Quilted Town Delights

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The Threadplayers Fiber and Fabric Art Exhibit will include the group’s miniature town, Threadville. The exhibit is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6 at the Payson campus of Gila Community College.

Wander past the felted roofs and patchwork floors. Peek inside the miniature windows, but don’t pull on the button door handles (they don’t really work). Discover the Threadplayers quilted Threadville village this May at the group’s fourth fiber art exhibit at Gila Community College.

The group of quilting artists has each fabricated a pint-sized building, using dozens of quilting techniques.

From Kathy MacCleary’s scaled Quilting Sisters fabric shop, Louise Bossert’s cowboy church, Barabara Boehm’s cottage, Terry Hale’s heart covered ‘Love Nest’ and Nancy Bollard’s ode to the North Pole Christmas-themed home.

Like most projects, the idea came from one of the group’s own.

Georgia Thorne created a beautiful quilted house and the idea spread, said Bollard, the Threadplayers president.

With Thorne’s inspiration, nearly each of the 18 members went about constructing their own quilted palace. And like all of their challenges, each member was encouraged to stretch their imaginations and skills.

Thorne pushed the envelope and her miniature home’s roof line with a handmade tree that bloomed from the center of the home and out through the ceiling. Thorne said she was inspired to make a garden house with curvy lines.

From a sloping roofline, gnarled cloth branches, tufted batik roofing and skewed walls.

Appropriately, the theme of this year’s show is “Branching Out.”

MacCleary said this was her first quilted structure. A retired architectural designer of custom homes, MacCleary knew construction, but had never applied the techniques to fabric. The project, she said, pushed her to think outside the box. For three days, MacCleary put in eight to 10 hours until the Quilting Sisters shop was done.

“(The Quilting Sisters store) are our best friends in town and I just thought we needed a quilt shop in the village,” she said.

Beyond Threadville, this year’s fiber art show will include wall hangings, wearable art, jewelry, framed art, baskets and “page 38” creations.

Every few months, the group decides on a new challenge. One of those projects was to create a circle art piece based on whatever was on page 38 of a magazine.

For some members, that meant an advertisement, a location or just text.

Louise Bossert quilted a monkey based on the inspiration of a Gorilla Glue advertisement.

Bossert, like other members, used several techniques in her pieces, ranging from hand and machine quilting, embellishing, embroidering, felting, beading, weaving, painting and dyeing fabric.

Most of the Threadplayers started as traditional quilters that have branch out beyond traditional block piecing.

“The Threadplayers are a group of creative women whose purpose is to explore and create fiber art in an artistic manner, to continue evolving individually and as a group, to collaborate, celebrate and learn from each other as well as share with others,” Bollard said.

This year’s exhibit will illustrate just how far the Threadplayers have come since forming eight years ago.

“The viewers will come away with new ideas to include in their own fiber art,” Bollard said.”

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