Edmonds Art Beat: Local artist part of nationwide effort to complete quilt; ARTSplash arrives next weekend

Chris Cossu – Edmonds-based mixed media artist

Chris Cossu with embroidered piece.

Local artist Chris Cossu is a mixed media and fiber artist and semi-retired creative director/producer for advertising. In 2019, Chris was selected to embroider the Washington state portion of the Rita’s Quilt. Rita’s Quilt is a heart-warming project about a women, Shannon Downey, who purchased a quilt at an estate sale in Chicago where a 99-year-old woman named Rita Smith used to live. At the sale, Downey found hundreds of pieces of fabric that had been intended for a big quilting project Smith had started before she died.

Downey wanted to finish the quilt but knew it was bigger than anything she had done before. Social media became the tool to make this happen, after reaching out she had over 1,000 volunteers in only one day. Edmonds resident Chris Cossu is one of those special volunteers, stitching one of the 100 individual hexagons that needed to be embroidered to make the quilt.

This project has brought many people together and is a unique showing of community. The quilt is now on a U.S. tour and will be viewable this Sunday, July 11, from 1-3 p.m., along with Shannon Downey, the original #CRAFTIVIST who came up with this amazing project. The quilt will be on display during the Craftivism workshop/embroidery class at Distant World Coffeeshops in Seattle.

Rita’s Quilt has been featured on the BBC and the Kelly Clarkson show.

Edmonds ARTSplash art show and sale

The Edmonds-based ArtistsConnect group is holding is ARTSplash 2021 show Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Artworks building at 201 Dayton St. in downtown Edmonds.

ARTSplash features 11 local artists, with pieces for sale including original oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, art prints, underwater and nature photography, hand-made purses, jewelry, sculpture, collages, wearables, monoprint books, and art cards.

Each ARTSplash artist will auction a piece of art, with proceeds supporting the Edmonds Art Festival Foundation’s educational programs. In addition to the auction, a portion of each regular sale goes to the Edmonds Art Festival’s support of Artworks.

ArtistsConnect Edmonds is a no-fee art group that meets the fourth Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at Artworks. If you are interested in learning more about ArtistsConnect, click here.

— By Rachel Gardner

Rachel Gardner has a heartfelt appreciation for art in all forms and believes everyone is an artist, some just don’t know it yet. A dedicated and involved Edmonds resident, she can often be spotted onstage cracking jokes between sets or in the audience enjoying local live performances. She enjoys being playful with her art and finding unique ways of expression, like forming a boho-grunge-folk ukulele trio with local Edmonds moms.


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