Thursday, September 10, 2009

Forever Friends

Meet FSG - Focus Study Group, a group which was started 15 years ago by Pat Stettler. The original concept was to help and support each other in our own personal journey as a fiber artist. There were no dues, no officers and yes, there was homework. What it didn't mention was the strong friendships we would develop and the memories we would make and share along the way. I have a deep appreciation for friends, but there is something to be said for those that have been part of our lives for what seems like forever.
So meet my Forever Friends - first is Patsy Eckman (far left), one of the funniest and most talented ladies I know- also known for her love of frogs - Ribet (or is it Rivet?)! Next is Pat Farr. I've always called her the Queen of Circles; she has done an amazing series using that shape but has changed directions, wait til you see. Third from left is Barbara Butler. Barb creates all her own fabric and one of the most talented artists I know - you'll see what I mean. Kathy O'Meara Magnuson is next, loves collage and also keeps us organized - next (3rd from the right) is Helen Thompson. Her hand stitching is amazing. She is currently the "mother" of the group. Chris Hartwell, baby of the group is a master at machine embroidery and then Pat Stettler who knows how to do..well.. everything! She was the host for the meeting today.
Pat F has gone in a new direction with discharged fabrics, simple lines and very interesting combinations of fabric. I love this next piece - especially the discharged pieces at the bottom.
And on this next piece, the middle, discharged area reminds me of skeletal figures. You never know what to expect when you discharge which is what makes it so interesting.

Pat Stettler does felting among other things. She felted this sweater very heavily, so that it stood upright, like a sculpture. She threw it in with a maroon colored sweater which fuzzed onto this one and loved the effect so she left it.
I love this next piece. Pat S felted a sweater and decided to make "fingerless" gloves with the sleeves, cutting a hole for the thumb and catching the slack at the wrist with a cool button. How clever is this woman!
Patsy made these adorable covered cord baskets with little "do-dads" hanging off the edges. I love the Halloween one with the pumpkins. What little (or big) girl wouldn't love one of these!

Chris Hartwell has loved machine embroidery for as long as I've known her. She is becoming a master at it. This is not a photograph but an actual embroidery of a window. I think it's pretty fantastic!

Barbara Butler creates all her own fabric and I might add, it's amazing. Her imagery is always so interesting and the fabric combinations wonderful as you can see.
Barbara also rusts fabric, discharges, dyes, does Shibori, prints - the list goes on. She's just a wonderful artist.
Webster's dictionary defines "girlfriend" as a "woman friend of a woman". I think if he were here today, he might have to re-write that definition more to the tune of "a girlfriend is a friend who is supportive, loves you no matter what and is there with a hug when you need it".
I love my "Forever Friends"!

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