Monday, April 12, 2010

Introducing Linn Shimek

Trading Post by Linn Shimek 35" x 48"

In February, I received an e-mail from Linn Shimek of Sebring, Florida. She wrote: “I have one of your ATCs from the Houston Show on my quilt entry for the International Quilt Festival/Chicago (April 16-18). I traded 30 ATCs in Houston and mounted all of them on a quilt called Trading Post and was lucky enough to be accepted in Chicago. Just wanted you to know your card will be there and hope you will too.

“I didn’t realize I had one of your ATCs on my quilt until I saw your article in the latest Quilting Arts magazine on thread sketching and saw the picture of Indian Corn, which is similar to the card… I love your work and do a lot of thread painting myself. ”

Oh, Linn, I wish I were going! I have too many deadlines right now to make this show. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to get to the IQA Houston show three times, but have never been to their Chicago show. It is one of my long-term goals to make it to both the IQA shows in Chicago and Long Beach. 

Look at her beautiful quilt! Isn’t this a wonderful way to display small pieces of art in one bigger piece? And look at all the cool buttons and beads she used! The ATC (Artist's Trading Card) that I made is in the middle of the third row from the top. Here are some of the ATCs like it that I made to trade at International Quilt Festival in Houston last year:

Linn says that her Trading Post piece was a result of a group challenge. She belongs to a group of ten artists called Frayed Edges, and they decided to make “chrysalis quilts – rectangles pieced in unlike fabrics and a smaller rectangle fused in the center of the larger ones with a fabric bead (chrysalis) in the center of each small rectangle.” She tried to think of a unique idea for the challenge, and happened to glance at the ATCs, which were hanging on a bulletin board. It gave her the idea to replace the fabric beads in the centers of the small rectangles with the cards.

“Voila!” says Linn. “Trading Post was conceived! I had a piece of red burlap just the right size in my stash for the top base of the quilt. Loved the color! I needed to make it a quilt so added cotton batting and backing. For design continuity I used all poka dot fabrics in different colors. The cards are hanging on yoyos and buttons so they can be turned to see the maker’s name. I added a scrappy border with fabric beads and the bottom is fringed burlap with fabric and glass beads hanging.”

Linn has been quilting for about 30 years, but only really got interested in art quilting after retirement. She is in several local art quilt groups: SSS ArtWorks, Contemporary Art Quilters, Frayed Edges, and Art Quilters Unlimited of Fort Myers.

Last year was the first time she entered a major show (the West Palm Beach Show), and she won a second place ribbon with her quilt Sultry Shadows.

Here are more photos of Linn’s wonderful thread-sketched pieces:
Banana by Linn Shimek

Rocky Mountain Columbine by Linn Shimek, 31" x 35"

Rocky Mountain Columbine (detail) by Linn Shimek
I wish Linn all the best with her work and with her show entries. It is so nice to meet other quilt artists in these unexpected ways.

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