Local textile artist Bridget O’Flaherty won top prize for her art quilt at the Machine Quilters Exhibition (MQX) Quilt Festival juried competition held in Manchester, New England, USA earlier this year. A well-deserved win and a proud moment for our art community.
Competing with more than 500 international finalists in the prestigious show, “Precious Moments” was awarded Best Use of Thread, appropriately sponsored by the Italian thread company Aurifil Threads. This is the first International quilt show Ms. O’Flaherty has entered. This art work is a representation of Frontenac County’s Crotch Lake that she and her family visit annually for a camping weekend.
Her detailed stitchings create a painterly impression of landscapes and nature. O’Flaherty used hand dyed fabrics, 40 spools of thread and 75 hours to create her 22 in by 60 in award winning piece.
Currently O’Flaherty is exploring using locally produced and natural materials from rural properties and neighbouring sheep farmers. She collects and processes fleece to create raw felt as the canvas of her Canadian nature themed art. She uses a sewing machine as her pencil and stitches delicate details like pine needles, flowers, birds and animals. Bridget began creating quilt art over 25 years ago and is well remembered in the community for the Quilts of Canada series that was displayed at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in 2000.
You can take classes with O’Flaherty at her Brooke Valley Studio and her work is showcased on her website. This year she is participating in two local shows, the Perth Autumn Studio Tour and the Almonte FibreFest.
Meet Bridget O’Flaherty this summer at the Lanark County Quilt Guild’s show. As the featured Artist in Residence at the upcoming Quilts on the Tay, there will be an opportunity to see her work up close and watch demonstrations of how she creates her art. The show is July 13-15 at the Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre.