tampabay.com

Faces, florals grace fabrics

A two-in-one quilting show offers an exhibit of self-portraits and another featuring new takes on an old-fashioned pattern.

By TERRI BRYCE REEVES
Published May 25, 2007


DUNEDIN - During the mid 1800s, floral applique quilts were quite the rage. Among the most popular patterns was the rose of Sharon, noted for its central floral design with radiating leaves, stems and buds. The palette was often a simple red, white and green, limited mostly by the dyes available. Now, contemporary quilters from the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan have put a new spin on the traditional block pattern and their winning works are on display at the Dunedin Fine Art Center in the traveling exhibit "Rose of Sharon: New Quilts from an Old Favorite."

Along with the "Rose of Sharon" display, the art center's resident guild, Innovative Quilters, or IQ for short, have put together a collection of their quilts called, "Through the Looking Glass: Self Portraits in Fabric." The collection features self-portraits created by these guardians of the craft.

The combined show runs through July 20.

"The biannual quilt show is one of our largest attended shows, " said Catherine Bergmann, spokesperson for the arts center at 1143 Michigan Blvd. "People come by busloads from all over the state."

A quilt by one of the founding members of IQ, Beverly Leasure, 71, of Dunedin, shows her as a collage of butterflies, sunflowers, trees and snakes.

"I love snakes, " she said. "Not to touch, but they are beautiful and have many interesting patterns."

The three butterflies represent her mother, her sister and herself.

Want to see what the quilter looks like?

Lift a quilted flap and see a peek-a-boo computer-generated image of her eyes and glasses.

In the traveling exhibit designers have placed their rose of Sharon design on Indian palaces, Brazilian grounds and among playful puppies and dancing fairies. Their flowers bloom in magenta, teal, cherry, gold, ginger and more.

The quilts are on loan from the Museum of the American Quilter's Society in Paducah, Ky., and will travel around the country for the next two years.

As part of the combined show, the IQ guild will also hold a silent auction during the exhibit for small quilts with proceeds benefiting the center. They will also host several workshops during the show.

Terri Reeves can be reached at treeves@tampabay.rr.com.

If you go

What: The Dunedin Fine Art Center's biannual quilt show includes two exhibits: a traveling international collection called "The Rose of Sharon: New Quilts from an Old Favorite, " and "Through the Looking Glass: Self Portraits in Fabric" by a local guild.

When: Opening reception 6 to 8 p.m. today. Show through July 20.

Cost: Tonight's reception is free to Dunedin Fine Art Center members; $5 for nonmembers. The show is free, though donations are accepted.

Hours: The center is closed Saturday through Monday for Memorial Day. But regular hours are Mon. - Fri., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sun., 1 to 4 p.m.

Other option: Over the course of the show, the local guild will hold a series of workshops featuring needle felting, embellishing a clutch purse, and color for quilters. Call the Fine Art Center to inquire.

Information: Call (727) 298-3322 or visit www.dfac.org.