Five Potters Show 2011
Roxanne Koehler, Pam Ellison, Peg Maloy, David Strong & Pete Halladay
Drawing from Nature and Tradition
featuring Katherine Colwell & Bertie Smith
Katherine Colwell’s work synthesizes her love of landscape drawing, silk embroidery and reading. She explores a variety of fiber media, ranging from hand embroidery, silk paper fusion, hand-made felt, pieced quilting, two-sided and framed wall pieces, and embroidered etchings. Throughout her thirty-two-year career as an artist, Katherine has created plein-air drawings in graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor, on which the majority of her work is based. For the past fifteen years, a continuous thread is exploration of hand embroidered folding books, created from silk, linen & cotton fabrics, containing images & hand stitched text.
As a fiber artist and art educator, Colwell has been developing her unique blend of embroidery, drawing, printmaking and teaching for over three decades, exhibiting and marketing work nationwide and working with individuals and organizations in workshops, secondary art classes and in her studio and classroom at Rivendell Retreat. Her BA in Fine Art from the University of Northern Colorado (1978), and K-12 art specialist teacher certification from Black Hills State University (1994), are complimented by teacher certification in surface stitchery from the Council of American Embroiderers.
While appliqué is the heart of my quilting, I enjoy many kinds of quilting, including pieced, landscape, and embroidered, both full-size and wall-size. Quilting is an artistic expression for me, and I like to add my own touches with appliqué and embroidery. Sometimes I’ll add it in the border and sometimes it will be in the center of the quilt. I might see a design in a book or magazine that will inspire an appliqué pattern. Sometimes I add an embroidered center block in a pieced quilt.
Color and mixing colors are also exciting. With the Road to Dixie I had no idea when sewing the 49 different Jacob’s Ladder blocks how much fun it would be to arrange the design from all those colors. The block placement I chose grouped the colors to create what appears to be a large block on-point. That’s when the quilt really became exciting. I could hardly wait to get all those rows sewn together. When looking at this quilt it’s hard to see that it was assembled in rows, and it’s even hard to identify the 9” block that is the basis of the quilt. I will always remember it as one of my favorite quilts to make.
One whole winter was spent hand-appliqué and embroidery-embellishing the Rose Supreme blocks. There again color played a big part of making those blocks. Peach and mauve are two of my favorite colors. I love light and bright, but I also love dark colors. Probably the easiest and most fun part of quilting is taking a pattern and going to the quilt shop and choosing colors. After that the work starts! The whole winter of fun and work with Rose Supreme was recognized by the Colorado Quilting Council judges in 2003—they selected Rose Supreme for inclusion in the Colorado State Capitol Rotunda Quilt Show.
May Basket won a blue ribbon in appliqué and a grand champion this year in the Delta County Fair. The grand champion ribbon was awarded in the category of “Machine Quilting by a Professional Quilter.” Nancy Vanaken has quilted most of my quilts and I want to recognize that fact, as without her expertise I would be unable to spend my time doing what I love. The blocks in May Basket are a combination of pieced baskets and appliqué flowers and were fun to make. And—when choosing the over-all color scheme for May Basket I couldn’t decide which—so I made two of each block, one in blue and one in peach. I gave the blue quilt to my grand-daughter. Whenever I can, I pass my love of quilting on to my grandchildren.