Looking for Inspiration?

INSPIRATION: JUNE 2023 by Barbara H.


Whether you opt for nearby exhibits, far-flung adventures on the road, or a comfy couch/cool drink at home, the fiber arts world is filled with riches. (Do recheck times, dates, locations, tix before you go.)


Africa Fashion at the Brooklyn Museum is open from June 23rd through October 22nd.  From the V & A Museum in London, first comprehensive exhibit on this subject to reach North America. Spanning iconic mid-20th century to contemporary creatives through photographs, textiles, music and the visual arts, Africa Fashion will explore the vitality and global impact of a fashion scene as dynamic and varied as the continent itself.” The Brooklyn Museum has added the experiences and expressions of the African diaspora in NYC. https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/africa_fashion

Prayer Cocoon is a performance/exhibition of new textile artworks by Dani Changal Song at the Voelker-Orth Museum in Flushing. June 25th through July 30th. Created in response to the pandemic. Performance piece June 25th; tie-dyeing workshop July 18th. VO is a Victorian-era property, offfering a glimpse into the history of Queens. http://vomuseum.org/exhibitions.html

Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols “examines the fascinating histories behind many of the symbols that instruct, protect, entertain, empower, and connect people…marks the 50th anniversary of Henry Dreyfuss’s “Symbol Sourcebook..that categorized thousands of symbols in use…look(s) at symbols now and explore(s) their evolution and future.” Original materials held by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. https://www.cooperhewitt.org/channel/give-me-a-sign/?utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DesignNews051023&utm_content=version_B

Ongoing: Bisa Butler at Deitch ends June 30th https://deitch.com/new-york/exhibitions/bisa-butler-the-world-is-yours and Lagerfeld at the Met ends July 16th https://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2023/karl-lagerfeld

What That Quilt Knows About Me ongoing through October at https://folkartmuseum.org/


Quilt National ’23 at The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH will be open May 26th through September 11th, 2023. This juried biennial exhibition features the Best of Contemporary Quilts, none more than two years old.  www.dairybarn.org

Celebrating Black Mermaids: From Africa to America at City Gallery, Charleston, SC may be viewed May 27th through July 9th. Mixed media works by honored fiber artists “celebrate African goddesses as mermaid and water spirit, honoring the past and exploring them anew.” https://citygalleryatwaterfrontpark.com/upcoming-exhibitions/

SAQA list of exhibits across the country https://www.saqa.com/events/saqa-exhibition-schedule

Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival, Overland Park, KS, June 15-17, 2023. https://kcrqf.com/

Minnesota Quilters Show, St. Cloud, MN, June 15-17, 2023. https://web.cvent.com/event/7c43dce5-c037-4901-b01d-2f654e5c5ce0/summary

Missing the Vermont Quilt Show? Try Accordian Variations Day with Eva Paige Quilt Designs in Pepperell, MA on June 23rd. https://evapaigequilts.com/products/accordion-variations-day-june-23-2023-in-person-event-in-pepperell-ma

Barn Quilts intrigue me. There are opportunities for maps and tours in a variety of states. Google “barn quilts” or “barn quilt tour” for some tantalizing adventures.


Textile Talks: Layered & Stitched: 50 Years of Innovative Art is a gorgeous showcase of 50 art quilts by renowned master artists.”  Trace the origin of art quilts from the 1960s through today in interviews with three exhibitors, Valerie Goodwin, Michael James, and Katie Pasquini Masopust. https://www.saqa.com/events/layered-stitched-50-years-innovative-art-saqa-global-international-quilt-museum

SAQA list of online/virtual galleries https://www.saqa.com/art/online-galleries/virtual-gallery-program

Interested in exploring modern quilting? Try Dreamlines 2023, a monthly free project from Brenda Gael Smith.  Sign up or the Serendipity Studio Newsletter and join the works in progress. https://view.flodesk.com/pages/639ad1f661a58ec040070f4c  

Found “Free Patterns for MiniQuilts” to add to my paper pattern collection. https://www.allpeoplequilt.com/quilt-patterns/table-runners/free-patterns-mini-quilts

Beautiful quilted bags always grab my attention. Still lovin’ the Studio Kat Designs newsletter. Fun free ideas on the website, too. https://studiokatdesigns.com/

A cautionary tale about technology and quilting websites from Lori Kennedy https://lorikennedyquilts.com/disappointing-news/

For all of us with “sewing assistants” https://www.youtube.com/shorts/YCAd96PyfOo   

Now for that cool drink…


INSPIRATION: MAY 2023 by Barbara H.

Mother Nature has put me in a pastel mood. Every walk I take displays the texture and softness of cherry and pear trees in full glory. My brain is filled with shades and tones way outside my typical palettes. (Time for some changes in the fabric stash?) Hope the growth and renewal around us puts you in a different mood, too!

What are you doing this summer?  Quilting by the Lake has long been a destination for quilters from Long Island. Seasonal quilting meets and craft camps offer great opportunities to try out new techniques, study parallel art forms, be mentored by skilled artists, and meet a variety of adult learners who will inspire your own practice. The time I spent at Peters Valley School of Craft learning quilting methods from Asia upended my American-centric quilting world. I enjoyed their interdisciplinary atmosphere, where this quilter dormed with jewelers and photographers, ate with ceramicists and woodworkers, and visited weavers and blacksmiths in their workshops. You may prefer a more quilting focused setting. Google “quilt camps” or “craft camps” and you will find accessible smaller programs, many in the Northeast, some as far away as Hawaii. Do your due diligence and find a place to inspire you.

Websites worth a look:

Peters Valley School of Craft https://petersvalley.org/

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts https://www.haystack-mtn.org/

Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program https://www.snowfarm.org/

John C. Campbell   Folk School https://www.folkschool.org/  

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts https://www.arrowmont.org/

Madeleine Island School of the Arts https://www.madelineartschool.com/

Quilting by the Lake has moved to Wells College for 2023 https://schweinfurthartcenter.org/qbl/

Bisa Butler has a solo exhibition at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery in Manhattan from May 6th through June 30th. 

See  www.bisabutler.com for information and images, including listing of current exhibits.  https://deitch.com/new-york/exhibitions/bisa-butler-the-world-is-yours
More detail about hours, days, opening, etc.

Costume Institute at the Met Museum has Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty opening May 5th through July 16th.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/YP_EhdVicvo

 “How Do I Quilt This” with Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill will be at Sew Right on June 3rd. Presentation/trunk show and workshop. Grow your skills. https://www.sewright.com/module/class/487523/guest-educator-how-do-i-quilt-this-with-sheri-cifaldi-morril

“Roots” is an open exhibition of works by members of Textile Study Group of New York at El Barrio’s Artspace 109 from May 10th -31st. https://www.artspace.org/ps109 (LIRR to Grand Central Madison can get you there.)

“What That Quilt Knows About Me” is the quilters’ “must see” at the American Folk Art Museum. There are comments of experts in the Museum’s Oral History project, and two more exhibition related programs will be held May 17th and June 15th. https://folkartmuseum.org/exhibitions/current/ “Material Witness: Folk and Self-Taught Artists at Work” runs concurrently. (Always free)

Africa Fashion at the Brooklyn Museum is open from June 23rd through October 22nd.  From the V & A Museum in London, first comprehensive exhibit on this subject to reach North America. ” Spanning iconic mid-20th century to contemporary creatives through photographs, textiles, music and the visual arts, Africa Fashion will explore the vitality and global impact of a fashion scene as dynamic and varied as the continent itself.” The Brooklyn Museum has added the experiences and expressions of the African diaspora in NYC, and viewers can participate via social media. https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/africa_fashion

“Generation Paper: A Fashion Phenom of the 1960s” documents the promotion of paper-like fibers in clothing. Beautiful design. (The one I had was not so beautiful…) Back story of the exhibit that originated in Arizona: https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/events/2021/12/18/downtown-phoenix-art-museum-exhibition-generation-paper/8915584002/ more on YouTube.  “Craft Front & Center” explores the permanent collection. Both at the Museum of Art and Design https://www.madmuseum.org/

I’m getting ready for Global Quilt Connection on May 6th-7th which includes several of my favorites. A great reason for ESQ membership. “See you” there…

Please check websites before you go. Some institutions limit days, some require advanced reservations or tickets. Many have programs with exhibitions. Above all, have fun learning!


INSPIRATION: APRIL 2023 by Babara H.


Spring emerging stimulates my curiosity. I search for tiny snow bells in the cold. Once seen, I pursue grape hyacinths, then crocus. Daffodils are breaking out with one hyacinth for contrast, in my yard. Time to hang the “Crocus” quilt. Looking forward to tulips of all stripes, shapes and sizes. Hope the season warms your senses and inspires new work.  


SAQA Primal Force: Earth Exhibition Catalog reflects one of three overarching themes planned by SAQA https://www.saqa.com/art/exhibitions/primal-forces-earth-saqa-global-exhibition

The environmental installations of Judith Content fascinate me. See her Textile Talk: Ephemeral Land Art  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98M7uEjNFGs She has a wide body of work. Clip from Craft in America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22l5mu1tREs  Search YouTube for more. She posts on Instagram most days. Judith is the featured speaker for Textile Study Group of NY on April 19th. Visitors welcome on the Zoom for a small fee. www.tsgny.org Also info on two upcoming member shows in NYC.

Many years ago I made a “book quilt” for the retirement of a beloved colleague. It was personalized by family and friends with titles, pictures, wishes, and sayings. Here’s a mini-mug rug version of a book quilt block. It would be a nice treat for a friend or co-worker with a much shorter turnaround time. https://www.polkadotchair.com/first-edition-book-quilt-block-mug-rug-pattern/?_gl=1*k25159*_ga*WXpyRFRyVmFsT0xyYkxkU2dhdTM0LTB5VlFwdXJnaXFfY0xjVm4xZUcxTXUtNC1rSGhfdjNBaEltX3hyeUJCMQ  Perhaps add a message.

I needed a refresher on quilt binding. Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilting has a useful video series. Turn Your Fabric Scraps into Binding (Part 4) is my new favorite, with several different ideas.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjdNcy-WTE4

Local and Live:

Before it’s gone catch Nick Cave’s complete work at the Guggenheim. Forothermore ends April 10th  https://www.guggenheim.org/exhibition/nick-cave-forothermore

American Folk Art MuseumWhat That Quilt Knows About Me will explore the deeply personal and emotional power associated with the experience of making and living with quilts.” https://folkartmuseum.org/exhibitions/whatthatquiltknowsaboutme/  This and Material Witness https://folkartmuseum.org/exhibitions/material-witness-folk-and-self-taught-artists-at-work/ run through October. My favorite tome “Red and White Quilts: Infinite Variety” is now reprinted and  available at the Museum store. https://shop.folkartmuseum.org/infinite-variety-hardcover-red-white.html?mc_cid=9304c19485&mc_eid=UNIQID&mc_cid=8e084f828f&mc_eid=UNIQID  Bless you, Joanna S. Rose!

Brooklyn Quilters Guild 2023 Show April 29-30th  https://www.quiltbrooklyn.org/quilt-show-1

Northern Star Quilters Guild 2023 Show May 6-7th https://www.northernstarquilters.com/quilt-show/

Check for more events at Evening Star Quilters.    Happy Holidays to all!