Welcome to "My Enchanted Wonderland", an installation of art quilts that I had the honor of sharing this past week at Squam Art Workshops in NH.
Housed in the Deephaven Library at Rockywold-Deephaven Camps, an inherent coziness and intimacy infused the space surrounding my Nest and art quilts. As soon as the quilts were hung, I stood back with my amazing helper Terri Dautcher (@tldautcher) and we took it all in. It was the first time I saw my work all together and, as Terri can attest, I got a little choked up. I've spent the past eight months creating this installation, with most of it being made within the last six months. As a quilter, this has been a physically intense period of time, completely self-induced, with every art quilt featuring hand applique, and some also incorporating hand piecing or hand quilting. As a story teller, the intensity only continued to build because each story is so personal, and at the same time, universal. It's a lot to carry, which I see as a privilege because they are our stories. Sharing this little world of stitched stories with 200 like-minded people, nestled in the woods along the edge of Squam Lake, was truly a gift, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
This installation was companion to the workshop I taught for two days, also titled Enchanted Wonderland. 28 incredibly gifted, generous, kind women gathered around work tables and cut what I'm calling botanical paper cuts, and then translated their favorite piece in fabric. (The blue and white pillow below is one I made as a class sample.) Some students even took their fabric pieces to the next level by adding hand or machine stitching outside of class. To be surrounded by people so open to adventure, and to see their eyes light up with excitement about what they've just created - well, it's my favorite part about teaching. I believe this workshop is worth offering to a wider audience, so stay tuned for a workshop update. You can see a group shot of each class holding some of their work on my instagram feed, @tierneybarden.
Back to the installation, over the next few weeks I'm going to share each quilt right here, one at a time, as a way to talk more in-depth about my design process, how I choose quilting techniques in relation to the story being told and other topics. Send me your questions here in the comments, by email, or DM @tierneybarden on Instagram and I'll do my best to answer in the upcoming posts. That would be fun!
While at Squam, I was frequently asked what's in store for the quilts. I'd like them to travel to other unique, intimate spaces, and to share these stories with more people. I see the installation changing to fit the space, a welcome challenge. I'm open to location suggestions, and you can email me here.
To every person at Squam Art Workshops who experienced the show and shared their thoughts and questions with me, thank you! For every person who held their experience more privately, thank you! To Elizabeth Duvivier (@elizabethduvivier) who flung the door wide open to such an incredible journey, thank you! To Meg Fussell (@squamlove), thank you for keeping Squam Love alive!
For a generous dose of magical, woodsy, love-filled Squam Art Workshops eye-candy:
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