March 7, 2012
“The Ties that Bind,” a collection of quilts by University of Maine at Fort Kent assistant professor in curriculum and instruction, Dr. Doris Metz, will be on exhibit at the UMFK Blake Library Gallery through the month of March.
The title of the exhibition represents the connection most of us have to quilts. The stories they tell tie us to those who came before us and relate those same stories to future generations. Of course, “ties” also encase the quilt so it doesn't fall apart.
An ‘Art Talk' is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the library to demonstrate how to make a simple quilt block and to learn more about quilting. The demonstration is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
Dr. Metz notes, “Quilting is an activity that provides me with the opportunity to take part in an artistic, relaxing endeavor. The first quilts I made were constructed with four-inch squares of different fabrics and were given to friends. They had no rhyme or reason, and were pieced together in a haphazard manner. Taking a hiatus from making quilts during my undergraduate years, I returned to quilting after I married and became a mother. The quilts made at that time were for my children, and some included pieces of their favorite clothing as babies and youth. As an elementary teacher, I taught many students how to sew and quilt. An example of a quilt made by fourth graders is included in the exhibit.”
For Metz, quiltingrepresents a connection to the past, as well as an extension to the future. Ask most people what they envision when they see a quilt or when they are wrapped up in one and you get reminiscent stories about images or scents of childhood, hugs from loved ones or a caring attitude that seem to become embodied in the quilt. In addition, many will hold on to a treasured quilt, even if it is threadbare and falling apart, just so it can be handed down to future generations, along with the tales they hold.
Most quilts Doris makes today are designed and assembled with specific people in mind. Metz adds, “One cannot be a quilter and not be a fabric collector. I have crates of various bits and pieces, as well as yardage of fabric that will all one day find their place in a quilt.”
Dr. Metz, a native of Fort Kent and a UMFK alumna, returned in 2006 after having lived in various places including Germany, Arkansas, Texas, Wyoming, and Colorado, where she was a stay-at-home mom, graduate student, and teacher. She teaches in the Education Division and prepares future teachers to enter the education profession.
The exhibit may be viewed during regular library hours. For more information, contact Sofia Birden, gallery curator, at 834-7527.