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Verna Banks exhibits her unique embroidery

by Sue Gallant

“The Meeting Place” by fabric artist Verna Banks of Alberton. This image is part of a month long, solo exhibition by Banks, entitled Stitches on a new horizon. The exhibition runs until November 14 at The Landing, Tyne Valley. It is the fifth in an ongoing series hosted by The Landing and supported by the West Prince Arts Council.

Verna Banks of Alberton has been painting beautiful pictures with a sewing machine, for more than 20 years. Stitches on a new horizon is a month-long exhibition of her latest works. It is a collection of machine-embroidered images featuring birds, butterflies, fish, frogs, vegetables and fractures. The exhibition, currently showing at The Landing, Tyne Valley, runs until November 14.

Individual works in the exhibition took Banks as long as three months to create. She draws her creative inspiration from looking out at the magnificent seascape in front of her shoreline home, from nature, bird books, magazines, and descriptions in novels.

Banks uses an Elna/Diva sewing machine. She is a member of the Canadian Quilters Association. She does not work in a traditional quilting manner. Her work features raw-edged piecing. Traditional appliquers turn the edges of their fabric pieces neatly under. Banks’s images also feature an abundance of free motion embroidery.

“Free motion means moving your work freely while stitching,” said Banks in a recent interview. “This is accomplished by lowering or covering the feed dogs on the machine, and you may or may not use a darning foot (I do). It is really like painting on canvas only using fabric and the machine and thread to accomplish the same thing.”

Stitches on a new horizon is the fifth in an ongoing series of art exhibitions hosted by The Landing and supported by the West Prince Arts Council. The exhibition series showcases artwork of local interest created by artists living in Western PEI.

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