Sometimes I know just enough about certain places to want to go, but not enough to tell you why you should go, too. Dairy Barn Arts Center was one of those places until last weekend when I took the opportunity to visit since we were in the area prepping for the Sew Together Tuesday tour. I knew that Quilt National was held there and that lots of famous quilters go… so it must be worth a visit, right? Definitely right.
Nestled in the trees surround Athens, Ohio (known in some circles as the home of Ohio University), the Dairy Barn Arts Center is in fact an old dairy barn that was saved and converted many years ago and has become the home to a number of beautiful quilt events and displays throughout the year.
The current exhibition is Layered and Stitched: 50 Years of Innovative Art and is on display for just a few more days. The show opens with an amazing piece by Ruth DeVos called “Not Even Solomon.”
What grabbed me most was the interplay of pieced work inside of other pieced work and maybe some applique? The blending of colors and combos struck me as something I’d like to try, too. You can find more of her work on her site: Ruth DeVos
I’m ashamed to admit that I almost passed this piece by Jenny Hearn with just a cursory glance. Then I noticed some of the details and had to stop and look.
The big stitches caught my eye first, then the more detailed cross stitching and embroidery fills. There’s so much texture and color variations–it’s a gorgeous blend of fabrics and threads and layers.
Earlier this year I signed up for a couple of classes on Creative Spark and one of them was with Valerie Godwin, so when i saw this quilt I recognized it as her style. Turns out it was hers and absolutely wonderful to see in-person. I love her takes on map-making and layering, so I really should get back and finish that class so I can try my own hand at it.
I love when someone turns quiltmaking on its head, or–as in this case–into a head. This piece by Susan Else is like nothing I’ve seen before. The details, the placement, the perfection deserved hours of inspection, truly.
Looking more like a painting from afar, I love the combination of handstitches, portraiture, traditional quilt blocks and vintage fabrics in this piece by Leslie Gabrielse. Much of his work is this same combination, sometimes adding in paints.
Here are a few more that grabbed my attention, but truly all were just amazing works.
Taking the time to slowly wander through the gallery, looking closely at the different pieces and investigating their techniques did my creative brain a world of good. There are new things to make, do and explore that I’ll hold on to until I get the time to sit down with a bunch of scraps and try them out.
If you find yourself in southern Ohio, don’t miss the chance to visit the Dairy Barn Arts Center and visit their website to learn how to submit to Quilt National (it’s open now!).