpelier will have her work included in an upcoming NYC Exhibit!

9 x 9 x 3: Salon des Refusés

September 13 – November 18, 2012

Guild Gallery II

Fulton Center of the Hudson Guild

119 Ninth Ave., (betw. 17th & 18th Sts.), New York City.

Opening Reception: Thurs., Sept. 13, 6:00−7:30 pm.

Gallery Hours: Wed.−Fri., 3:00−6:00 pm;

Sat., Sept. 22, Oct. 27, & Nov. 17, 1:00−4:00 pm.

Panel Discussion: Thurs., Nov. 15, 7:00 pm

The Textile Study Group of New York (TSGNY) sponsors art exhibitions of works using fiber materials and fiber structures. 9 x 9 x 3: Salon des Refusés is an exhibition of works originally created by TSGNY members for 9x9x3: NEW VISIONS but not accepted into that exhibition.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Member work at Art Hop in Burlington!

Ferrisburgh member, Deanna Shapiro, will have her work on exhibit during the South End Art Hop in Burlington this coming weekend September 7-9, 2012 at:

"20 Mediums"
The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery

266 Pine St in The Soda Plant
Burlington, VT 05401

The show will be up during the Art Hop, and will remain up for the month of September.

Gallery Hours for the rest of the month are Thursday -Saturday, 11am - 4pm

To get the full schedule of Events for Art Hop, visit SEABA's site here

(above image by Deanna Shapiro. Mixed Media painting/fiber collage)

Monday, September 3, 2012

More Member Exhibit News!

Jericho member Dianne Shullenberger has two exhibits coming up!

She will have her work at in a Solo Show at:

Furchgott-Sourdiffe Gallery
86 Falls Road
Shelburne, VT

Visit the gallery's blog at

Show Dates: September 21, 2012 - through October.

with an Opening Reception:
Friday, September 21, from 6 - 8 pm.

(above image: "Evening Fog", Fabric Collage by Dianne Shullenberger)

Dianne's work will also be on exhibit at:

Art at the Coach Barn
Shelburne Farms'
25th Annual Art Exhibition and Sale

The show runs October 18 - November 4th, 2012

Exhibit is open daily from 10am - 5pm, and free with property admission and to members.

Shelburne Farms
1611 Harbor Rd
Shelburne, VT 05482
Website Link for more info here

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Art In The Round Barn

Almuth Palinkas
will be exhibiting some of her paintings at
The 22nd Annual Art In The Round Barn Group Exhibition.

Sponsored by the Green Mountain Cultural Center, the show is held annually in the beautiful Mad River Valley.

The Round Barn is a beautifully restored structure and a registered national landmark; it offers a unique and exciting exhibition space.

Opening Reception:
Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012
4 – 7 pm

An admission of $20.00 is requested.

Show Dates: September 17 – October 8, 2012

The Round Barn Farm
1661 East Warren Rd
Waitsfield, VT

(image: "Autumn Mood" by Almuth Palinkas.
Watercolor on paper, 15.5" x 10")

Baskets, Glass, Sculpture! going to Philadelphia

Jackie Abrams has some Great news to share!

She'll be exhibiting her work at the 36th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

In an adjoining booth, she will also be exhibiting collaborative work made with glassblower, Josh Bernbaum.

Save the Show Dates!
November 8 - 11, 2012

PMA Craft Show

Pennyslvania Convention Center
Exhibit Hall "F" - 12th and Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA

Gallery Artists' Talk and New Exhibit

Karen Kamenetzky will give a Gallery Talk at the Vermont Institute of Contemporary Art.

Saturday, September 15th, 7pm
Free Admission.

As one of the artists exhibiting in "The Uncommon Thread" exhibit, this talk will delve into Karen's process of working with fiber and the philosophy behind her work.

Vermont Institute of Contemporary Art
15 Depot Street
Chester, VT 05143

(image: "You Are Here" by Karen Kamenetzky. Dyed and painted silks, machine and hand stitched.)

In more news from Karen, she will also have her work in a Solo Exhibit this fall!

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
5th Floor Rotunda
One Medical Center Drive
Lebanon, NH 03756

Exhibit Dates: September 11, 2012 through November

Monday, August 27, 2012

Q & A Interview with Pam Druhen on the Winter Warmth Project

Northfield member Pamela Druhen has been creating representational landscapes and florals since 1996. Her "Threadscapes" paintings use quilting and heavy threadwork as design elements which enhance the texture, movement and depth of each piece. Recent explorations incorporate silk or procion dyes which she applies with a brush on silk or cotton to create the image which she then embroiders. Her works explore the relationships between light, depth, color and texture in the natural world and reflect her life in Vermont.

We wanted to get an update from Pam about her initiative to help people affected by last years floods. Read On!

Pam, last year Hurricane Irene roared through Vermont, leaving a wake of destruction that left many families devastated with their homes & belongings destroyed.

In response, as a fiber artist, you began the Winter Warmth Project. 

For people who haven’t heard of this effort, can you tell us what the project’s goal was?

The goal of the Project was to provide a brand new quilt for each member of every family displaced by Hurricane Irene in Vermont.

Have you ever done something like this before?
No. I simply couldn’t ignore the damage to the land or the people of the state that I love. I was compelled to respond, and I knew that there would be many others who would want to “do something”…but what?

How did you spread the word to gather support and assistance for this monumental effort?
I began by sending a letter to all the quilt guilds in Vermont, and all the quilt shops. I followed this up with a newsletter to my personal mailing list. I also set up a blog for the Project and an email address at for people to contact me to obtain quilts or to donate. The email address has been an invaluable communication tool. Many, many quilts were distributed through the information that came in to us through email.

Were materials and labor donated only by individuals, or were you able to enlist the help of larger groups?
The response was amazing. Quilt guilds from Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York got on the bandwagon. Individuals from as close as next door and all the way to Alaska sent fabric, finished quilts, batting, orphan blocks, quilt tops, and money. 
Was it mostly people here in Vermont who helped to create the quilts, or was the project attracting a wider audience? I received quilts from everywhere. One woman in Pennsylvania sent at least 5 quilts, if not more. A New York woman provided 10 finished quilts. A small group of women from Southern Vermont provided 24 finished quilts and 50 quilt tops with backs. A Massachusetts guild provided 50 finished quilts. Several long arm quilters from here in Vermont stepped up to the plate and quilted so many quilts for me….(I couldn’t have given away so many quilts without them) the response was overwhelming. I knew that there would be many people who wouldn’t be able to physically help with clean up from the storm, or who wouldn’t want to send money to relief agencies….because they would want to be practically involved. The Winter Warmth Project provided the perfect avenue for those people to give of their time, their talent, their practical resources and know that they would be bringing a little piece of love into someone’s life. The effort was not about keeping people warm through the winter. It was about bringing the warmth of love and care, the sharing of caring through a terrible loss, compassion for our neighbors and friends.

How many people ended up helping in this huge endeavor?
I have no idea. More than I could count. I sent out more than 300 thank you notes to people who were involved in one way or another. The guilds involved so many people, and many guilds have given seriously to the project.

To date, how many quilts have been made for the Winter Warmth Project?
About 1000. We have given away 850 quilts to date. There are still a few more orders in the pipeline. I originally thought we would need about 2000. As of 2 weeks ago there were still 840 families displaced in Vermont, I don’t expect to hear from those families until they are close to having a new home. You don’t need extra stuff when you don’t know where you are going. Many of the families involved have moved several times since they lost their homes. Many still don’t know where they are going or what they are going to do.

How were the quilts distributed?

There have been several different ways. Some were shipped to individuals, some have been handed over in person and others have been distributed by contact people in flood relief offices or community contacts.

Were you able to meet with any of the families or individuals who received a Winter Warmth quilt? Can you tell us about that experience?
I have met with a couple of the people, and communicated with many of them. This is such a touchy area. So many of these folks felt like other people suffered more than they did. I haven’t encountered anyone who felt like they deserved one of the quilts just because they lost their home. Most people haven’t wanted more than their “share”. To be asked what color is your favorite color, and what size bed do you have… has already personalized the project a great deal. One family thought a quilt for each of the kids would be more than they should ask for…when I pressed them to find out what they would like, she said…”Oh that would be asking for too much!” When I handed the bag of quilts to her husband he said…”You will never know how much these are appreciated.” Well….I can kind of guess.

Another woman described losing everything….watching it wash away. She was grateful that they had their lives. When she received the quilts she emailed me…a long email…and told me how she had felt about losing the quilts her grandmother had made, her dishes, her photos, the life she and her husband had built for their family. She said “These quilts are our new heirlooms. We will never forget where they came from. You are all angels!”

What was the biggest challenge in organizing such a huge project?

Keeping it organized and keeping up with all the different aspects of it…I generally wear a lot of hats, but this was pretty consuming. My own work has been sidelined for almost a year.

What was the biggest surprise for you with the Winter Warmth Project?
I’m not sure that there were any real surprises. The response was incredible, but I have always felt that if a project was worthwhile the needed response would be there. Perhaps the surprise was the offer from the Paine Mountain Arts Council here in Northfield. When I told them what I wanted to do, they offered me the startup funds I needed. I hadn’t really considered that. It was just a good idea until then. That was a blessing and a real boost right at the beginning. It allowed me to launch the Project. 

Since quilting is so time-consuming, did you ever worry that it wouldn't all come together?

It came together from the very beginning. I haven’t been discouraged. I have been pressed to get everything done that needed to be done, but it has all worked out.

I understand the project was to last one year, and we are up against the anniversary of Hurricane Irene on August 28th this coming week. Are there plans to continue the effort?
Because there are still so many families without homes the Project is going to continue for another year. We have been able to reach about half of those displaced. The Champlain Valley Quilt Guild of Vermont is going to take over the Project. They will do a great job. They are a large guild and the Project will be a separate arm of their Community Quilts effort. I am really excited and gratified that they are willing to take it on. Marty DelNevo is currently putting together a team to handle the Project. They will manage all the aspects of the Project much better than I did! 

Pam, Thank You so much for taking the time to let us know how The Winter Warmth Project has been doing. Your work is greatly appreciated, and we're so proud of what you've done to help Vermonters!

To see a few photos of The Winter Warmth Project, visit Pam's link here. To get in touch with the folks at
The Champlain Valley Quilt Guild of Vermont, you can contact them via their website, or email Marty DelNevo at:

To learn more about Pam and see her artwork, please visit her website here.