STITCHED @ the Valdez Museum

Stitched is currently on view at the Valdez Museum & Historical Archive in Valdez, Alaska until March 11, 2018. 

Because I was in Hawaii during the opening, the Museum staff and I thought a gallery talk and workshop in March might be a good thing to do.

Having lived in Valdez for seven years, I knew that flying there is always iffy. The pilots land the planes by sight, and if the town is socked in you can’t see the mountains. This past week, most of the flights had been canceled due to high winds.

Still I managed to get out on Friday morning.


If you hop on over to my instagram feed, you can see a very cool video that I took of our departure. I taped and stopped and taped and stopped until finally I got the lift off. I am sitting right next to the plane’s right side wheel.


On Friday evening we had a great gallery talk.


I was very pleased with the layout of the show.

Some pieces like Holey Rollers (the quilt on the left) rarely get air time, and seeing them hung in a show makes me remember how much I enjoyed the process of making them.


In some ways Holey Rollers is one of the most successful Color Grids. The grid is so difficult to find, and the black floats all by itself.


This will be the last public viewing of Colors Unfurled and it was very special to share this quilt in Valdez—the town where I learned to quilt.


At some point we always get around to looking at the backs of the quilts.


The museum strives to connect the Valdez community to history and art and the quilt McCarthy Day is about those things too.


I sold a few books


The Hinchinbrook Lighthouse lens is part of the Museum’s permanent collection. It is made of brass and 68 glass prisms. In its day, the light showed the entrance to Prince William Sound and could be seen for 22 miles.


Now it is a great prism for my quilts.


Isn’t that wild?


Afterwards, I went to dinner with my dear friend Claudia Kipar. Many of the photos you see here were taken by her.


On Saturday, I taught Riffing on Tradition to an awesome group of students. Every time I teach in Valdez, I am reminded of what great quilters live in this town.


I am mad at myself for not taking more photos of student work, but they have promised me to send photos when they are done. The coolest thing about this room is that you can easily pin fabric to the back wall! It is so good.


One of my students brought this incredible quilt made by her great, great, maybe even great grandmother.


She lived in Ohio and it looks like she made use of every bit of fabric she had. The blocks were pieced and then individual quilted onto scraps and then sewn into a quilt.



If things had gone according to plan, I would be writing you this post from my upstairs office in Anchorage. Instead, the high winds kicked up again, and I am typing away in Valdez. The next plane leaves tonight. (We hope….)


In the meantime, I think I will take another walk around town. The skies are bright bright blue, the mountains are covered in snow. It is hard to imagine a more beautiful place.


Even the trailer parks have great views.

This entry was published on March 4, 2018 at 5:40 PM. It’s filed under News And Events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “STITCHED @ the Valdez Museum

  1. Mark Vail on said:

    Great opening Fresnel lead in, it’s so quilty. Now I wish I got to see all these in person. You are sew prolific. Hope you got in the air home.


  2. What glorious quilts. And thank you for the peak into Valdez


  3. Sue Tague on said:

    Loved being able to see a glimpse of your show! Wish I could have seen in person.Hope you got home ok.❤️


  4. Gail on said:

    Maria — too many people around you at the Paintbrush Studios booth at QuiltCon for me to say hello, but I was glad to see you there. Congratulations on your second place ribbon (although I would have given you first place *wink*). My quilting “voice” is much different than yours but I always find your blog inspirational. Thank you.


  5. I so wish I could get there to see the show!!


  6. Thanks for so many inspiring photos.
    Those small planes do give a wild ride, hats off to the pilots!
    No wonder your quilts are amazing, you’re surrounded by so much rugged
    contrast and beauty.
    I like your Holey Roller quilt.


  7. Thanks for sharing your trip to Valdez. I don’t remember seeing Holey Roller before. It is a very dramatic quilt and the black squares make the blocks interact in interesting ways!


  8. Also, two questions for you…Is Colors Unfurled going to a private collection? Is the show catalog for Stitched available from the museum? ( I looked on the museum site, but I didn’t see it there.)


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