Fabric is Meriden artist’s canvas

by Clarke Davis

Some artists use paint and a canvas for their renditions. Doris Lux uses fabric, buttons, and beads to create her art and calls it a quilt.

Doris Lux poses with one of her favorite artistic quilts that servers as a wall hanging in her living room.

Doris Lux poses with one of her favorite artistic quilts that servers as a wall hanging in her living room.

The Meriden woman has been at it for several years and is the chair of this year’s Quilt Show held last Saturday in Meriden. It was sponsored by the Friends of the Meriden Community Library.

This was the second year for the show that supports the library’s six-week summer reading program.

A special treat this year was a visit by the acting troop from Topeka Civic Theater who provided some teaser skits from their current show, “A Little House Christmas.”

Quilts and books are a good combination for Lux, who loves both and believes a good library with all of its services is well worth supporting.

She said the “Friends” organization has helped fund a new computer and some furniture for the library and has a goal for acquiring a small enclosed trailer that can be used to store books. The library takes book donations and then uses them to raise money at local book sales.

The group teams up with the area chamber of commerce when it holds its annual pancake feeds.

“If we can get a trailer to store and haul the books it will be a great help,” she said.

“I love to read and we have a book club that gets together once a month,” Lux said. “It’s another social thing for me.”

It was in 1994 that Doris had her interest in quilting sparked while on a trip. She and her husband, Jack, were coming back from Wyoming where she had seen some artistic quilt blocks.

“I said to him, I’m going to make a quilt.”

She wasn’t kidding.

She was not a stranger to a sewing machine, but the new genre to her—applique—provided a way for her to demonstrate her artistic talent.

Her favorite quilt hangs on the living room wall and consists of a variety of flowers and animals. The animals range from birds, beavers and raccoons, to tiny insects. Not everything is cloth. Beads are used for buds on a flower along with buttons. And not everything is sewn flat. The petals on the flowers, for instance, bend up for a three-dimensional look as do the ears on some animals.

“It’s been fun for the grandchildren,” she said. “They will look for a long time and keep finding things.”

Some of her artwork is taken from photographs or calendars. She buys artwork professionally produced for quilts, but says she usually winds up adding her own interpretations.

She is always on the prowl through fabric stores looking for material that will help match whatever it is she has in mind.

Lux is often called on to teach classes, most recently in Manhattan and Great Bend, and belongs to both Kansas and American quilting organizations. The national shows are held throughout the country and she has enjoyed loading the car with friends and attending one occasionally. Quilters also hold area “trunk shows” that she attends.

A high point in recent years was winning a reserve grand champion award for a quilt at the Douglas County Fair. Another was working with the Spencer Art Museum on the University of Kansas campus where she replicated a quilt block from an antique quilt on display there that dates back to the Civil War era.

Quilts of all sizes cover doors, walls, and furniture in the Lux home. She’s given several to her three children and is working on more for the grandchildren. She has eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Lux has a hard time putting a price tag on her quilts.

“Cloth is expensive, running $10 to $12 for a yard,” she said. It takes another $100 or more to have someone machine quilt her creation and the hours she puts in making one can be extensive since she does so much small intricate work on them.

And then there’s the ones she won’t part with, which makes them priceless.

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Posted by on Dec 4 2011. Filed under Featured, Media, The Vindicator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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