These Women Quilt Outside The Lines

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Coloring outside the lines is part of the creative mission of The Threadplayers.

"I am fascinated with using thread as paint, and the perspective achieved with the light and dark threads," Trudy Ooms stitched on the back of one of her fiber art works.

Each of the 18 women in The Threadplayers brings their own unique style to the group that has been evolving since its inception five years ago.

When one hits a creative dead spot, the others are there to support and celebrate when the muse begins to whisper once again.

"We all try all sorts of things," Alyce Leach said.

Just as an artist with a paint brush employs a variety of techniques to achieve her goals of color and form, a fiber artist uses techniques such as stamping or resist dying using flour, raw edge appliqué, trapunto (a stuffed batting technique that is often used to accentuate vines, leaves and fruit) and thread painting.

"We've come a long way from when we started," Nancy Houghton said.

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Quilted African Masks by Louise Bossert.

The monthly show and tell gets everyone's creative juices flowing as well.

People who attended the first ever Rim Country Quilt Roundup in 2005 may recall The Threadplayers' "Rim Country Experience" entry won the Viewer's Choice -- Best of Show award.

Love of the Rim Country is the underlying thread woven between the women, so they challenged themselves to create single sections of a 14-panel quilt.

Roberta Schaeffer's panel featured elk in a meadow, while Georgia Thorne's clever patchwork had children playing in a tree, and Pam Trapeur's showed fish in a stream.

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Joy Lawson's lively fish doesn't need water.

In April 2006, The Threadplayers held their own show. The success of that first effort has led to the show this weekend. The members will present all new fiber art pieces to the public at the Payson campus of Gila Community College, 201 N. Mud Springs Road, off East Highway 260.

The Threadplayers' show, Expressions on Fiber II, is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4. It is free to the public. A $2 donation would be appreciated.

The artists are:

Nancy Bollard

Louise Bossert

Sandra Gill

Terry Hale

Nancy Houghton

Marcy Jardine

Joy Lawson

Alyce Leach

Arleen Logan

Janet Martin

Trudy Ooms

Sandy Phillips

Roberta Schaffer

Rose Anne Self

Dorothy Tatsch

Georgia Thorne

Pam Trapeur

"All are welcome. We hope viewers come away with new ideas to include in their own fiber art," Bollard said.

"It's not a quilt by old aunt Polly. It's not a doily by cousin Molly. It's fiber art," Dorothy Tasch wrote as a take-off on a Burma Shave sign.

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