Artistically Speaking: Amy Childers - Celebrating Nature Through Fabric

Last Updated on Sep 7, 2016 at 12:24pm | Arts & Culture

"Artistically Speaking" is a regular feature of The Lake-Front magazine, in cooperation with the Garrett County Arts Council, and is being reprinted here in its entirety with permission. This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue.
Amy Childers is one of the newest artists showing work at the Garrett County Arts Council’s Gallery Shop. Her one of a kind, fiber artwork is very unique compared to other fiber arts. She selects and hand sews pieces of commercially available fabric together to create stunning landscape scenes. Even though she has only been sewing this style of fabric landscape for a little more than five years, she has created fabric landscapes in traditional quilting methods for quite some time.
It all began after she took several quilting classes, mostly at the national Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest held in Hampton, Virginia. She learned how to matt and frame her work rather than traditionally quilting it, and so a new passion was born.
When asked to describe her work, Childers replied “They are hand appliqued landscapes. They are not technically quilts because they do not have batting between the fabric and the backing. The fabric is hand appliqued to a muslin backing and then the entire piece is stitched to heavy art paper to stabilize it. It is then matted and framed."
She seeks inspiration for her artwork from the natural world around her. A lifelong passion for nature and the outdoors combined with the scenic views near her home have played a huge role in her work.
Childers grew up in Drexel Hill and has been involved in art her entire life. Her mother was a painter who took her to several art museums during her childhood. Her father was involved with interior design and woodworking. She recalls, “There was always a creative atmosphere in our home. I have tried just about every medium. I always sewed and did needlework. So when I discovered fabric landscapes, I felt like I had really found my niche.”
Childers attended Virginia Tech where she earned a degree in Biology. She retired in 2009 after working in the corporate world for many years. In 2012, she and her husband moved to Confluence, Pennsylvania where they still live. It was after retirement that she decided to pursue her art. She also enjoys spending her time gardening, traveling, and cycling, as well as dabbling in other art mediums such as traditional quilt making and pencil drawing.
Her work is currently featured in two galleries, the Turkeyfoot Valley Gallery located in the Confluence Cyclery and GCAC’s Pop-Up Gallery Shop in McHenry, MD. She is also exploring into the possibilities of participating in other art galleries and local events.
Childers learned about Garrett County Arts Council upon meeting GCAC Executive Director Karen Reckner in a Continuing Education art class sponsored by Garrett College. Following Reckner’s encouragement, Childers submitted her work for jurying and was accepted to participate in The Gallery Shop this past June. Childers’ fabric landscapes, along with the artwork of over 150 regional artists, may be seen and purchased at the Pop-Up Gallery Shop located at 25227 Garrett Highway in McHenry next to Archie’s Barbeque. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Garrett County Arts Council is funded by Maryland State Arts Council, Garrett County Government, and through membership support. For more information or to become a member, contact GCAC at 301-334-6580 or visit