kathy bagioni

Color outside the lines . . .

Hope in the time of unrest

Written By: kathybagioni - Jun• 05•20
My Garden tis of Thee, Kathy Bagioni, 1986

The events of these past weeks have left me horrified, sad, numb, weepy, and frightened. I was so angry at times I could not put my pain into words. But someone said to me, “You need to find your words. White ladies don’t have the luxury of being so mad we forget our words. Find your words and use them.” They were right. I am a privileged white woman with a comfortable life and I need to step up. I need to add my words to others’. 

But it’s hard.

It is hard to say to oneself, “Look for the helpers.” When the helpers I know are being gassed and beaten in the streets. When clergy are driven from their churchyard.  

When friends that have been so strident about protecting their 2nd Amendment rights are glaringly silent and seem to forget about our 1st Amendment rights.

When I have trusted police officers all my life with many positive encounters. And then I see reports about police using armed force against old men… and journalists just doing their jobs… and peaceful protestors… and clergy.

It’s hard.

And, then I see the young people. They have fresh ideas about voting reform, and city reform, and education methods, and police reform. They are moving forward. They are volunteering and organizing. They are registering to vote. They are marching. They have a new point of view.  

Protest march in Newington, CT, June 4, 2020.

And I read messages like this one, A Black Mother’s Perspective on Race Relations, with caring, peace-filled, tempered responses when the message could have been (justified) angry or pain-filled or tired.

And it gives me hope.  

So I will try to do better. I will support my friends and make new ones. Read new books. I will ask questions and have hard conversations. Look inside and change attitudes.  Support local businesses and seek out new ones, especially those run by POC. Advocate for those that can’t. And I will not be silent in order to be polite.

And I will make art because … that’s what I do.  

Over 30 years ago I made the quilt at the top of this post. Called “My Garden tis of Thee”, its message is still relevant today.

Celebrating Women in the Arts

Written By: kathybagioni - May• 10•19

Nice article in the Journal Inquirer today about the exhibit.

Tomorrow I will be giving a gallery talk/walk through of the 14 pieces.

Hope to see you at the Willimantic Textile Museum at 2:00 p.m.

Check out the article here.


the Gyre is juried into UPCYCLE

Written By: kathybagioni - May• 02•19

So thrilled to be included in this prestigious group of 35 artists from around the globe.


Premieres at the International Quilt Festival, Houston Texas – October 31 to November 3, 2019

Repurposing used materials is one of the most effective solutions there is to deal with today’s environmentally devastating waste issues. Fiber art also has a rich tradition of incorporating elements that would otherwise be discarded by turning them into compelling compositions.    from the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates website, www.SAQA.com)

My piece is called “the Gyre”, a “quilt” made of recycled paper, fiber, plastic, and paint.   A gyre is a place where convection currents rotate and converge. It is where all that plastic and other garbage we toss accumulates in the oceans.   In the Pacific there are currently five large gyres and in the Atlantic three.   This piece is 99.999% repurposed/recycled paper, fiber, and plastic.  Only the red binding and the backing fabrics, and the paint and gel mediums are new.


Playing with acrylic paint

Written By: kathybagioni - Apr• 13•19

So, in the midst of dealing with my elderly mother and all her issue, I have been playing with acrylic paint.

This is called “Frustration”. It was started after I spent 1 1/2 hours on the phone with an insurance provider.

On a happier note: Spring is springing and the pussy willows in the side yard are past.  Little green shoots are starting to show.   I love this time of year when everything seems to explode. This is called “Yearning”, an apt name to my feelings in the early spring

Stone Soup Potholders: A fundraiser for Foodshare

Written By: kathybagioni - Nov• 27•18

I am raising funds for Foodshare this holiday season with potholders. This is my small “stone” to add to the pot of Stone Soup.

What is Stone Soup? 

Years ago my children’s PreSchool would make a yearly field trip to my home garden.  Once there, the 3- and 4-year-olds would rush about discovering tomatoes, and green beans, and potatoes, etc.

This field trip is one of my fondest memories.  I remember the joy of the children running into the garden, helping each other find vegetables, and later having their snacks together on a blanket laid out in the September sunshine.

Back at school they would peel and chop (under supervision, of course) all these vegetables. Then, it was so hard to wait while the pot simmered in the kitchen.  The teacher would read Stone Soup to help pass the time.  Finally, a delicious soup was ready.  Everyone shared.

Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys and exists as a moral regarding the value of sharing.” From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Soup

It is the season of the sharing and caring now.

Why Foodshare?

I volunteer some of my time to Foodshare, a food bank located in Bloomfield, CT which operates in Hartford and Tolland counties.   Foodshare’s goal is to “provide food for people who are hungry”.   It is as simple and as heartbreaking as that.

We distribute food to our clients in our church’s parking lot. We laugh together at silly jokes. Trade complaints about the weather.  Congratulate or commiserate about sports teams. We share recipes. Sometimes clients forego their place in line to help out the volunteers.

I enjoy my time there every other week.


I wish we did not have to be there.


I wish there was no need.


I wish the numbers weren’t steadily increasing.


I am raising funds for Foodshare this holiday season with my potholders. This is my small “stone” to add to the pot.

Why Potholders? 

Everyone needs potholders.

As a fiber artist and longtime quilter I don’t have stones, but lots of fabric scraps in my studio. So with some improvisational stitching I produced a pile of colorful potholders. I used them to practice my quilting stitches each morning.  10 to 15 minutes of warming up stitching before getting down to the work of the day.  Being a frugal Connecticut Yankee, the motto — Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without — is stamped on my psyche. What to do with them? So I cut them into nine inch rounds, used more scraps to make the binding and finished them off.

Each pair is unique.  No pattern, no mass production, no pre-cut templates. Just a one-of-a-kind-exclusive-design-never-to-be-replicated-ever-again. Some are beautiful, some are artistic, and some are ugly ducklings that only a mother could love.

Each coordinated pair of potholders is filled with cotton or wool batting.

They are washable because we know that no matter how pretty they are you know you will get spaghetti sauce on them.

But MOST IMPORTANT — for every $10 you spend for these potholders, $9 goes to Foodshare.  The $1 is to cover some costs of shipping and handling. That’s all.

A donation to a great organization and a new pair of potholders.

So, what do you say?

Don’t you need a brand new pair of potholders?  Think how good they will look lifting the lid off that big pot of soup simmering on your stove ready to warm you and your family and friends?