January 9, 2015

Ruth Powers Interview

Ruth Powers will be one of the first Fiber Arts Instructors to teach in the 2015 season at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. Her Workshop, Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing, will be held April 12 to 18, 2015.

Ruth recently shared with us some insights on her work and teaching.

How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I’ve been teaching over 20 years; it started as a requirement of my job at a quilt shop, grew to promote my pattern company INNOVATIONS, and has evolved into a passion for sharing what I now love – creating one-of-a-kind pieced pictorial quilted wall hangings.


“Splash” 40 x 40” 2014

What is your favorite part about teaching?

Favorite parts of teaching are traveling to new places, meeting new friends and sharing this adventure of creating unique works of art. It is so fun and rewarding for me to watch as students realize that they can indeed do this, to help them to make their vision materialize and give them the foundation to pursue a satisfying new direction in their work.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

It’s been said before, but one of the best reasons I can think of to take a workshop is to set aside your everyday life and embrace a week of exploring exciting new ideas with like minded individuals. To get away from the day to day demands and just pamper yourself, and where better to do that than at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. The food alone will be worth the trip!

What are you currently working on in your own art?

With the holidays just past and a new year beginning I am just starting a new project. The sketch is completed, the fabrics are being selected and I am excited to be planning this new landscape. The anticipation is building and I can’t wait to start sewing! It will be finished in plenty of time to bring it to the workshop in April.

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

My work can be seen at most major quilt shows and I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Fairfield Master Award For Contemporary Artistry at the Houston IQF in 2012 for “Prairie Fire”.


“Prairie Fire” 70.5 x 26” 2011 (Sold)

Is your work represented in galleries?

Currently “December Dawn” is touring with SAQA’s Seasonal Palette exhibit, their first exhibit to show in four different continents! You can see “December Dawn” on the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts web site.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

My work is available for sale on my website www.ruthpowersartquilts.com, the SAQA website, www.saqa.com, locally at The Topeka Art Guild Gallery and at some of the venues as it travels and is being shown.



“Konza Prairie Spring” 53.5 X 24” 2013 (Sold)

What is your favorite quote?

I have two favorites – both reflect my workshop psychology:

“If you obey all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun!” – Katherine Hepburn

“The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball.” — Dolly Parton

Describe your studio.

My studio is my dream space; a 24 x 26’ addition to our home built to house my pattern business and office area as well as the sewing and design space with fabric storage and design wall. Bookcases that hold the fabric stash divide the two areas.


My cutting table is an old oak drafting table with deep drawers underneath for storing supplies and pattern originals. It is the perfect height for rotary cutting.


We furnished the space with antique finds, mostly oak, and kept the walls white to allow the colors of the quilts to dominate. The 8 x 8’ gray design wall is opposite my sewing machine so I can monitor my progress. There is also a seating area with books and TV.


Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

Lots of fabric to choose from, both commercially printed and batiks as well as hand dyes.

Freezer Paper.

Rotary cutter.

Design Wall.

Sewing Machine.

5 Responses to “Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing”

  1. Dorethy Hancock

    I've had Ruth's tutoring, and made myself a picture-pieced quilt last summer with 2 big peacocks on it. Tedious, but so rewarding! She's a great teacher, patient and explicit, while allowing you to create as the artist you are!