Fine Arts Center to host quilting exhibit

A quilt by Peggy DeLaVergne entitled “African Wives.” Photo by Suzann Thompson.

By Ashley Inge

Managing Editor

The Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center at Tarleton State University is hosting an exhibit featuring the works from the Dublin Rippers quilting club from Tuesday, June 26 through Friday, Aug. 3.

The exhibit features work from five members of the Dublin Rippers quilting club: Peggy DeLaVergne, Suzann Thompson, Sonja Banister, Donna Timmons and Hazel Ashcraft. The club are always welcoming of new members so if you like that you see at the exhibit, be sure to talk to one of them about joining! They will be able to provide quilting fabric and equipment for the first few sessions while you work out whether you want to join the club or not. One of the members, Suzann Thompson, said she started knitting when she was seven and she started quilting in the late 1990s.

“I started out as a knitter and a crocheter and I was looking for a way to make art with knitting. You can’t really hang knitting up without it stretching and I found that if I quilted the knitting, that it would be very stable and it wouldn’t stretch so that’s how I got started,” Thompson said. You need a sewing machine for quilting but I was lucky enough to inherit a brilliant one that did the job perfectly, which made it an easy transition for me.

Thompson’s quilts are normally knitted with a lot of crochet embellishments like flowers or doilies with lots of buttons. She says that some people say they’re “process people” and some say they’re “product people” but she believes she’s both. Not only does she enjoy looking for quality quilting accessories, but she also enjoys the finished product she creates.

“I think we all enjoy the process of quilting and then we enjoy the finished product. I think my favorite thing about the process is putting together colors and textures. Sometimes people will pick a pattern we’re not even sure we can do, so it’s a challenge. You really stretch your abilities when you try new things,” Thompson said.

The reception is today at 5:30 p.m. at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center at Tarleton. There will be snacks at the reception and the artists will be there to answer questions and talk to guests.

A quilt by Suzann Thompson entitled “A Worthy Accomplishment.” Photo by Suzann Thompson

“We’re very pleased to have our quilts in the exhibit,” Thompson said. “I have done quite a bit of exhibiting over the last few years and all of us take part in quilt shows, but to have an exhibit of our (art) together as friends who have been together for several years – it’s very thrilling. It’s very colorful. There’s so much texture and so much pattern. It’s a pretty amazing sight.”

“We’re glad that there’s an openness to the idea that you can have art quilts; that art doesn’t have to be paintings or sculptures – it can also be textile art,” Thompson added.

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