Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Appalachian Piecework Textile Studio

I mentioned in my last post that I discovered a wonderful fiber artist in Staunton, VA and had the chance to wander about her studio/shop called Appalachian Piecework. The fiber artist is Laurie Gundersen. You might say that she is a Renaissance woman or a Jacqueline-of-All-Trades when it comes to the fiber arts.

A selection of just some of the traditional fiber techniques that Laurie excels in.
At the cooperative gallery I belonged to for 20 years we had a running joke...without fail tourists would wander in and ask, "Did you make all these?"...referring to a multitude of art and wearable pieces in techniques ranging from felted vessels to hand-dyed shibori scarves. Of course, we had to politely reply, "No, we have 65 artists producing these works." When I walked into Laurie's shop, I figured she was one of many artists displaying work in the space. There were woven baskets, pieced quilts and handbags, woven as well as shibori scarves, nuno felted accessories, hooked rugs, wool felt Penny quilts, and stitched wall pieces. So imagine my surprise when I found out that she actually did make all these items!

I'm now wishing I'd purchased some of these gorgeous shibori silks.
Rolls of vintage fabrics and a beautiful hand-stitched piece in the works.

I was first drawn to some of the stitched and framed pieces having just recently taught both my Story Cloth class and Healing Cloth workshop. Laurie combines natural hand-dyed fabrics (including Indigo and Osage) with bits and pieces of old quilts. There are lots of beautiful hand-stitched details. When I asked her about them, she informed me that she is presently working hard to produce works for a solo exhibition in October in New Haven, CT. I asked her if I could take photos of her shop/studio being careful not to include shots of the pieces for that show. She very graciously said, "yes". In addition to creating her own works, Laurie also repairs/restores vintage quilts and handwoven coverlets.

This cozy corner has rolls of hand-dyed (many using natural dyes) wool felt. I loved the colors and bought a number of them thinking how great they'd look with some hand stitching.
Laurie uses many natural dyes.

Her shop is located at the train station in Staunton, Virginia. I highly recommend a visit!


  1. Did Laurie mention which New Haven gallery her show will be in? You've peaked my curiosity.

    1. I let her know that I might know folks that would be interested in seeing her show (e.g. YOU!). She didn't have the name with her but said that she'd let me know. I'm going to send her a link to this post and will ask her. Looking forward to reading today's installment of your retreat.

  2. Wow! Loved her space and energy! New Haven is very close to me and I would also like to know when and where the exhibition is taking place.

    1. Hi Carol- I just loved looking in every nook and cranny of her studio/shop! I have an email out to her to get the info about her show and will post it when she replies.