Fiber art on display at the Windsor Art and Heritage Center | MyWindsorNow.com

Fiber art on display at the Windsor Art and Heritage Center

Emily Wegner
ewegner@mywindsornow.com

Charlotte Jackson remembers asking her mother for a dress for her doll when she was a child.

"And my mom said, 'Well, you need to learn how to sew,' " Jackson said.

So Jackson learned. Now, around 60 years later, her fiber art is on display at the Windsor Art and Heritage Center for the Nature of Quilts exhibit.

Although the Fort Collins resident said she knows the time and effort that go into the art of quilting more traditionally, she enjoys needle felting and creating pieces that may seem more unusual to someone unfamiliar with art quilting.

"I like the freedom of expression that being an art quilter gives me," she said.

Jackson works with wool, silk and other natural fibers to create shapes and patterns, like the boulders in her piece "Boulder Field on the Lower Colorado." She said she has been needle felting for five or six years, and each piece can take different amounts of time and concentration.

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"I probably have 40 or 50 hours in that piece by the time it's completed," she said.

As a child of post-World War II, Jackson said, she used to view sewing as a necessity. She said she can remember her mother going to a box of clothes when she or a sibling needed new clothing, taking apart and re-sewing the clothing to make a new item.

"Sewing was important because you needed to make something," she said.

But after retirement, Jackson said her love of fabrics and fibers turned toward art rather than functionality. She became part of the Rocky Mountain Creative Quilters, and began learning more about the artistic side of quilting.

"There are a lot of us out there," Jackson said. "I'm really pretty basic compared to what a lot of artists are doing with this medium. It's really beautiful to see what people can create using fiber."

Caitlin Huesser, museum curator for the Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, said she initially was concerned the art center would not get enough response when a call to artists was sent out, but about 40 submissions came in from residents.

Huesser said she was glad to be able to display 30 of the submissions, a wide variety of pieces.

"They're all so unique and wonderful in their own way," she said.

Not everyone thinks "fiber art" when they think of quilting, Huesser said.

"I think when people think of quilting they think of the traditional, square, geometrical kind of things," she said.

Jackson said she hopes the show will raise awareness of fiber art, and encourages those who visit the exhibit to try their own quilt art.

"Hopefully that will expose people who have not had experience with or are not even aware of the whole medium of art quilting," she said. "And I think that's, after all, what a museum is all about."

The Nature of Quilts

The exhibit is free and open to the public from noon-4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at the Art and Heritage Center.

For more information, call Heusser at 970-674-3524.

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