Stitch Riff

Featuring artwork by Stephanie Coburn, ReBecca Paterson, and Peggy Woolsey

June 2 – July 31, 2021

“Grandchild #1”, Stephanie Coburn

Stitch Riff threads together the work of local textile artists Stephanie Coburn, ReBecca Paterson, and Peggy Woolsey, who share a common passion for creative expression through cloth and fibre. These three artists compose with fabric and fibre media in different ways, moving through their various worlds of stitch, line, shape, colour, and construction.

The vision for this show comes from thinking about the work of women’s hands over the last century. Coburn, Paterson, and Woolsey are inheritors of that history and practice, and will bring this show together to celebrate their connection to those women of the last century who took what chance they had to produce quilts and clothing of both beauty and use.

Peggy Woolsey’s prints on cloth using botanicals, or eco-printing, which has no harmful dyes or chemicals and is a developing new art form around the world. Stephanie Coburn’s work explores traditional quilt making with her original patterns, and ReBecca Patterson showcases contemporary techniques in working with textiles.

About the Artists

Stephanie Coburn works with colour and shape in quilt making in order to lift the heart and bring joy to herself and others. She began creating quilts 40 years ago to reflect the local interest among farm women in making warm coverings for the cold New Brunswick winter nights. They would use found materials such as old shirts, flour bags and torn curtains to create quilt pieces by lamplight, firelight and eventually electric light, and would then finally stitch the squares together. New, colourful fabrics inspired Stephanie to make her own designs, lovingly hand-quilted for family and friends alike.

ReBecca Paterson experiments with a tactile medium and offers a unique perspective to the manipulation of fibers and images. Her enthusiasm to make art with a threaded needle, either in hand or with a domestic sewing machine, allows her to investigate when her imagination runs wild to see what will happen to the multitude of materials that she uses. Basic skills learned at an early age from her mother, and the knowledge and skills acquired from several years of study, allow ReBecca to explore this artistic expression. 

Peggy Woolsey transplants the wild energy of leaves and flowers through botanical printing and dyeing on her yardage and clothing designs. She combines botanical cloth with materials from her stash of new and old fabrics, trims and laces, and creates clothing with conscience and beauty. Following her retirement from teaching art in public schools, Peggy focuses more on her art, often centred around themes of cloth and clothing. Her artistic practice has given her the opportunity to learn new skills in order to create botanical surfaces on cloth and then turn that cloth in clothing.

Stay tuned for the virtual exhibition – if you’re unable to come see the Stitch Riff exhibition in-person, the virtual exhibition is a terrific way to check out all of these artists’ works, and some of these pieces can also be purchased online or in person if you wish.