Peninsula trio of quilters are leavin’ ’em in stitches

Three friends come together for art show at Sidney's Tulista Gallery.

Left Sharon Stoneman, Kristin Rohr and Susan Duffield enjoy a day outside.

Sharon Stoneman, Kristin Rohr and Susan Duffield all have one thing in common… they have a passion for art.

Stoneman started in the late 80s learning how to make quilts for beds.

“After doing that for a while I ran out of beds and I was getting kind of bored so I started doing my own designs and sort of explored the world of textile art and that has kept me busy now for 30 years,” she told the PNR, adding that she’s currently interested in the stitching part of the process.

For Rohr, she grew up around art, as her mother was an artist.

“In fact, she was my art teacher at school and in second grade we drew a picture and then we turned it into a stitch wall hanging,” she said.

Rohr is also a scientist (marine geophysics) and went through graduate school and a career in research. She later became more interested in making art in the late 80s and explored different avenues in the medium. Rohr is also doing stitching and said it’s a very personal expression at this point.

Duffield said she’s always sewn throughout her life.

“I used to sew all the clothes for everybody in the family,” she said.

She later began quilting, but said it was too disciplined for her, so she needed to veer off. And so this year, it’s mostly been stitching for her on different fabrics, along with colouring fabrics.

Stoneman said one of the things that’s different amongst the three ladies is that Rohr and Duffield have been delving deeply into the world of natural dyed fabrics and chemical dyes.

“Whereas I tend to work with commercial fabrics that are already either printed or are just solid coloured,” said Stoneman, adding that she will sometimes buy fabrics that other people have already done things to.

In terms of what inspires these women, it’s all about emotion and how they feel.

“For this show, for me, it’s been about translating emotion into fabric,” said Stoneman.

She said for the longest time, she worked with a lot of straight lines trying to evoke a sense of calm, and she shifted from that this year. She said a lot of times it’s just about looking at colours and thinking ‘how could I adjust that and what can I do with that?’

For Rohr, it’s about using stitching as a meditative practice.

“This year, it’s more internal reflection and two of the bigger pieces I’m showing are the results of meditation,” she said.

When Duffield does her work, she said it’s the reaction she gets to the lines. This year, she said the focus has been on the lines and the land.

“I grew up south of Calgary in the foothills and I guess that growing, moving landscape is finally coming out,” she said, adding that she usually does things on what she sees as she’s flying somewhere.

The ladies will be at the Tulista Gallery this week until May 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it’s not the first time they’ve shown there.

They usually pick a framework or a theme, and this year’s title is called Finding a Way. Patrons are welcome to stop by and watch them work and view their work.

They will be putting on another show at Tulista in July.

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