Merle thompson

I was taught the love of fabric by my grandmother, who sewed in the garment factories of Montreal early in the 20th Century. She taught me to sew when I was ten years old and I've been handling textiles in some fashion ever since. Over those 60 some years, I've taken many workshops: art, art history, tailoring, millinery, embroidery, fiber dyeing, quilting, art quilting, surface design, beading, and other practical skills to enhance my use of beautiful fabrics.

Mostly, I work with garments. I start each design with a piece of fabric that I love. If it is a garment I'm making, I usually have a color scheme in mind. If it is a bag, a special fabric usually guides the choice of embellishments I use such as stamps, stencils, fibers, buttons, or embroidery. Recent hand surgery has dictated that most of my work is machine made as I find it difficult to do hand work. I find that I'm attracted to abstract designs that are often quite linear ...lines, squares, rectangles, relieved at times with curvilinear stitching. Recently I have been designing church vestments such as chasubles and stoles in modern colorful designs. I have also been working on art quilts.

My fiber activity has become my avocation since retiring from college teaching. It is work I have loved to do all my life and feel lucky to be doing it full time now.

Education: B.A. University of Windsor, Ontario Canada M.A. Loyola University of Los Angeles Ph.D. The American University, Washington D.C.

Experience: Taught Literature, Humanities, Art History at Northern Virginia Community College Taught sewing at various levels over the years

Gallery Work: Member of Potomac Craftsmen Gallery since 1998, Staff Manager 2003-4

 

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