Our 8th Ambassador for 2020 is the spectacular Sarah Ann Smith. Her artistic designs and unique style is inspiring. We are so excited to have her as part of our team.
Hi! I’m Sarah Ann Smith and I am an Artist, Author, Quilter and Teacher. Fabric and sewing have been a constant in my eclectic life. If you’re reading this, thank you! I’m delighted to be a Michael Miller Brand Ambassador for 2020 . . . after all, aren’t all of us—you and me—all here because we love fabric and making things? And we love color, lots of color!
As a small child, my parents and I moved all over the world. By the time I was six, I had lived on four continents. Back in the US, a neighbor girl made me an apron for my doll. I was enchanted with the idea that someone could MAKE something like that, and I haven’t stopped sewing or traveling since. In 1988, I found a Keepsake Quilting catalog while working at the US Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia. I realized I could do BOTH of my favorite things—art and sewing--at once! But life as a US foreign service officer (diplomat) and as an older mother intervened. Eventually I found my way to quilting, and then to becoming a professional in the industry.
In 2004, we left our dream retirement home on San Juan Island, Washington, in search of better education for our sons and moved to Maine. After living all over the world, moving way too many times and feeling like I never belonged anywhere, I finally found home. My birthplace was clearly an accident of geography: I should have been born in Maine as it is the home to my soul and art. Maine’s every day beauty in all seasons inspires me, as do my family and critters.
I’ve been fortunate to have my work juried into both art and quilt shows around the world including the inaugural Rising Stars exhibit at International Quilt Festival 2017. My work is in public and private collections. I wrote ThreadWork Unraveled (AQS 2009) and The Art of Sarah Ann Smith…so far (Blurb 2017), have been published regularly and internationally in magazines, online and in books, teach nationwide, have a video workshop Art Quilt Design, from Photo to Threadwork and appeared on Quilting Arts TV (seasons 1400 and 2000) and on The Quilt Show (episode 2508). My younger son asked me if I felt well when I said I was running for elected Town office in 2017, but I am love giving back as a Hope Town Selectman. I’m also member and active committee volunteer for the Studio Art Quilt Associates.
How long have you been sewing/quilting?
In first or second grade, a neighbor girl made an apron for a Barbie doll and gave it to me. I was so astonished that such a thing was possible that I was instantly smitten. I started making clothes for my trolls out of cotton or felt, and eventually graduated to my clothes. Here’s a photo of Jeannie Lemon wearing an outfit I made in grade school years. Notice her cheerful white earrings…made of pins!
What other hobbies do you enjoy?
Reading, knitting, photography, sketching, dog-walkies with our pug, and anything art-related
What was the biggest change in your life in 2019?
Our youngest son is entering his senior year in college, so doing the last FAFSA *ever* was a landmark—they’re worse than doing taxes! Professionally, my “ocean” quilt “She persisted in her quest to reach the shore and sing the anthem of the sea” sold for a significant price. It was displayed as part of the International Quilt Festival’s Sapphire Celebration. To have a collector (anonymous, but thank you!) purchase it has finally convinced me that yes, I can make it as an artist and might even consider that I am after many years of work moving into, well, maybe approaching, the top tier. The validation is at least as important as the income. Time to create more quilts!
What is your favorite food?
Only one? Ummm…ice cream…OK, I can’t do only one. Ice cream. Fresh-homemade-bread, hot from the oven. Vietnamese. Ethiopian. Mexican. Did I mention ice cream—especially coffee, banana or coconut—which is the condiment that goes under hot fudge? A proper pot of tea made with loose tea and boiling water, and served with milk. Now I’m hungry.
Do you have any pets?
At the moment, only three: Pigwidgeon, the pug who loves the universe and especially Yoda; Yoda, a Himalayan adopted from the shelter who loves the pug; and Boo, a Turkish Van who is my husband’s Very Special Cat.
Our Critters (the three portraits of the animals) including (L to R) His Immensitude Yoda, Emperor of Minions and All He Surveys; I Love, Therefore I Am (this is Pigwidgeon the pug on my lap); Boo, J.D. (JD stands for juvenile delinquent—he is now a year old and still a delinquent LOL)
Widgeon and Yoda are my studio Assistants. Boo is occasional mayhem.
What is your favorite color?
Only one? Not even gonna **try** to limit it to one. Almost all of them! Aquas of all shades from deep teal to pale Caribbean shallows. Warm spring green, all greens. Magenta. Mango and her cousin New Gamboge. The burgundy-russet-rust-crimson of the blueberry fields in autumn. Daffodil yellow. The subtle tints and tones of winter in Maine. Yeah, pretty much all of them.
She persisted in her quest to reach the shore and sing the anthem of the sea