Celebrating Our Home, the Pikes Peak Region
Early in 2020, Makers Liz Kettle and Ruth Chandler of Textiles West set out to teach community members how to create fabric collages to celebrate the beauty of our Pikes Peak Region and share stories of our home and community. A week into the Spring Residency, everything came to a halt due to COVID-19.
Rather than stop the Textile Art Project altogether, Liz and Ruth transformed it into a virtual format, so that our community could be creative and stay connected even while sheltering at home. In many ways, the finished compilations are a record of our community and our shared experience during this unprecedented time. We’ve compiled all the finished pieces submitted by local community members into a Flickr album, which you can explore here.
You can also see the pieces in person as part of a rotating display by visiting the following libraries during the months listed below. At the end of the display rotation, the piece will live at Monument Library.
- September 2020:Library 21c
- October 2020: High Prairie Library
- November 2020: Old Colorado City Library
- December 2020: East Library
- January 2021: Sand Creek Library
- February 2021: Monument Library
Even though the Spring/Summer Textile Art Residency has come to an end, you can still create your very own collage! This project is traditionally a textile (fabric) project, but Liz and Ruth have adapted the project to use just about any materials you have at home. Get started by looking through the various PDF project patterns (see below) and reading through this tutorial PDF. This will give you a basic idea of the project and let you know what supplies you’ll need to get started.
Then, watch the video below to see Liz explain how to get creative and pull it all together! (Please note the video cuts off at the end, but all important content is included.) Links to supplementary videos examining various stitch types are also available below.
Textiles West's teachers are all experts who know the power of creating and understand that for many, textiles are a much more accessible art form than traditional art forms.
Through her work, Liz Kettle tells tales that are personal as well as those that speak of relationship, humanity, and the earth. She chooses a nontraditional palette of fabric and stitch because she believes they connect us and draw us closer in a way that cannot be achieved with traditional art materials alone. Liz uses a variety of techniques drawing from the deep wells of quilting, mixed media collage, and paint to tell and support each unique story.
Liz is the co-founder and Director of Textiles West, a Textile Art Center that aims to inspire widespread awareness, participation, and appreciation of textile and fiber arts.
Liz is passionate about teaching and is a co-author of two books; Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond and Threads: The Basics and Beyond. She is also the solo author of First Time Beading on Fabric, Layered and Stitched and Know Your Needles. Liz has articles published in Quilters Home, Quilting Arts, Quilting Arts In Stitches and Cloth Paper Scissors Studios, and has appeared in the PBS show Quilting Arts TV.
Ruth Chandler grew up in Japan where the vibrant color and texture of Japanese fabric, combined with the simplicity of Japanese design, caught Ruth’s attention. Ruth learned basic Sashiko from an elderly neighbor and at the age of four, and began to create and sew her own clothes at the age of ten which became an outlet for her imagination and creativity.
She made her first quilt in 1990, a queen size, hand-appliquéd and hand-quilted Hawaiian pineapple quilt, and she has never looked back. In her own unique style she loves to use new techniques mingled with the old and her work usually shows the influence of her years spent in Japan. Shibori, Boro, Sashiko, and indigo dying are her love, however she also teaches garment sewing and other classes to children and adults.
Ruth teaches locally at Textiles West in Colorado Springs, and nationally at Art and Soul Retreats. Ruth has written several articles for Quilting Arts magazine, blog posts for Havels’ Sewing, and has work published in several books. Additionally, Ruth is one of the co-authors of the best-selling book, Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond, and is the solo author of Modern Hand Stitching.
Ruth may be contacted for nationwide classes at firstname.lastname@example.org.