Tag Archives | art exhibit

Celebrate Doilies in Austin360

verypink.com podcast about Celebrate Doilies

Hot Snakes and doilies? Yeah, I was kind of confused, too, when I read the first paragraph of this article in Austin360 by journalist Dave Thomas of the Austin American-Statesman. But read on. It all begins to make sense.

Many thanks to Dave for writing about the Celebrate Doilies exhibit during its time at the German Free School in Austin.

Next up for Celebrate Doilies:

  • The doily-inspired art quilts of Celebrate Doilies will be part of a group exhibit at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center gallery at Tarleton State University, June 26 – August 3, 2018.
  • The doily heritage posters may be on display at the International Organization of Lace conference in San Antonio, Texas, this summer.
  • The Celebrate Doilies exhibit will travel to Houston in 2019. More details to come!
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Celebrate Doilies Podcast

verypink.com podcast about Celebrate Doilies

Installing Celebrate Doilies in Austin last week was an adventure, which became even more exciting when Casey of www.kcknits.com came by the German Free School to interview me for Episode 95 of the www.verypink.com podcast.

In a testament to how well social media can work, Casey told about how she found me through Twitter. I had tweeted about a crochet sample book on loan to me from Gwen Blakley Kinsler, the Crochet Kween. Casey saw a retweet, read about Celebrate Doilies, and messaged me.

For the interview, we both wore clip-on microphones, even though her recorder had very cool directional microphones attached to it. I’ve learned a lot about recording voices in the last few months, and you definitely need a microphone close to the person who is speaking. Clip-ons are a pain, because their long cords tangle so easily and they limit your movement, but they are much less expensive than the fancier alternative.

We talked about how the idea of Celebrate Doilies came to me, back in 2015. Casey asked about some of the stories people have told me about their family heirloom doilies, and I was glad to tell them. After the interview, she photographed the exhibit, which we had just finished putting up.

You can listen to the podcast online at https://verypink.com/2018/05/02/podcast-episode-95-celebrate-doilies/ or wherever you get your podcasts.

Casey added some history about the German Free School in her own blog post about the podcast, which you can read at www.kcknits.com/blog/doilies.

kcknits.com blog post about Celebrate Doilies

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Visit Celebrate Doilies in Austin

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

It’s May, so come and see the Celebrate Doilies exhibit at the German Free School, 507 East 10th Street, Austin, Texas! It is open for viewing on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all through the month of May 2018.

The German Free School was built by German immigrants in the 1800s (I think), using rammed earth. It’s a lovely, historical building, and the perfect backdrop for my doily-inspired art quilts, Sandi Horton’s poetry, and doily heritage stories about crocheters of the present and past, and their work.

The exhibit will also be on display during Maifest, May 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more at www.germantexans.org/events/maifest-2018.

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

There’s metered parking just outside the building on 10th Street, and you should be able to see the big, blue, baling twine doily from the sidewalk.

Sandi and I will present “What to Do with Oma’s Doilies” on Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 3 p.m. That will be your last chance for a while to see Celebrate Doilies in Austin.

Many thanks to the staff at the German Free School and to my sister-in-law Carolyn and my daughter Eva for their work installing the exhibit last week.

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas
Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

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Celebrate Doilies, Comanche

Celebrate Doilies in Comanche, Texas

The Celebrate Doilies exhibit and the 4 North Event Center in Comanche, TX, were a perfect match for one week at the end of March 2018. The wedding venue married the vintage beauty of the building on the courthouse square to the vintage doily heritage and doily-inspired art.

You might say that Comanche is in northwest Central Texas, and it is one of the last few stops before the great expanses of West Texas begin. Buildings around the courthouse retain their attractive western flair, and decorated bicycles are permanently parked in front of several businesses. I passed this one on my way to and from the car, unloading wall hangings and doily heritage posters. Someone had fun embellishing it with old crochet, and I took it as a good omen for the exhibit.

I hung several pieces, including House of Crochet, Sweet Home, and Afternoon in the enclosed patio at the Event Center. The natural light is perfect for viewing and photographing artwork (and people, I’m guessing). The space feels good, and I told Charles I’d love to have my living room on that patio.

Celebrate Doilies in Comanche, Texas

Light from the patio streams through French doors leading into the elegant main room, where I displayed the doily heritage posters and several wall hangings, like Crochet Comets. I love how the celestial elements of comets and a sunray come together in this photo.

Celebrate Doilies in Comanche, Texas

Another set of French doors leads to the Beer Garden, which is welcoming and comfortable. German-style food is served a few days of the week. We are definitely coming in for a German meal someday, without doilies, to enjoy the Gemütlichkeit.

The Beer Garden at 4 North Event Center, Comanche, Texas

The baling twine doily at Celebrate Doilies in Comanche, Texas

Many thanks to Sloane Northridge for her enthusiasm for having Celebrate Doilies at the 4 North Event Center. The venue normally hosts weddings and other celebrations, and I recommend it for its elegance and for Sloane’s knowledgeable management.

I enjoyed seeing friends and meeting doily enthusiasts during the week Celebrate Doilies was in Comanche.

Celebrate Doilies is a traveling exhibit. If you’d like to see the exhibit at a gallery near you, please ask the venue manager to visit www.textilefusion.com/celebrate-doilies-exhibit-details. We can work it out!

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Celebrate Doilies on the Move

All set up for What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

Make plans soon to see the Celebrate Doilies exhibit at the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History, in Mingus, Texas. The exhibit will be there through March 15, 2018. For hours and other details, please visit the Exhibition Schedule. The Gordon Center is on I-20, between Weatherford and Eastland.

Shae Adams, the Center’s curator, mounted the exhibit and organized our “What to Do with Grandmother’s Doilies” presentation on February 25th. She and I were talking about why a doily exhibit might be a good fit for the Gordon Center. Shae said, “Crocheting doilies is a home industry.” How true!

Sandi Horton playing flute at the What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

The photos are from our presentation. I talked about how to take care of doilies, doily projects you can do, and more. Sandi read poetry about her family’s needlework, and played a short musical prayer on her Indian flute. We had a fun and interactive crowd from Mineral Wells, Gordon, and as far as Proctor, Texas.

Suzann at the What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

The Gordon Center has artifacts and displays about the company town of Thurber, Texas. In many a Texas town with red brick streets, the bricks were made in Thurber. When I was there with friends, we watched a film about the town. It seemed like a wonderful community, but it was difficult to move away from Thurber, since workers were paid in company scrip, which merchants outside the town wouldn’t accept as payment.

Plan to spend some time, if you go, to see the exhibit and the permanent displays and film about Thurber.

Suzann's Constant Comets wall hanging and Sandi Horton's family heirloom crochet at the Gordon Center

If you can’t make it to the Gordon Center, Celebrate Doilies will be at the 4 North Event Center in Comanche, Texas, from March 19th through the 25th. The hours will be Monday-Friday, 4-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I’ll be there the whole time, so come and see me!

Sandi Horton and I will give a short presentation in Comanche on Saturday, March 24th, at 2 p.m.

Celebrate Doilies is booked at the German Free School in Austin, Texas, in May. Many of the doily wall hangings will be in a special showing of quilts at Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, in July. I’ll post more information about those venues in the months to come.

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A Celebrate Doilies Interview at March On! Texas

I met writer and historian Kelly McMichael at a town hall meeting of our U.S. Representative last spring. It was a nice surprise to find out that Kelly is a textile artist, too!

Kelly offers a different spin on the Celebrate Doilies exhibition in this post at the March On! Texas blog.

press for Celebrate Doilies

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Doily Yarn Bombs for Art Exhibit

The Celebrate Doilies will open in two short days! Yay!

But let’s dwell for a moment on the past.

Baling twine doily for Celebrate Doilies exhibit

My parents have raised cattle for a long time, and cows need hay during the winter. Mom and Dad buy big, round hay bales, which used to be tied up with yards of blue and white synthetic string called baling twine.

My dad can hardly stand to throw away anything that might be useful someday, and so he has a tub full of baling twine. “Suzie,” he has often said, “you could knit something out of that baling twine.”

Yes, I could knit something with baling twine, but as we say in my little family, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.”

All that changed when I was looking for a good fiber to make a doily to yarn bomb the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council gallery during the Celebrate Doilies exhibit. I tried crocheting the baling twine. It was kind of stiff and springy, but it could definitely be crocheted.

In the photo above, I’m on round 13 of the baling twine doily.

Doily yarn bomb for Celebrate Doilies exhibit

My mom offered a softer option: macramé cord that had been among her craft supplies for about 25 years.

The five hanks of cord totaled about 270 yards, so the crocheting went relatively quickly. The vintage pattern accommodated the varying weights of the cord perfectly. It was pattern number 7444 for a luncheon set. You can find the pattern by searching the internet with the terms “luncheon set 7444.”

In this photo, my assistant is stretching the doily on a length of PEX pipe, with the help of the dogs. The doily measured about 40 inches across when stretched.

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Natcromo 2017 Celebrates Doilies!

Thank you to Amy and Donna of Crochetville.com for inviting me to join this year’s National Crochet Month blog tour! This is a wonderful thing they do, in addition to providing an internet home for crocheters all year round.

NatCroMo 2017 blog tour sponsored by Crochetville.com

Today, the love of crochet ties together thousands of people across the United States and the world. Crochet also reaches into the past to tie us to our ancestors and give us a sense of our place in history. Even for people who don’t do it themselves, crocheted items may bring back memories of happy times, visits, relatives long-gone.

Mrs. Jesse McKinnon's doilies

I’m seeing this effect more and more as I prepare for the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit, which debuts this summer in north central Texas. (See exhibit schedule here.)

The exhibit celebrates doilies through stories and memories from families in the area and beyond, through my own art and the poetry of Sandi Horton. Let me show you!

Stories and Memories

A few years ago, Mac McKinnon, who grew up a mile or so from where I live now, told me he had doilies and other crocheted items from his grandmother who raised him. “What can I do with them?” he asked. He was one of the first people I interviewed for the exhibit.

Mrs. Jesse McKinnon's doilies

McKinnon was orphaned as a fairly young boy. His aunt and uncle adopted him, and he went to live with them in Comanche County, Texas, where the family farmed peanuts and cotton.

McKinnon’s grandmother lived nearby. She was Jesse Pearl Craddock McKinnon, born around 1893. Jesse often took care of him, and McKinnon emphasized that she also “took time with him.” She taught him how to play games, but didn’t let him win just because he was a kid. They did all kinds of crafts together. He remembers making cork necklaces and decorating them with sequins.

Mrs. Jesse McKinnon's crocheted tablecloth

After her husband died in 1942, Mrs. McKinnon made a living sitting with elderly people. They were mostly bed-ridden, so she was there to keep them company and tend to their needs. Since a large part of the job entailed just being there, Jesse filled her time by crocheting.

The two doilies above and tnis table cloth are the work of Jesse Pearl Craddock McKinnon. It’s easy to understand Mac McKinnon’s love for his grandmother and his pride in her crochet skill.

Many more crochet stories and memories are featured at the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit. (There’s still time to share your own family doily stories! I’ll tell you how in a minute.)

Art

To me, many doilies are works of art and I certainly consider doily designers to be artists. For the past year, in preparation for Celebrate Doilies!, I’ve been using doilies in my wall hangings with great pride.

Winterling, a TextileFusion wall hanging by Suzann Thompson

Celebrate Doilies! features around twenty doily-themed TextileFusion wall hangings, like Winterling. Inspired by my mom’s Zwiebelmuster china, I created a bouquet of crocheted flowers in a blue and white china vase. And of course the vase rests on a lovely large doily!

Crochet Comets, a TextileFusion wall hanging by Suzann Thompson

Doilies take to the skies in Crochet Comets, which was my first fabric quilt, in contrast to my usual knitted quilts. If you can’t wait until summer to see it, Crochet Comets is on display now in Golden, Colorado, at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum through April 23, 2017. For details, visit my Exhibition Schedule.

House of Crochet, a TextileFusion wall hanging by Suzann Thompson

Laura Wheeler, Design 673, filet crochet house

I love home. I love to be at home. I love home- and house-themed art and crafts. What a thrill it was to find this lovely antimacassar featuring a filet crochet house! I paired it with a vintage quilt top and added crochet trim and buttons to make this quilt called House of Crochet.

(The original instructions for crocheting this cute, cute house available for purchase online at Today’s Treasures.)

See these and many more doily-rich wall hangings at the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit and at my website, www.textilefusion.com. (follow the gallery links).

Poetry

Poet Sandi Horton and I met at the Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas Weekend in 2016. I spoke about the upcoming Celebrate Doilies exhibit, and how it would include stories and memories about family heirloom crochet.

Doily by poet Sandi Horton

Sandi often writes ekphrastic poetry, which is about a scene or a work of art. Ekphrastic poetry might describe a painting, a piece of music, or a performance.

After my talk, Sandi told me she had doilies and other crocheted items that her mother and grandmothers made. She said, “I would like to write poems about them.”

That sounded wonderful to me! Sandi’s poems about her family’s crochet and even about my wall hangings are featured in Celebrate Doilies. Here’s a poem about her experience with crochet. It is used with permission.

Modern Girl
Copyright 2017 by Sandi Horton. All rights reserved.

The young girl eyes the multitude of colors
She wants to find just the right one
Should she be practical with a neutral
Or choose a bright, modern color?

Her mother and grandmother chose
Different shades of white and beige
They are so old-fashioned
The girl chooses a dazzling lime green

She wants to represent her generation
Even though most other girls don’t crochet
The girl wants to keep the chain going
Her nimble fingers tighten from the stress

Lime green thread twists around and around
The hook moves slowly, in an unsteady rhythm
Her mom says, ‘Crocheting relaxes me.’
The inexperienced girl continues to struggle

She refuses to give up
A smooth pattern finally takes shape
She finishes her first and only doily
Modern girls have better things to do

 Doily by poet Sandi Horton

Find Sandi on Facebook at My House of Poetry.

You Can Still Participate!

Do you have beloved family heirloom crochet you would like for me to show in the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit?

If you do, please visit the Doily Heritage Project page online. It will give you information and links to the Doily Interview, plus hints for photographing your doilies.

To be included in the July-August exhibit in Stephenville, Texas, I need your information and photos by May 1, 2017. The deadline for entering the next show in Granbury, Texas, is June 1, 2017.

Support the Celebrate Doilies! Exhibit and Crochet Art

I hope you like the idea of Celebrate Doilies! enough to support this effort!

For as little as $1.00 per month (that’s $12 a year), you can help me to pay for making posters and cover other expenses associated with putting on the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit. Visit my page at patreon.com to read more and donate.

Support the art and craft of crochet on Patreon!

You can choose one of several levels of support: $1, $3, $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 per month. All of my patrons have access to a patrons-only feed, where I share exclusive news about my work and previews of blog posts. The rewards get better the higher the amount you pledge.

For instance, at the $5 level, you can participate in polls about names of wall hangings and design decisions, receive at least one art postcard per year, and have access to the patrons-only feed. And coming soon, at the $5 per month level, you can contribute a piece which I will use in a wall hanging.

Celebrate Doilies is Available to Travel

Crocheted Cars, pattern in Cute Crochet World, by Suzann Thompson

Celebrate Doilies! will be available to travel to other galleries and shows after October 1, 2017. Please email me at knitandcrochetwithsuzann at outlook dot com for scheduling and fees.

Small galleries and arts councils may be eligible for grant money to pay for exhibits like Celebrate Doilies!

Free Pattern for You, March 25 Only!

Crocheted Turkey and Penguin, by Suzann Thompson

Thank you for reading this far! As a gift for you, today only (March 25th, 2017) you can download the patterns for these cute crocheted Turkeys and Penguins for free—normally a $2.00 value. Here’s the pattern link: Turkey and Penguin at Ravelry Store.

From March 26-28, 2017, the “Turkey and Penguin” pattern will be half-off. That’s one dollar.

Postcards for You!

This is the first of two postcards I will be mailing for the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit. If you would like to be on my list for ONLY these two postcards, email me your mailing address (U. S. addresses only, please) at knitandcrochetwithsuzann at outlook dot com. I will not share your information.

Celebrate Doilies postcard

Thank You!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed reading about Celebrate Doilies! Will you share your doily photos and stories for the exhibit? Please do!

And remember, doilies are perfect for your glamping décor needs.

Heart Garland from a pattern in Cute Crochet World, by Suzann Thompson

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